For senior infielder Laryn Brinkman, the days at Shoemaker are winding down both on and off the field.
The Lady Grey Wolves may be out of playoff contention and Brinkman is a commit to the Milwaukee School of Engineering, but don’t expect her to go on cruise control the rest of the season.
“There’s somebody playing at that college right now better than you,” Brinkman said. “You want to go in and think ‘I want to start.’ You have to know that you have to work harder to work over them. You don’t play down to whatever district that you’re playing in — you play up to the people that you’re going to be playing with next year.”
Brinkman’s talent and leadership were on display Tuesday in a six inning 11-1 road loss to Harker Heights.
She broke up Sierra Warren’s no-hitter bid with a single down the right-field line and later scored.
“It was an outside pitch and I knew she was going to throw it from previous at-bats,” Brinkman said. “I would like to say that I tried to put it there, but it’s one of those things where I didn’t quite get my hands through and it just happened to hit right there.”
Brinkman is batting .556 with five doubles and three triples this season. Four of her extra-base hits have come during Shoemaker’s 11 District 8-5A games.
For Lady Grey Wolves head coach Alisha Hobson, it’s the intangibles Brinkman offers that will be missed most of all.
“There’s no one that can replace her, we can try to build on what we have,” Hobson said.
Last year, Brinkman played catcher and led the team with a .357 batting average. She had eight of Shoemaker’s 18 stolen bases. Her performance in 2013 led to an all-district first-team selection.
For now, Brinkman is looking forward to her final three games as a Lady Grey Wolf before going up to MSOE where she won’t play very many games in a sleeveless jersey top.
“I don’t think it’s above 40 (degrees) right now,” Brinkman said with a smile.
MSOE is an NCAA Division III school that competes in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. The Raiders are currently 11-9, including a 3-5 conference mark.