MLB

VINNY CASTILLA VS SOFTBALL PITCHER

Colorado Rockies Spring Training Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

By Nick Groke/ Denver Post

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Vinny Castilla stepped into a batting cage Thursday, his hands in gloves and wrists wrapped, with every intention of getting a hit. But the Rockies’ special adviser, an original member of the Blake Street Bombers, was about to go down swinging.

The University of Wisconsin softball team visited Salt River Fields to take in batting practice and the Rockies’ closed-door morning meeting. Badgers freshman shortstop Lauren Foster is the daughter of Colorado’s pitching coach, Steve Foster.

The team’s visit set up a challenge. Castilla and Rockies scout Doug Bernier, a former major-league shortstop, faced Wisconsin assistant coaches Kierstan Verdun and Taylor-Paige Stewart, pitching to them on a practice field.

Verdun threw four pitches to Castilla. He fouled off two, both fastballs. On the fourth pitch, she fooled him with a changeup and a crowd of Rockies and Badgers hollered.

“They’re nasty,” Castilla said. “That changeup broke my back.”

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