Don’t call her Rosie. Angela Tincher wants to be just one of the girls.
Tincher, the former James River and Virginia Tech softball pitching star, is the centerpiece of a new six-girl softball team called “Dynasty 6.” Tincher is the pitcher and five other girls play the field against full teams of challengers, usually men.
The team plays off the concept of the “Queen and her Maids,” a touring four-girl softball team from the ‘70s and ‘80s. The “Queen” was pitching star Rosie Beaird-Black, and she had three teammates, two of which were her sisters. It was similar to the more famous “King and his Court,” a four-man touring softball team featuring pitching great Eddie Feigner.
Tincher is the star of Dynasty 6. Her catcher is Kelsey (Hoffman) Schmitt, who caught her for three years at Virginia Tech, including their senior season when the Hokies went to the NCAA Softball World Series.
The other girls on the Dynasty 6 are various softball All-Americans who also play for a team called the US Professional All-Stars. On a normal weekend the All-Stars will take on a team of local collegians on a Friday night. Then on Saturday, there will be a doubleheader with the All-Stars playing in one game and the Dynasty 6 team taking on a team of local firefighters, police, military personnel, celebrities or professional athletes from other sports.
The first Dynasty 6 game was in Maryland last month, and the next stop will be in Bixby, Okla. on July 16 and 17. Tincher is hoping interest picks up as the word gets out. The Dynasty 6 games raise money for charities, while the girls get paid for the All-Star events, and on each stop they try to schedule clinics to pick up some extra cash.
“I really like it,” said Tincher, who led James River to two Group A state championships in high school. “It’s sort of like the King and his Court but a little more of a team aspect. It’s not just about me.”
Rosie Black was probably the best pitcher of her day, and she performed all over the world and on TV. She would strike out frustrated Major League Baseball players, who weren’t used to seeing her wicked rise ball. Tincher has that same kind of stuff.
“Guys aren’t used to seeing fast-pitch,” said Tincher. “They take the big, long swing and have trouble adjusting.”
Tincher’s team won their first “six-girl” exhibition, but only 3-2. And one of the men hit a home run off Angela, something that didn’t happen very often in high school and college.
“They had this radio host who had been practicing for a long time and he knew what to expect,” said Angela. “I threw him a change up and he hit it over the fence. I should have never thrown him a change up. I struck him out the next time.”
Tincher ended up getting 15 of the 18 outs on strikeouts, and that’s pretty much how Rosie and the Maids used to do it. It doesn’t matter how many fielders you have out there if the batter doesn’t hit the ball.
Feigner, probably the most famous softball pitcher ever, used to strike out batters pitching blind-folded and from second base. He also worked some comedy into the act, and Tincher’s team is still a work in progress.
“We throw a little comedy in there,” she said. “We’re still tweaking it. It’s been a lot of fun so far. It’s been an experience.”
Tincher has had her share of experiences. In addition to pitching for Tech in the World Series she pitched a no-hitter in an exhibition against the United States Olympic Team. She’s been around the world with a softball in her hand.
“I was talking to the girls about that at a clinic recently,” she said. “I’ve seen cities and countries I never would have seen without softball. I’ve been to Venezuela and Taiwan and I’ve lived in Japan. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
And, she’s shared the spotlight in Akron, Ohio with Lebron James. Last summer Angela pitched for the professional Akron Racers fast-pitch team. This spring she served as pitching coach at Syracuse University, and her latest endeavor promises to take her to more places to try and strikeout batters for money. And, to promote fast-pitch softball.
“Without the Olympics, it’s really important to promote softball to the young girls,” said Tincher, who has a younger sister, Abby, who will be a freshman at James River this fall.
Angela would love to do some kind of event in this area. The Botetourt Sports Complex or the Moyer Complex in Salem would be perfect. Recently Salem drew over 2,000 fans for an appearance by the Chicago Bandits pro team.
“I’d love to do some kind of event in this area,” she said. “I think the fans would really like it and it’s always nice to come home.”