Hinnant to win it

Published 8:54 pm Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cali Hinnant was voted Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week after striking out 13 batters and allowing only three hits against a highly ranked Deep Creek High School.

Hinnant is a freshman on the King’s Fork High School softball team, and she is making her mark early in her high school career. As a freshman, she was trusted by her coaches to be the team’s starting pitcher. She has done everything she can to progress each time she steps on the mound.

“I try to take care of myself and make sure I’m the best I can be so I can help my team,” she said. “My team has my back, so it’s pretty easy for me to adjust to anything.”

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The freshman had one of the more impressive performances this softball season in the Hampton Roads area. Deep Creek is regarded by many as a top team. To defeat the Lady Hornets, the Lady Bulldogs knew they’d have to hit on all cylinders, and they did.

Hinnant admits that she was a bit nervous, because she knew the type of team that Deep Creek was. However, once she found her groove, she was fine.

“I just went out there and played the game I loved,” she said. “I was fine when I started, just knowing that my teammates had my back defensively, which made things even better.”

She finished that game striking out 13 batters and allowing only three hits. At the plate, she also went 2-4 with two runs and an RBI. The freshman didn’t find out the stats she had until after the game, and she was shocked.

“I felt the momentum I had, and I felt pretty good throughout,” Hinnant said. “I was really happy and excited to get out and play again with my team. It was great. With Deep Creek being No. 5 at the moment, it showed us that we can compete with any team as long as we play together.”

Hinnant describes herself as a driven athlete. Sportsmanship is important to her, so being a team player and a model athlete is what she represents. Her love for the game is what motivates her. She wants to get into a good college one day to play softball, so every game she competes in she wants to put herself in a better position for her future.

For her freshman season, her main goal was to come in and make an impact. She wanted to come in and make a mark for herself, teammates, coaches and school. Hinnant’s father inspires her daily. He pushes her to be the best she can be. Another reason why she is motivated to do well and get into a college is for her father.

Being a student athlete is also very important to the Lady Bulldog freshman. She can set the tone academically for her high school career by finishing her freshman year with good grades. Being in good standing academically helps her in her future.

Hinnant is almost always around softball, whether for her school or travel team, but in her spare time, she likes to do makeup. In the future, she wants to attend beauty school for cosmetology.

Catch Hinnant and the Lady Bulldogs in action Tuesday on the road against Conference 17 opponent Lake Taylor High School. Game time will be at 5:30 p.m.