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HHS alum forms pitching academy

Published 12:44pm Thursday, June 5, 2014

Krystle Wilson-Lawson made a career out of living on the edges.
A 2004 graduate of Holtville, the former softball pitcher etched her name in the Alabama High School Athletic Association record books over her four years with the Lady Bulldogs. Now, she’s passing down that on-the-edge style at the Krystle Wilson-Lawson Elite Pitching Academy.

Holtville graduate Krystle Wilson-Lawson shows 9-year-old Kennedy Bradshaw a wrist pitching drill Monday. Photo by Cory Diaz
Holtville graduate Krystle Wilson-Lawson shows 9-year-old Kennedy Bradshaw a wrist pitching drill Monday. Photo by Cory Diaz

Conceived this past February in Slapout, Wilson-Lawson said she started the venture to help the young girls in her community.
“I had to travel to Birmingham and clinics all over the Southeast (for lessons),” the Holtville product said. “So I decided to start teaching them because I was taught the right way, the mechanics, so I figured I could start doing it and helping the little girls.”
Wilson-Lawson posted the fourth-best earned-run average all-time at 0.24 her junior season in 2003, while her 0.59 career ERA sits tied for fifth-best. Wilson-Lawson’s 22 career no-hitters is 10th-most in AHSAA history. Her name appears in four other pitching categories in the record book, including career strikeouts (1,152) and most wins (75).
After Holtville, she pitched at Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, Alabama and found success. She’s spent the last five years instructing in Florida before coming back home.
In just a few short months, Wilson-Lawson said she’s glad to be back home helping the local young pitchers.
“I’ve got girls from Wetumpka, Eclectic, Montgomery and Clanton. I got girls from all over now,” she said. “We’re working on the proper mechanics to make them faster, to get all their pitches and make them succeed at that, not just in high school but at the next level and play in college, whether it be junior college or a four-year college. As long as they have a good positive attitude, come out here, listen and learn, they’ll be able to go far.”
Sandy Bradshaw said it was an easy decision to take her 9-year-old daughter Kennedy for lessons with Wilson-Lawson.
“My husband and I are both from the Holtville community and of course, Krystle is very well-known around here,” Bradshaw said. “She’s something to Google. It was definitely a decision that we felt was the right way to go for Kennedy.
“We love it. Kennedy loves it, she asks to come all the time. She looks forward to it, that’s a big plus with us.”
For the young pitchers, Wilson-Lawson said it’s not about throwing strikes, but about pushing the limit to get the calls.
“When they come over here, nine times out of 10, something’s not working when they’re pitching,” she said. “When they leave here, I want that to be fixed. I want them to take it home and keep working on it. When they leave here, I want their confidence built that they can do it, that they can succeed.”

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