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Living the 'K'-free life
When Taryn Hanley steps into the batters box, she doesnt swing at bad pitches she cant make contact with. She doesnt worry about not making contact and swinging into empty space is unheard of with two strikes against her.
The letter K as in strikeout doesnt happen in Hanleys world when she stands at the plate. In two seasons at the prep level, the Kings West junior says she has never, ever gone down swinging or looking at strike three.
The numbers dont lie. Her batting average of .682 this season led the Class B Sea-Tac League. And that number is solidified even more when you take in that she also had 40 RBIs to her credit.
Not too shabby for a girl that once found playing defense at shortstop was more comfortable than swinging the aluminum. Then as a sophomore it all started coming together.
Just going to the plate with confidence has really helped out, Hanley said. Now I always go into attack mode You play the ball, you dont let the ball play you.
She admittedly doesnt like to talk about her streak.
Dont jinx me, she said. Knock on wood.
But not talking about striking out doesnt stop her from thinking about it from time to time.
I know Im good, she said without cockiness. I know I can do it if I put my mind to it. Sometimes when I get two strikes I think about it. But I dont swing at bad pitches and I have yet to strike out.
She hopes her talents carry her to an athletic scholarship. Hanley just made a video with a couple of teammates where they ran, caught, bunted and demonstrated their overall softball skills which shell send to college coaches and recruiters. In a couple of seasons shed like to play at the University of Tulsa (Okla.), Drake University (Iowa) or the University of Santa Clara (Calif.)
But one player doesnt make a whole team. The Warriors hit at a collective .468 pace as they posted a 7-1 record to take the Sea-Tac League title and were 11-3 overall. Whats even more impressive that the top hitters Hanley, Susan Cooper, Betsie Parker, Katie OBrien and Heather Fontenot are all underclassmen.
So even though their season came to an abrupt end, the Warriors have pieces in place for another run at state next season.