Meet our All-Star Line Up
of Professional Fastpitch Softball Instructors
Cathy Smith– Softball Pitching, Hitting & Slapping Instruction
Coach Smith, a 1991 graduate and four-year starter at Schaumburg High School, pitched her team to the 1990 Regional Championship while contributing as a good hitter and team leader. Cathy went on to play at Grand Valley State University in Michigan for two seasons while earning her degree. Coach Smith has become a very successful coach drawing the best out of players over the past 18 seasons. As the Varsity Softball Coach at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, she led her team through a school record 33-4 season in 2012 on their way to a 2nd Consecutive MSL Conference Championship. Her team won its 4th Regional Championship to go along with seven 20-plus win seasons. In addition to pitching and hitting, Coach Smith has taught the art of slapping to many of her players. The Conant program has graduated 11 players that have gone on to play at the collegiate level, four of those playing at the Division I level with an additional three committed to Division I schools. She was recently honored by the Suburban Umpires Association with the Coach of the Year award for the 2011 season!
Justine Walker– Fastpitch Softball Hitting/Catching Instruction
Coach Walker was a 2007 Bartlett High School graduate and Senior Captain of the Bartlett High School team that made a successful run down state. After graduating she spent four years playing for North Central College and Hall of Fame Coach, Jim Kulawiak. As an outfielder/catcher, Coach Walker was no stranger to post-season play contributing to two conference tournament championships and three appearances in the NCAA Division III Softball Regionals. During her collegiate career, Coach Walker was a four-time Academic All-American who went on to join the staff at NCC as an assistant coach working with outfielders/catchers and the hitters.
EarlAnderson– Fastpitch Softball Pitching Instruction
Coach Anderson joins The Hitting Zone Fastpitch Softball staff bringing over thirty years of fastpitch softball experience to his students. He has spent the last twenty years giving individual and camp pitching instruction to students throughout the Chicago-land area. He works with students of all levels and specializes in advanced fastpitch instruction. Coach Anderson uses his "Easy Motion Softball - The Art of Softball Pitching, Pain Free" philosophy to instruct his students. Many of Coach Anderson's students have gone on to successful collegiate careers; his pitching expertise has been an influence to area travel organizations and players of all ages. Coach Anderson in available year round for private as well as group pitching instruction.
Chris Wilmot - Catching & Hitting Instruction
Coach Wilmot is a 2000 graduate of Conant High School in Hoffman Estates. He was a catcher, outfielder, and 1st baseman for the Cougars during his varsity years. Chris was a member of the 1999 MSL Champion team that also set the school record for wins in a season and was awarded the Unsung Hero Award for the 99’ season. Chris holds a degree in Fire Science Technology and is currently a Lombard Firefighter/Paramedic. While in college, Chris played semi-professional baseball with the Chicago Lugnuts for two seasons. In 2005, he was asked to attend an open tryout as a catcher with the Schaumburg Flyers. Coach Wilmot spent two seasons with the Flyers including their playoff run in 2006. While catching in the Northern League, Chris worked with various levels of pitchers from former major leaguers, AA/AAA level pitchers and players right out of college. Coach Wilmot is an experienced hitting and catching instructor for both baseball and softball of all levels and is available for private and group instruction.
Lauren Wydra – Fastpitch Softball Pitching Instruction
Coach Wydra is a 2008 graduate and four-year pitching starter from Bartlett High School. She earned unanimous All-Conference and All-Area honors 2006, 2007 & 2008. As a key member of the Bartlett team making a run at the State Title in 2007, she earned All-State honors and was names the Elgin Courier Pitcher of the Year. In addition to being Bartlett High School Varsity MVP in 2006, 2007 and 2008 she was named the Daily Herald All-Star Game MVP. Coach Wydra holds numerous Bartlett High School pitching records including, lowest ERA, Season and Career Strikeouts (with more than 800 Varsity Strikeouts) and Most Career Shutouts.
Danielle Schmidt– Fastpitch Softball Pitching Instruction
Coach Schmidt is currently pitching at Wheaton College where she threw a no-hitter in her 2nd start of the year in 2010. She has been a standout pitcher throughout her travel career having played in Nationals in every year since she was 12 years old. Coach Schmidt was a major contributor to teams including 12u State Champions and Summer National Champions, 14u State Runner-ups before beginning her high school career in Minnesota playing under Coach Mook. She was a four-year Varsity starter and earned All-Conference honors in each year. Her high school team appeared in four straight State Championships, winning back-to-back titles her junior and senior years. She holds school records for the most strikeouts in a season and career and also two state records for the most no hitters in the state tournament and most strikeouts in one game. She appeared in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd" feature and enjoys sharing the technical and mental aspects of fastpitch pitching she has learned.
Please Note: Lessons booked with The Hitting Zone are not guaranteed with a specific instructor. We will make every effort possible to provide consistency, but are not obligated to due to the fact our instructors are independent contractors and not employees of The Hitting Zone. No refunds will be granted for any unused portions of a lesson package.