By Hayden Frampton
Minco senior Ceiley McComas has been putting up astronomical batting numbers over the past two years, helping the Lady Bulldogs to some of their most successful seasons in school history.
In her Junior season, McComas finished with a .590 batting average last year as a junior, and is currently hitting .547. Needless to say, those numbers led the teams.
Her stats are huge, and they almost didn’t happen.
Following her sophomore year, McComas nearly gave the game up for good. A season of falling confidence and a bad travel team experience put the Minco standout’s softball future in question.
She stuck with the sport and came back better than ever. Her batting average in 2016 was a solid .429 but the next season, after nearly giving up, it skyrocketed.
“It’s been great being able to make a difference and to get to watch the result of all that hard work and to see her confidence come back and to have people tell her what a great ball player she is,” softball coach Jason Little said.
McComas, ever humble in her approach to the game, says softball comes naturally to her.
“I know what I need to do and it just clicks in my brain,” she said.
Her rise to excellence has not only been about her, but about the team as well.
In 2017 she helped Minco secure a 28-7 record and this year she’s been a key cog in the Lady Bulldog’s 28-5 season. Her game isn’t flashy, but she can boost team morale with a swing of the bat.
“Timely hitting, I’d say timely hitting,” McComas said of what she brings to the team. “Making plays in big games at the right time and staying positive.”
Her story of perseverance is one that inspires Little.
“I think it should prove to everyone that if you give up you’ll never know,” he said. “If she would have given up she would have left the game thinking she wasn’t any good. She can leave the game knowing she left every bit of it out on the field and that’s awesome.
“To have her fall back in love with something that meant so much to her all of her life, that’s awesome.”
Not only is McComas having a strong statistical season, but several other of her teammates are as well.
Taylen Redinger’s batting average is .418. Pitcher Carly Herndon is having a strong season on offense and defense with a .427 average and a 0.99 Earned Run Average.
Returning seniors Cassidy Franklin and Maddy Munn have drastically improved as hitters. At the end of the 2017 season Franklin was batting .211 and now she’s at .333. Munn was hitting .391 and has raised that this season to .431, the second best on the team.
Munn attributes the batting cages for her turnaround.
“I think the hitting cages have helped a lot because I’m pretty sure two years ago before we even had it, it was pretty low,” she said. “But the batting cage really made a difference, and coach Little helped me.”
McComas, Munn, and Franklin, over the past three years, have compiled a record of 82-19. With the postseason upon them, it seems as though their experience should take the Lady Bulldogs far.
“Their burning desire to win and the way they push each other, that is what I’m going to miss,” Little said. “They’ve been really good leaders, they’ve learned from really good leaders.”