Practice pays off

The Baltimore Sun

How did you get started in softball?

My mom actually got me started. I started four years ago. She wanted me to start playing when I was younger, but I was a real girly girl and I didn't have any interest in it, but when I started I loved it. How much time do you spend trying to perfect your pitches?

I play summer ball for the Lady Orioles and we work out at least three times a week, and my stepfather helps me practice. He keeps me out there until I get it right, but he loves it and I'm happy to have him. If I don't pitch at practice for high school, he always takes me out, and I have pitching lessons with [pitching coach] Al Sheridan on Sundays. How many pitches do you have?

I have a fastball, a changeup, a rise, a drop, a curve and a screwball. Which is your newest pitch?

My rise is. That's the one I started with last, but I think my most difficult pitch is the screwball. It's just something about the way you spin it that I really can't get. My favorite pitch is the curveball. I like how it breaks. When do you throw the changeup?

I usually throw it when I have two strikes on them and they're catching up to my fastball to throw them off a little bit. I sometimes throw it as a first-pitch strike, because when I'm warming up, I'll throw fastballs or I'll throw them to the batter that's up before, then it'll catch them off guard. You have all these pitches and you know the basics. How do you improve now?

I should improve more on my spin and trying to get more speed. I work with a weighted ball - it's a 9-ounce ball - to try to build up more speed. At practice, I just work on my spins up close with my catcher. How important is your catcher, Nicole Snee?

She's very important, because if you don't have a quality catcher it doesn't make you look good and she might not catch the ball. We have a lot of chemistry. She's one of my best friends. We always help each other out. Tell me about the experience of playing in the state semifinals last year?

It was a great experience. It showed us what we needed to work on. Our weakness was that some of us couldn't hit. That was the only downfall of that game. My pitching could have been a little bit better, but I think it was pretty good. We weren't very intense that game either. What does it mean to be in the county championship game?

I think it's great. I'm really happy that we've done this good. We're undefeated so far. I think that's amazing. I'm really happy with the success of the team. Do you want to play in college?

Yes. I've been looking around, but I'm not really sure where I want to go yet. I'm definitely looking at Division I.

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