MANALAPAN-Crystl Bustos, affectionately known as “The Big Bruiser” in the softball world is bringing her team of hard hitting softball “Been There’s!” Manalapan’s spacious Sportika indoor sports facility this week.
Ruthless Softball Program Hosting Tryouts.
**UPDATED** Bustos’ clinic and tryouts for the Ruthless 10-14u teams are full and closed. For 16U players, email RuthlessSoftballNJ@gmail.com for tryout information.
Bustos is officially kicking off the New Jersey franchise of her Ruthless fastpitch softball program which currently fields teams in California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada and Texas.
Locally, the program is headed by Allan Proske who until now has run the ASE Intensity and Manalapan softball programs and is one of the developers behind Adventures Sports, an indoor multisport training facility being built adjacent to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township.
Free Softball Clinic with Olympians and Professional Softball Players This Week.
Traveling to New Jersey for the free clinic to be hosted Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with Bustos are Arizona State hall of fame softball player Toni Mascarenas and National Pro Fastpitch champion Amanda Kamekona. Kamekona played professional softball for twelve seasons with the USSSA Pride, Scrap Yard Dawgs and Chicago Bandits. Bustos went on to play professional softball from 2005 through 2010 for the Akron Racers where she had a career .380 batting average.
“Toni Mascarenas is one of our trainers coming out to help form our teams,” Proske said. “She is considered a standout coach back in California and has helped many 14/16u teams win the PGF, as well as back in the day and helped the OC Batbusters to a couple of national titles as a player.”
“This clinic is open to girls of all ages and skill levels,” Bustos said. “I want to have kids come out who want to learn.”
“Expect to have fun,” she added. “Everyone will leave learning a whole lot of information.”
Monica Abbott to work with Ruthless Pitchers in August
Later in August, Monica Abbott, who is also a part of the Ruthless New Jersey support structure will be working with the program’s pitchers.
“Monica will spend time evaluating, personally coaching our pitchers as well as some time overall practicing with our girls,” Proske added.
Bustos: 2018 NPF High school All-American Coach
Bustos is coming to Jersey fresh off the trail at the 2018 Premier Girls Fastpitch (PGF) championship and PGF High School All American game where the nation’s top 2018 high school softball graduates came together for intense competition before heading off to college. The annual PGF national championship is the premier youth fastpitch softball events in the nation.
It was Bustos’ third time managing a PGF high school All-American team. Coming into 2018, she had won all of her previous all-american games as coach, but conceded her first loss to Jennie Finch this year.
“Jennie’s gotta win sometimes,” she said jokingly.
Ruthless Launching Elite Program in New Jersey.
Now she’s getting ready to launch her Ruthless softball program in New Jersey.
“At Ruthless, we’re looking for players and parents who are 100% committed and dedicated at our tryouts,” she said of ongoing tryouts separate from her clinic. “We’re seeking players who understand the commitment it takes to be an elite athlete.”
According to Bustos, each age group will field two teams, a developmental team and a premier team.
If you want to play for Bustos and Ruthless, she said, don’t be sleeping in class.
“A girl doesn’t just show up at school and ask her teacher for an A,” she said. “She has to put in the time, do her homework and study to succeed.”
Bustos said softball is no different. She’ll often ask her players, all of whom she is directly connected to through GroupMe messaging, “Did you hit this week? Did you field this week with your dad? Don’t just show up on the weekend expecting to play if you didn’t do your homework during the week.”
“Now that all of our teams are back from Nationals and PGF we are looking forward to building our 2018/2019 teams,” Proske said. “At Ruthless we are looking for dedicated players and families looking to join our organization for the long term.”
Bustos said she’s building a program of elite softball players and it takes an entire army to teach, coach and support and that’s what Ruthless offer young female athletes from strength and conditioning trainers to sports psychologists in addition to the elite group of former olympians and division I college trainers and coaches on staff.
This month, Proske announced the hiring of Laura Borrelli to serve as the program’s New Jersey director. Borrelli, now a school teacher, manages the Jackson Liberty High School softball team and was a Division I catcher at Monmouth University. She also served as assistant coach at Monmouth University and has had 16 of her players in Jackson Liberty’s brief history go on to play college softball, 7 in Division I. She was High School Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2011 and a five time winner of the Sportsmanship Award.