Defense Never Rests: McDonald has taken care of center field for three years at SSHS
By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer
Mar. 30, 2007 - When it comes to playing defense for the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats, senior Kristen McDonald shines on the softball diamond.
The senior center fielder has only had eight putouts this season for the Lady Cats but said playing defense is one of her strong points on the team.
"Defense is the favorite part of the game for me and I feel confident in doing it during the game," she said. "When we played Plano West, I did make a game-saving catch, but I wanted the ball to be hit to me. I can't be scared out there because that is my role on the team. I get excited when a ball comes my way."
McDonald, a three-year starter, is one of only three seniors on the team and said playing with teammates Jordan Anderson and Tarra Morton has been special.
"It is kind of weird that we are the only seniors because the past couple of years there have been more," McDonald said. "I think during my sophomore year we had like six or seven seniors. We don't divide up leadership since we are such good friends."
McDonald and Anderson were also members on the volleyball team this past year as both players were named Second Team All-District.
Kristen said working along side Anderson during volleyball and seeing her suffer an injury during the season and then coming back in softball and hurting her knee again was tough for her to see.
"In volleyball, the season was almost over and she wanted to finish up strong in her senior year," the senior said. "I don't want to see her sad, and in softball her injury occurred right before district and she didn't get a chance to start off and show what she can do. But on the positive side, Maurie (Lewis) has done a great job at catcher and she is a great player."
With 12 players on the varsity this year, the leadership role on the team is a total team effort, according to McDonald who said the players recognize each other as sisters.
"It is easy for us seniors this year. Kelsey (Evans) and Marci (Womack) are really good leaders," she said. "When it comes to the decision making that is more seniority, but as far as practice and cheering for everyone they do a good job of doing that."
In 22 of the 24 games this season, McDonald has shared outfield duties with Morton and the bond between the two players is very strong this year.
"It means everything to me because Tarra is my best friend," she said. "It is really cool that she is out there with me and we are always talking to each other to let us know where the ball is. It has been a blessing having here out there with me this season."
She said with the team at 13-11 this season and in a tie for third going into tonight's game at Paris, that other teams looked at last year's 9-14-1 record and a new coach in David Carrillo as a team they could beat.
"I think people looked at last year and they don't look at some of the teams that we have beat this year," McDonald said. "I think with us being able to turn it around for district was because we played so many tough teams in pre-season with good pitching, good offense and great defense and we have learned how to battle through those areas."
McDonald is the daughter of John and Diana McDonald and has plans to attend Oklahoma State University in the fall to major in business and become an advertising executive.