160610-FCA Victory Sftbl

Salado’s Malory Schattle bats during the June 14 FCA Victory Bowl all-star softball game at Mary Hardin-Baylor's Dee Dillon Field in Belton.

Andy Zavoina | Herald

They won’t soon forget Malory Schattle in Salado. 

“Malory is one of the greatest talents around Central Texas,” said Salado head softball coach Kory Craddick. “She may be one of the best players in the state.”

Schattle was a four-year varsity player for Craddick, a four-year starter at shortstop.

Her ability to crush a softball caught a lot of people’s attention quite early. The University of Texas offered Schattle a full ride before she was a sophomore.

In 2016, her senior season, Schattle was her usual sensational self. Her batting average was .513. She hit five home runs, three triples and 10 doubles.

And her on-base percentage was an astonishing .812.

How many hitters in America get on base 81 percent of the time?

Quite often, Schattle didn’t get to see hittable pitches. But when someone dared her, they paid.

And so for being the top offensive player in the area, Schattle is the 2016 KDH All-Area Offensive Most Valuable Player.

“Most teams wanted to pitch around Malory and she stayed patient with that,” Craddick said. “She was always glad to take a walk for our team. But if a pitcher made even the slightest mistake and left that ball on the outside of the plate, Malory would smack a hit to right field. And if enough of that ball was over the plate, Malory would either hit it out of the park or deep in the gaps.”

Schattle helped lead Salado to a bi-district championship this season.

“Malory was the ultimate team player,” Craddick said. “Earlier in the year, when our team wasn’t scoring enough runs, Malory asked me if I wanted her to bunt more, sacrifice runners around. It was an incredibly unselfish offer from of one of the best hitters around. I had to tell her, ‘Malory: thanks, but no thanks. We need you to keep driving that ball all over the field like you’ve been doing for years.’

“It’s her unselfishness, total commitment to the team and outstanding abilities which will make her a big success at the University of Texas.”

Schattle will travel to Austin and begin college on Aug. 19.

“I’m excited to play for Texas,” she said. “It’s a lot to take in but I’m looking forward to all of it.”

As for earning her second All-Area Offensive MVP award — she was so honored in 2014 — Schattle said, “It’s awesome to get this honor because there are so many good offensive players in this area.”

Schattle’s approach at the plate this past season wasn’t complex.

“If they wanted to walk me, I’d take it,” she said. “And if the pitcher was able to hit the inside or outside corners, I’d just make sure I made contact so I could get on base.”

And it all worked.

Eighty-one percent of the time.

Contact Allan Mandell at amandell@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7566 and read his column at KDHPressbox.com

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