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Plant City Observer Friday, Apr. 7, 2017 1 year ago

Athlete of the Week: Kelly Swank

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Kelly Swank is Durant softball’s top freshman.
by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

When Durant softball’s offense is on, it’s on fire: only once in the team’s 10 wins did it score fewer than six runs. Part of that has come from the bat of freshman catcher Kelly Swank, who leads the team (minimum 40 plate appearances) with a .358 batting average, 12 runs scored, 19 hits, seven doubles and three triples. In a 6-0 win over Brandon on Thursday, March 30, Swank went 2-for-4 with two RBI, a triple and a stolen base.

Know someone who deserves an Athlete of the Week feature? Email Justin Kline at [email protected] by the Friday before the next issue.

 

How does it feel to be contributing like this on a varsity team in your first year of high school?

It feels pretty great. My team has gotten me to where I am. I love my teammates, I love my coaches.

You all picked up your 10th win recently. What’s the mood like around here, how do you feel about your chances going forward?

I think we just want to keep on winning. We’ll keep pushing, doing whatever we have to.

I know you didn’t get to play for Matt Carter, but what’s the transition to coach (Jess) Howton been? How did your older teammates adjust?

Coach Howton, she’s great. I love her and she’s a good coach. She has pretty good connections with them (the upperclassmen), and I like that because it makes me feel like I’m going to have that connection with her as I get older in my four years.

What’s been your favorite moment of the season thus far?

It was probably the game against East Bay. That was a really good game, for Lauren Estrada to have a bunt and I come in and score. We won the game. 

How long have you been playing softball?

Since I was 10. It hasn’t been that long. I’m 15.

What first got you into softball?

I really don’t know. I just developed a love for the game and it was just fun to play.

Any other sports?

This is pretty much it. It’s been my life.

What sport have you never tried before, but would if you could?

Probably football. I enjoy football a lot, actually.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done on a softball field?

I made a diving catch. Just to have everyone come around you and be like, “Hey, that was amazing,” you know, that’s really cool. I did it at a tournament one time, I was in left field, made a diving catch towards the fence. It was with my Little League team, in All-Stars.

When you first made the varsity team and got to know the girls, what was the best advice a teammate or a coach gave you about playing high school ball?

It’s really about getting along and making it the best you can. If it’s good for you, it’s good for the rest, and that makes the game great.

Justin Kline is the Sports/Associate Editor at the Plant City Observer. He has been covering all things sports-related in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World since 2013.

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