Spotlight: Fast-Pitch Love by Clay Cormany

Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: November 4th 2014
Clean Reads

What does a high school boy do if he thinks the girl of his dreams will be an assistant for the softball team his mother coaches? Easy! He volunteers to be an assistant, too. That's what Jace Waldron does in Fast-Pitch Love. It might be his only chance to make a move on Stephanie Thornapple while her boyfriend is away. But Jace's plans go awry, and soon he faces the double challenge of coaching a team of mischievous preteen girls and learning there is more to romance than physical attraction.


“Come on, Phoebe,” Jace urged. “Get us a run.”

His sister looked small standing by home plate, her head engulfed by her helmet.  She gazed at Jace and grimaced before holding her bat aloft.

The first pitch went inside.  The second was a call strike.  Another inside pitch and then a swing and a miss.

“Strike her out!  She can’t hit!  Strike her out!” the Dragon players cried out to their pitcher.

“Protect the plate,” Martha urged her daughter. “Just try to put the ball in play.”

Jace didn’t want to watch as the next pitch came homeward.  But he did anyway, and what he saw was Phoebe swinging away and making enough contact to send the ball bouncing slowly toward the gap between the pitcher’s mound and first base. As Phoebe took off down the baseline, Corey made a mad dash toward home, and the other two runners also tried to advance.

“Come on, Phoebe, you can beat it out,” Jace shouted.

With arms and legs churning, Phoebe tried to comply.

Realizing her pitcher would not reach the ball soon enough, the Dragon’s first baseman ran forward and scooped it up. Then she pivoted around and ran back toward her base, trying to get there before Phoebe.  When both girls closed to within a few feet of the bag, the first baseman lunged at Phoebe, trying to tag her out.

“Dive for it!” Jace cried.

Phoebe lowered her head and flung herself horizontally with arms outstretched toward the base.  This caused the first baseman to miss the tag, but the girl had enough sense to thrust her foot toward the base in the hope of still getting the force out.  To Jace’s not-unbiased eye, Phoebe’s hand reached the base a split second ahead of the Dragon infielder’s foot.  The umpire, who had moved from behind home plate to within a few feet of where Jace stood, saw it that way, too.

“Safe!” he shouted, crossing his arms two or three times.

The cry of joy from the Valkyries’ side matched the roar of dismay from the Dragons and their fans.  Jace signaled time out and reached down to help Phoebe to her feet.  As he did, the Dragons’ assistant coach brushed by him, charging like an angry rhinoceros toward the umpire.


"The books has some unexpected twists and turns as the likeable but somewhat hapless Jace grows into a young man who takes responsibility for his life and his choices. Softball aficionados will have a particular affinity for this book because its game descriptions are extensive and detailed. Those who don't know softball will come to like and admire the young protagonist."  Gretchen Hirsch, author and book doctor

"I enjoyed this young adult novel by Clay Cormany. The story told from a guy's perspective made it especially interesting. I think a lot of young women would enjoy seeing romance from a guy's point of view. I also liked that the novel was innocent without gratuitous sex or swear words." Paulita Kincer, author of The Summer of France and Trail Mix

"Like the spin on a fastball, Fast-Pitch Love puts a new spin on the age old boy meets girl phenomenon. And what a wonderful spin it is. Clay Cormany weaves together the twin themes of teenage infatuation and a girls’ softball team. Along the way he does a wonderful job of mixing the excitement of youth sports with the impending showdown between two suitors of the same pretty girl."

The Dane

"Fast-Pitch Love is an unusual coming-of-age story since it's told from the guy's point of view. The characters are likeable and believable; the action well paced. You don't need to be a softball player, or even an athlete, to thoroughly enjoy Fast-Pitch Love."  Louise

About the Author

Before writing Fast-Pitch Love, Clay Cormany spent over 20 years as a writer and editor for Ohio's State Board of Education. His creative work has appeared in numerous central Ohio publications, including the Columbus Dispatch and Spring Street, Columbus State Community College's literary magazine. He has also edited numerous books, including a three-volume biography of Christopher Columbus and A Death Prolonged by Dr. Jeff Gordon, which received coverage in the New York Times and on PBS. Fast-Pitch Love reflects the two years Cormany spent interacting with softball players and coaches both in practice and competition. He contributes the earnings from sale of the book to girls softball programs in central Ohio and elsewhere.

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