Jan 31st, 2008 @ 9:25 am | Author: VCSU Sports Information
Viking Softball head coach Chad Slyter believes that he prepares players for life both on and off the field. The Vikings have seen the results of that preparation on the field the past two seasons with a National Tournament berth and the best two seasons in program history. The results are not only seen on the Vikings field but on other fields around the world.
For Carling Beninger, a former Viking Softball pitcher from Richmond, British Columbia, that means pitching and coaching in New Zealand and Australia. 'I posted my resume on the international softball website and heard back from places all over the world,' Beninger said of her initial effort to play overseas. 'I became most interested with the team in Cairns, Australia when the coach mentioned the coaching opportunity as well. It was a good opportunity for me to continue playing, while getting experience in coaching.'
Beninger, a transfer student, pitched for the Vikings for two seasons accumulating 14 wins and eight losses with a 1.82 era, leading the 2007 squad in victories with 10. 'Carling was a pitcher in every sense of the word,' said Slyter of Beninger's style. 'She increased her speed and velocity in her time at VCSU and added pitches to her repertoire, but she wasn't going to blow anyone's doors off. Carling was crafty, she pitched the ball and made hitters hit her pitch and then she let her defense go to work.'
'I learned so much about pitching while playing at Valley City State,' said Beninger of her time at VCSU. 'I came into the program throwing three pitches and left having six different pitches.'
Beninger's duties are not limited to on the field. Pitching for the Cairns Ivanhoes takes up a majority of her time while in Australia but she is also on the other side of the ball as a pitching coach and instructor. 'I've taken on coaching pitching for the team and other lower division teams, holding one pitching session per week. I really enjoy coaching. My whole life I've always been on the other side of the things.'
Beninger is not the first Viking to take her talents abroad. Another Viking pitcher and Beninger teammate, Karalea Morris pitched last year in Holland, leading her team to a title. 'I think it's great to be able to help our athletes improve themselves and get them to a point where they believe they can continue their playing career after their time at VCSU,' commented Slyter. 'Obviously we've had some great talent in the program and that is echoed with some of our athletes being able to continue their careers overseas.'
Beninger was not only successful at Valley City State, but she continues that success in Australia. Her team is currently 8-2 and in first place in their league which will wrap up their season shortly. She may not be done after her time in Australia however. 'I didn't know much about playing softball internationally and it has really opened up a lot of doors for traveling,' Beninger added. 'I've even thought about looking into playing somewhere in Europe after I return from Australia.'