Hinnant improves all around

Published 10:12 pm Friday, March 29, 2019

Cali Hinnant was voted Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week after striking out eight batters and hitting a home run in a win over Deep Creek High School.

The King’s Fork High School softball team has started off well. At 3-2, the Lady Bulldogs look to be getting better every game and have fared well against some of the bigger schools they’ve faced so far. In the circle, the Lady Bulldogs have Hinnant, a junior, who has started since she was a freshman. Each year she has continued to raise her game. In the win over Deep Creek, she struck out eight from the circle and also hit a home run from the plate.

“I felt good about what I was able to do,” she said. “We held our own and stayed in it against some good competition, so I’m very proud of what we were able to do.”

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Hinnant returns this season as an All-District and All-Region pitcher from last season. The goal this year is to help her team get over the hump and get to the state tournament. They came close in 2017 during her freshman season. This year, she hopes her success leads to possibly a first team All-State selection. She also wants to continue to improve on her pitching each game. With King’s Fork being a Class 4A school, they play bigger schools in the district. Hinnant hopes to be able to upset some of them.

With Hinnant having one home run under her belt for this season, it shows how far she’s come at the plate. She is always working to be better pitcher, but she believes her early success hitting shows that she is working on every area of her game.

The junior’s love for softball drives her every time she steps on the field. Her family, along with a former teammate Lauryn Maher, who’s a best friend to Hinnant, also motivates her to be better. This season is a little different for Hinnant as her dad, Tom Hinnant, coaches her at the high school level as the head coach of the Lady Bulldogs. She describes the opportunity as fun.

“It’s fun because I spend most of my time with him,” she said. “He’s like my best friend. It also motivates me more playing under him.”

Hinnant has been enjoying her junior season so far and everything that’s been coming with it. College interest is continuing to spark for her with a full junior season left and a senior campaign. She hopes to play in NCAA Division I or II one day.

“I’m just going to continue to improve,” she said. “My batting has improved, and I’m giving my everything on the mound. We are playing well as a team, and we are having a lot of fun together.”