A professional softball star brought world-class training to Ashburn's SixFour3 softball facility in late July.
Twenty-four-year-old Carley Hoover, a professional softball player originally from South Carolina, spent three days at the Ashburn facility hosting a pitching clinic, which was one of several special events offered this summer. SixFour3 – the complex's name comes from the player positions associated with a double play – also hosted power hitter Katie Cochran, a four-time All American who played for the U.S. Women's National Team.
Now that it’s the off-season for Hoover, she is visiting several clinics, like SixFour3, which she heard about through one of the trainers, Ritchie Jacobs.
“I love every single kid that’s come through here, I love that they’re working hard, I love that they’re smart. I think SF3 has a great thing going on,” Hoover told the Times-Mirror. “It’s also the cleanest facility I’ve ever been in.”
One of the founding partners, Matt Cooke, said he was first inspired to create a softball-only facility in the area in fall 2015 after noticing the uncomfortable training environment his daughter trained in – one dominated by male baseball players.
Cooke and two more softball dads subleased a 12,000-square-foot place in Sterling in early 2016, eventually moving to the new facility in Ashburn last September. SF3 is planning on opening a second facility Dec. 1 in Prince William County before launching additional spots in North Carolina next year.
“I’ve never seen [a training facility] that’s all softball, so that’s really cool about SF3. Usually, it’s baseball and one softball instructor – [softball is] an afterthought,” Hoover said.
Jacobs added that the trainers are especially dedicated since they also have daughters who play softball. The fathers said they feel the need to “give back to the girls.” Jacobs reiterated that their motto at SF3 is to “empower girls through sports.”
As mentioned, the facility is meticulously clean. SixFour3 has received online reviews comparing the lobby to a hotel.
Cooke created the company to be similar to a 24-hour gym, with the facility being open all hours and each member having a unique keypad to unlock the door. Another perk of SF3 is that individualized clinics with professional players like Hoover are available to members at discounted rates.
“We are absolutely tied very closely to these members and have seen them grow up and excel and have been part of their success,” Cooke said. “It’s a really gratifying feeling.”
SixFour3 is located at 44427 Atwater Dr., Suite 100, in Ashburn. The phone number is 571-781-4564.