When Tammy Bradstreet conducts a softball clinic, her students would do well to listen.
Her background makes Bradstreet a natural to instruct every aspect of the game - fielding, hitting and pitching.
The former University High School softball star was this year named most valuable player of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges as a pitcher, shortstop and her team’s No. 3 batter.
She compiled an 18-6 record on the mound for Edmonds Community College and hit .452 with five doubles, three triples, two home runs and 27 runs batted in.
Originally ticketed to share pitching duties with an all-conference hurler, she wound up throwing two-thirds of the team’s games. Edmonds finished with a 28-8 record, placed second in the conference and fourth in the NWAACC tournament.
During the tournament, Bradstreet was 8-for-12 with five doubles.
“The MVP is picked by coaches in the division,” said her coach, Lonnie Hicks. “I don’t think anyone could question Tammy’s selection.”
As a way to earn summer money, Bradstreet has been providing youngsters the benefit of her expertise conducting clinics through the Spokane County Parks Department summer program.
From July 10 to 14 she will also assist U-Hi softball coach Ken VanSickle at his softball camp for second- through 12th-graders.
“It’s kind of easy because I’ve experienced it all,” said Bradstreet of her role as teacher. “I like to show kids how to do things.”
A three-year starter and all-conference infielder and backup pitcher for the 1994 league champion Titans, Bradstreet played on select teams during summers.
Hicks said he saw her at one such tournament and although he didn’t know who she was or where she was from, liked what he saw.
“I watched her pitch and hit and thought, ‘The kid’s going to be an impact player,”’ he said. “Tammy could play any position she wanted to play. Her height gives her a big advantage. She has good balance and quickness and doesn’t get rattled.”
Hicks said he envisioned a “dazzling” tandem alternating her with the returnee on the mound and at shortstop. Bradstreet became his only thrower when the other player became an academic casualty.
“Tammy threw as many as six games in a week, all doubleheaders, and that’s pretty tough,” he said. “That she was able to do that, keep her grades up and hit as well as she did was quite an accomplishment. She turned out to be the impact player of the league.”
Bradstreet said her only adjustment was pitching from a distance three feet farther away from home plate than in high school.
“I was a little surprised (by the honor) but I had a good year and kind of figured because I was the only pitcher I might get it,” she said.
Now Bradstreet is mulling over whether to go back to Edmonds or transfer to NCAA Division II Mesa State College in Colorado.
Hicks would like her to return because he said her stock would rise. Like another of his players who got a scholarship worth $8,500 a year to Baylor, Bradstreet could command more scholarship money or attend a Division I institution, he said.
“She will be an impact player wherever she goes,” he said. “I don’t want her to get less than her worth.”
For Bradstreet, being involved in softball as a player or instructor is enough to occupy her for now.
“Softball is very fun and exciting,” she said. “I enjoy both playing and teaching.”
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