Claim to fame: The first-year varsity player is already making an impact with the Lady Knights softball team, on the mound and at the plate, helping Harker Heights (8-17, 2-2 8-5A) pull even in district play with a monster two-run home run to cap an 8-run fifth inning in a 13-11 victory over rival Shoemaker on Wednesday — the first home run of her career.
That was your first home run, what was that experience like?
Well walking up with my history of batting, I know I’m a good hitter, it’s just putting it all together. I see ball, hit ball, see ball, hit ball, that’s all I need to do. Once I can do that, I know I’m unstoppable.
So what was it like coming across home plate and having your teammates there to celebrate with you by patting you on the helmet?
Knowing that they have my back, whether I hit a home run or not, they’re there.
What were the emotions like during that eight-run fifth inning?
I was really exciting knowing that we’ve had ups and downs — we lose games, we win games — everybody does, but just knowing that we’re capable of winning and doing these things is just amazing.
Do you or the team have any pregame rituals you participate in?
Not really. Normally we just get pumped, we get loud, we get excited.
Do you have any personal things you do to prepare for games?
I get out of my head. I can’t get frustrated. I have to keep my focus on something else, otherwise I’ll think too much about it.
Do you do anything in particular to accomplish that, like listen to music?
Yeah, loud music.
Most softball teams have chants for certain players, do you have a favorite?
“Niner-liner. It gets me pumped that I can just take it.”
What do you like to do away from the field or school?
Just relaxing. Most of the time I’m hanging out with all of (my teammates), so we’re not really ever apart much. We have practice every day after school and I’ve spent all my spring break with them so far.
What’s your mind set when you’re on the mound?
Well, a pitcher’s object is not to strike everyone out, that’s not my job, but knowing that if I do let a girl get a hit, my defense has my back. I just can’t get in my head. If I get in my head, I get more frustrated and I put more pressure on (my teammates) because they’re having to help me more.
So what do you have to do to stay out of your head?
Just talk myself through it: “Sierra you can do this, your defense has your back, you have no worries.”
Contact Alex Byington at email@example.com or (254) 501-7566