Building upon the past 4 years of success in the Northeast, EC Bullets - Piening is expanding! In addition to our current 18U Gold-Piening team, we have expanded to now include multiple teams at the 10U-12U-14U-16U and 18U levels. Consistent with the EC Bullets mission of building individual character, expanding skills and building teamwork, the EC Bullets teams will be focused on building competitive teams with an emphasis on quality over quantity. We are seeking talented athletes that are seeking to maximize their skills while maintaining an attitude of sportsmanship and camaraderie in order to expose their talents and increase their opportunities to compete for scholarship monies and roster spots at institutions of higher learning.
Founded by Coach Greg Schnute in 1996, The EC Bullets FastPitch softball program is one of the best the nation. The program is 25 years old, and during this time EC Bullet teams have won numerous tournaments throughout the United States! This program has also aided in the development of many of the Georgia’s “All State Players” for their respective high schools (both athletic and academic). In addition, over 800 players have gone on to play college softball (many with scholarships to major universities).
Our mission is to build the individual character of each girl, to expand their skills, to blend team members into a harmonious unit and to optimize individual and team potential, to assist talented athletes in maximizing their skills, while maintaining an attitude of sportsmanship and camaraderie. The ultimate goal is to expose and showcase this talent in order to increase their opportunity to complete for scholarship monies to institutions of higher learning, which ultimately will benefit our society as a whole.
Our coaches are trained professionals that give up ten months of every year, without pay, to dedicate themselves to the EC Bullets players. This team will play in numerous showcase and top level tournaments in the Fall and Late Spring/Summer months.
"In speaking with Coach Schnute it was apparent right away that we both share the same philosophies in coaching, training and teaching life lessons through playing the game of softball in the EC Bullets program." - Coach Daniel Piening
Sarah Piening played 4 years at the Division 1 level at the University of Delaware, and 1 year at the Division 2 level at Rollins College. She carried a winning record at both Delaware and Rollins, winning her last 10 decisions for Delaware in the circle. Sarah is tied for 12th in UD history for appearances in games, and 14th for strikeouts and shutouts. In 2019, she led the CAA with 32 starts and 40 appearances, ranking second with 171.1 innings pitched, and was second in the league with 98 strikeouts.
Sarah enjoyed a highly decorated career with Immaculate Conception in North Jersey. She was the first and only pitcher in New Jersey high school history to win 4 state softball championships. Sarah amassed 83 wins, with 1,062 strikeouts, 17 no-hitters, and 31 shutouts in her 4 years at Immaculate Conception. She was named All State, All State-Non Public, All-North Jersey, and All-Bergen County. Sarah was also a two-time North Jersey Interscholastic League Player of the Year, serving as team captain and MVP for 3 seasons.
Coach Dan Piening
Coach Piening has been coaching softball for over 18 years. Much like Coach Schnute, he started coaching his daughter at the recreation level. Coach Piening was instrumental in continuing and elevating the local recreational and travel programs that fed the regional high school. He started the Lady Lightning softball program in 2007 with a 10U team. That program expanded to two teams, with the 14U team winning the NJ PONY championship and finishing 8th nationally in 2012. In 2014 the 16U team finished 2nd at PONY Nationals. Coach Piening coached the Rock Gold 18U team in 2014-15 and coached and trained the 16U and 18U Jersey Intensity teams in 2015-2017.
After reaching out to and having many long discussions with Coach Schnute, Coach Piening decided to bring the EC Bullets proven platform to NJ in 2017.
"Coach Dan Piening checks all of the boxes for an 18U coach! My daughter left a prominent local organization to come to Dan’s EC Bullets team and we couldn’t have been happier with all Dan and his team had to offer. He connects with the girls and genuinely cares about what they are looking for from the recruiting process. Getting the girls seen by their prospective colleges is his number one goal on game day and throughout the process. Trust me when I say this can NOT be said for all other coaches. If you want the best coach and person for your daughter in the critical years preceding college Coach Dan and the EC Bullets Piening is your team for sure!"
"As a parent, I could not have been more pleased with Coach Piening, Coach Schnute, and the entire EC Bullets organization. The EC Bullets’ reputation and dedication to excellence allowed my daughter the opportunity to play at the highest levels and provided her with the greatest opportunity to continue her dream of playing softball in college. Not only did my daughter improve on the field, she also learned a tremendous amount of responsibility and maturity during her time with the Bullets. I was also extremely impressed with the EC Bullets organization’s depth, integrity and dedication throughout the recruitment process. Coach Piening took a personal interest in every player on the team and did everything that he could to help them to succeed on the field and beyond."
My time on Bullets was a phenomenal experience. I played on a few other club teams and have definitely seen both the good and the bad. Dan is a true coach, someone who works with you to develop your skills, pushes you so that you are ready for the college level, and is always there with real encouragement. He takes the time to know each player and helps each player navigate finding a college that is the most practical and suitable. He recognizes players that work hard and want to be the very best they can. During practices the coaches will definitely push you to be better every day and give you all the resources to succeed. I found that Coach Piening put us in great showcases and we got a lot of time in front of college coaches. The team overall is great. I am still close with the group of girls I played with, which means a lot. I only wish I could have played with this team for another season!
My four years with Coach Dan and the Bullets were transformational. I was provided with the opportunity to compete at the highest level, against the best competition in the country. The entire coaching staff helped me to improve my game and pushed me to be my best, both physically and mentally. Coach Dan helped to guide me through the recruiting process and supported me the entire way, even when I was working to come back from knee surgery. I am forever grateful to Coach Dan and the EC Bullets organization for helping me to achieve my goal of playing softball at a high academic and competitive level!
My Daughter came over to the EC Bullets her Sr year, and we wish we had made the move 2 years sooner. Dan and his staff are truly professional and treat the girls with dignity and respect, it showed that him and his staff genuinely cared about each and every girl on his roster. We really enjoyed her 2020 season with the Bullets, they made the best out of an extremely challenging year and got my daughter the reps and exposure she needed before heading off to college to compete in the A10.
I have known Dan for a few years now and I love how he and his organization treat their players and their families. They play in top level recruiting tournaments to get their players exposed to colleges at every level and he will do whatever it takes to find the right fit for his players. Where so many travel organizations do things the wrong way Dan does things the right way.
Thank you Coach Dan for providing me with an awesome softball experience. You have been an integral part of my journey as a student athlete and most importantly as a person. You saw the raw talent and potential in me. You gave me the opportunity to play in the big games and deliver in key moments. Your belief, trust and constant reminders on my foot work, getting my hands up and back, are all part of why I made it to the next level, and keep coming back in the off season. Coach Dan you are one of the best softball coaches around and the EC Bullets are truly fortunate to have you as part of their organization! For any prospects or parents reading this, Coach Dan and his experience is a great place to be if you are trying to train and play at a high level! For the student athlete aspiring to play at the collegiate level, Coach Dan will undoubtedly get you there!!
Our daughter knew early on she had a love of the game and was willing to put in the time and effort to develop that. She wasn’t gifted with height but she was blessed with natural athletic ability so as parents, we tried to give her opportunity and let the chips falls where they may.... I share this because getting to play college softball is a process and it can be a long, painful process at times for both athletes and their families. There are key ingredients to the process, and not just the obvious ones like grades and hard work. Joining the right organization with a knowledgeable, dedicated Coach is a big part of that process. Our daughter was blessed to have a pair of coaches over her 6 year travel ball career who mentored and believed in her, while challenging her to get to the next level. Ultimately, she signed with her #1 school to play collegiate softball, which is a whole other story but I can assure you, Morgan achieving her goal would not have been possible without Coach Dan and the EC Bullet organization. They were key factors in our daughter’s successful recruiting process offering honest feedback and putting her in the best possible situations to be recruited. We are forever grateful and would recommend Coach Dan to any serious athlete that’s wants a shot to play collegiate softball.
My experience working with EC Bullets Piening has been incredible. From recruiting several of their athletes it is apparent to me that Dan and his staff preach the importance of finding an all-around fit for college to their athletes, and in addition have been very upfront with me as a coach about where they believe their athletes will best fit. They do not “sell” their players to college coaches, instead they make sure that both the college and the athlete are a fit for one another, and if they don’t believe that to be the case they are upfront and honest with both parties. While I cannot speak enough about my off the field interactions with Dan and his program, I can definitely speak to the tremendous training they provide their program. They not only bring in college coaches to train their athletes, but they also bring in current college players to provide training, which I think is tremendous! Their practices are purposeful, skill based, and constantly keep their athletes moving. By bringing in outside coaches and college players to practice their players are forced to try new things and get uncomfortable, which I truly believe is what helps softball players grow.