SIDNEY, NE — Sidney baseball and softball has a new piece of equipment to train with.
"Nice thing for me is I'm not a real good pitcher so when I bring my team out for practice they can have a consistent ball in the strike zone," pitching machine donor and Sidney 11u baseball coach Van Kitt said.
Local business owner and Sidney 11u baseball coach Van Kitt recently donated a new pitching machine for Sidney’s youth teams to use. Sidney 16u and 18u head softball coach Elise Tanquary said it’s already paying dividends for the squads as they work on the fundamentals.
"It's been great for our girls because we face pitchers that pitch different speeds and a lot of our pitchers can't pitch those speeds yet," Tanquary said. "When we face them, we really don't have any practice at hitting those quicker pitchers. Being able to come over here and hit some of those is great."
This is also just the first step in a variety of projects Kitt hopes to complete. He’s also working with other members and businesses in the community to get a scoreboard for Field 1 at the softball complex. He also hopes to upgrade the landscaping of the fields at the complex as well.
"As a local business owner, just trying to help build a program for our kids," Kitt said. "Both our softball program and our baseball program. It's just kind of the foundational steps to put the facilities in place that they need to be able to build a program."
All this work in hopes to grow the sports in Sidney and give the kids that participate more potential to learn and improve at the game.
"We haven't really had the greatest program to start with for the girls so a lot of the skills they need for that batting they don't have yet," Tanquary said. "This batting cage will really help throw consistent pitches and help them be able to practice with repetition with batting