Change of role: Owls athlete makes third position switch

For The Tribune

Playing third base for the Seymour softball team, McKenna Curry has to be alert at all times.

The senior has seen plenty of time on the field over her career.

“I played varsity as a freshman, which was really exciting for me,” Curry said. “My freshman year they needed me at right field, and I enjoyed outfield. Then I got moved to first base, and this year I’m playing third base.”

Curry said she communicates all the time with the other fielders on who covers second or third base on certain situations.

“It is very important in softball, especially for the left side, and the catcher communicates as well, especially when bunters are up,” she said.

Her favorite facet of playing third base is defending against bunts.

“I like to try to see what they’re going to do, like if they think, ‘I can bunt on her,’ I try to move back a little bit and then I charge in,” Curry said.

Curry said when the other team has a runner on second and the Owls are expecting a bunt, she will play in for the bunt and the shortstop covers third base.

“That’s when communication comes in where I tell the shortstop that she should cover third so I can get the bunt,” she said.

Curry, who wears a face mask at all times while playing third base, mentioned the importance of having quick reactions at the “hot corner.”

Curry said she got off to a slow start with the bat, but is coming into it at the season progresses.

“This year we’ve been focusing on the outside pitch so I’ve been gotten better at that,” she said. “I’ve been working on the inside pitches as well.”

She said she tries to hit behind the runners so they can advance.

“Especially if we have runners in scoring position, like third or second, we want to hit to the right side so we look for that outside pitch,” Curry said.

“I like pitches outside and a little bit lower. I like to swing at the first pitch. A lot of girls like to watch it and see what their speed is, but usually that first pitch is going to be the best one that you see because they like to get ahead in the count and I like to nail that one.”

The Owls have won 11 of their first 14 games in 2017.

“Our biggest problem is we need to stay relaxed and know that we just have to play our game and not the team,” Curry said. “I feel like we played really well against Floyd, and I think that shows that we can beat them next time. We know what we need to fix and it was great to have that game.”

This season, Curry feels like the Owls are strong offensively.

“I think our hitting has been a lot better than our defense, but I think our defense is getting more reps at practice and everything,” she said. “I think that really helps.”

Curry’s highlight win was beating Jennings County in the 2016 HHC tournament to advance to the championship game.

Always working on her game, practice serves an important role to Curry.

“Practice is very important because you always practice like you play so you’ve got to take practice really serious and stay focused,” Curry said. “ You want to stay relaxed, too, and have some fun.

“Softball is extremely mental. I feel like its 99 percent mental when you’re hitting. You’ve got to go up there and know you’re going to hit the ball and you’ve just got to rely on your mechanics to help you along with that. You’ve got to go in there thinking, ‘I’m going to hit this next pitch,’ and help the team out.”

Curry said she began playing softball in the peewee league at age 5.

“It was mostly boys. There were probably about three girls on each team, but it was really fun,” Curry said. “We played league ball and then I got recruited to a travel team, and then I got really serious around elementary school.”

The travel team she played on was the Seymour Tsunami, and Curry said they advanced to the World Series in Florida.

“We were based out of Seymour, so the seniors that I’m playing with now, we’ve all played together for a long time, so we’ve learned each-others roles and how we work as a team together,” Curry said.

Curry has enjoyed her time at Seymour and with the softball program.

“I feel like the teachers this year are really positive, and they help us if we have games and they do encourage us and they ask about the games,” Curry said. “I’ll definitely remember the bus rides and having fun with your friends. It’s not about softball all the time. You’re going to remember the friends you’ve made and the relationships.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Curry file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: McKenna Curry

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Robin and Whitney Curry

Sibling: Nick

Sports: Softball, four years

Organizations: National Honor Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, volunteer at Jackson County Library

Plans after high school: Attend Indiana University Southeast, study business

Favorite food: Shrimp

Favorite TV show: “The Walking Dead”

Favorite singer: Robin Curry

Favorite movie: “The Godfather”