Morley Stanwood’s Carey a quick study at the plate

MORLEY — Mekayla Carey’s freshman year in athletics already has included more than most high school players dream of in their entire careers.

After playing a reserve role on a pair of state championship teams in both volleyball and basketball for the Mohawks, Carey is playing just her third season of varsity athletics, and she’s beginning to see some of her experience pay off.

Carey is Morley Stanwood’s starting shortstop this season and has become one of the most reliable hitters on a team that is off to a 17-2 start this season.

The freshman said the experience she gained through being a part of two state titles has helped her be more focused for the softball team so far this season.

HEADED HOME: Morley Stanwood’s Mekayla Carey (1) looks toward home during recent softball action. (Pioneer file photo)

“If I didn’t play in those other varsity sports, I would be scared out of my mind,” she said. “I don’t think I would be ready. (Softball) is one of my favorite sports and I’ve played it forever.”

With a distinct height advantage over most of her classmates, Carey may seem like a natural for either volleyball or basketball, but she claims no favorite sport. It has been on the softball field, however, where she is starting to catch the most attention.

Carey recently shined in a pair of wins over Big Rapids on Friday.

In the first game, the Mohawks got two hits, including a three-run home run from Carey, who had four RBI. She

added a double in the second game.

Her impressive displays at the plate have been a positive influence on her teammates, Morley Stanwood coach Andrea Raven said.

“I like that she pushes the other girls to simplify what they do,” she said. “She’s just really natural about hitting the ball. It seems so simple that the other girls are thinking ‘why am I trying to over-think?’”

Following eighth grade, Carey would attend summer softball practices conducted with current members of the team along with Raven leading the way.

The summer gave Raven a chance to see what the future slugger was capable of.

“You could see there was some ability that not a lot of freshmen have,” she said.

So far this season, Raven has been most impressed with Carey’s ability at the plate, sporting a relaxed but aggressive approach in the batter’s box.

“I’m really impressed with her hitting,” she said. “Fielding — she’s done a nice job. There’s more to work on, and shortstop is a really tough position to throw a freshman in. But the hitting … we’ll take it. I didn’t expect this much much hitting from her.”

Carey said learning a new position has been one of the most difficult transitions to the varsity level, after playing first base and pitcher in eighth grade.

“It’s a big step,” she said of the transition to a new position. “There are a lot of balls coming at you at short. You have to charge them.”

The process of becoming one of the team’s best hitter has been aided by the leadership of her teammates, Carey added.

“Being with the upperclassmen, they really help you out,” she said. “It’s a lot fun, and you learn a lot more (being on varsity).”

 

Leave a Reply