Callan Taylor found herself penciled into the starting lineup as the designated hitter for the University of West Florida softball team on the first day of the 2017 season.
The Argonauts were up against Miles in the Gulf Coast Invitational in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Taylor, a freshman out of Navarre, battled the tug-of-war feeling of nerves and excitement.
“I was definitely excited and a little nervous,” Taylor said, reflecting on that moment on a Sunday afternoon in late March. “After I got that first at-bat, I settled in and learned to take in the moment rather than worry about every at-bat.”
That first at-bat was a single up the middle, one of two hits she tallied on the day in a 12-0 win. She also scored a run and drove in a run as well.
That performance is the reason Taylor dedicated last summer to making herself a better softball player rather than flip the switch to cruise control.
It’s also the reason she took those extra swings in the batting cage on her own time, paying no attention to the soreness in her arms that came from the extra work.
“I worked for it all summer,” Taylor said. “I was definitely surprised to be in the lineup because it was already strong. I’m glad I got my chance to hit. I just have to keep producing so that I can stay in it.
Taylor has been more than productive, taking the opportunity she was given on day one and running with it.
Read the full article in the April 6 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.