Quick out of the box

Published 9:44 am Friday, April 11, 2014

The Lady Dukes’ infielder Kelsey Searcy is on fire so far this season, batting more than .700 through four games. -- CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

The Lady Dukes’ infielder Kelsey Searcy is on fire so far this season, batting more than .700 through four games. — CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

IMG_9721 webWINDSOR—Wednesdays can be hectic for Windsor High School student Kelsey Searcy.

She starts off early in the morning going to school, then there are activities in the afternoon leading up to piano and church. Oh, and then there’s softball.

“I go to piano practice right after softball practice, and then I have church right after piano,” she said with a laugh. “I don’t get home until around 9:30.”

But it’s all worth it, she said. Through four games this season, the infielder is lighting it up, hitting more than .700 on the season. She’s also 8 for her last 8, and has hit three home runs.

The Lady Dukes’ fourth-hole hitter said the ball doesn’t look any bigger or anything like that, but she has made some adjustments at the plate this year.

“So far, I think I’m doing pretty good,” she said. “I certainly didn’t expect myself to be hitting so good. But, I think it’s just patience. I’ve been working on that since my freshman year.”

Now a junior, she said it’s a lot easier to approach the plate.

“I’m always nervous, but I guess every batter usually is. I just kind of tell myself, not to over-think it, and not to try and kill it, just hit the ball.”

Dukes Head Coach Sean Wade said he agreed that the key has been patience in waiting for the right pitch.

“She has just been really patient, and she’s only swinging at good pitches,” he said. “She’s really been an offensive presence for us this year. She’s really in the zone.”

Being more experienced at playing the game has also been a factor, Wade said.

“I just think another year of growth has been good for her,” he said. “She listens really well, and she’s really coachable. She’s working hard on her hitting drills.”

Searcy started playing organized softball in 2008 in a Windsor recreation league, but she’s also been playing way longer than that.

“When I was little, I used to play baseball with my dad in the yard,” she said. “It’s just one of the sports I like playing. I’ve always been more interested in baseball than the other sports. There’s just something about the game.”

In eighth grade, she played for the Lady Dukes JV team, and then she made varsity her freshman year and started right away at short stop. Last year, she moved to first base.

“I really like playing first,” she said. “It’s just the fact that you get most of the plays, if it is hit in the infield.”

Defense is one of the things that Wade said she needs to work on.

“This is her second year playing first base, so she’s still getting acclimated there,” he said. “She can also play some outfield and short stop. She’s very versatile.

“I’m just trying to work with her on getting her defense better. Also, in hitting the ball to all parts of the field.”

Wade said it’s been a pleasure coaching her.

“She’s just a really good student, a really good kid,” he said. “She’s also a great teammate, and she draws a lot on her faith. She is just a positive person to have around the team.”