If it weren’t for a Brookstone softball parent casually scrolling through the Internet last week, Brookstone senior Katherine Snavely may have never known about one of the biggest honors of her playing career.
Snavely, who catches and plays center field for the Lady Cougars, was nearly unstoppable from Aug. 14 to Aug. 20. She was 6-for-6 with two home runs, 10 RBIs and a 2.500 slugging percentage in Brookstone’s victories over Manchester and Hawkinsville. As a result of her play, she was named the MaxPreps/NFCA National High School Player of the Week.
The problem was, nobody informed Snavely or Brookstone head coach Stasha Joyce. It wasn’t until the parent of one of Snavely’s teammates was browsing through MaxPreps and happened upon Snavely’s accolade.
“I was honestly really shocked,” Snavely said. “Is this really me, or is this a joke? It’s exciting to know I’m being honored with this type of thing.”
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As those who have watched Snavely this season know, those games were just a small sample of what’s been a standout season. Through nine games, Snavely boasts a .679 batting average with three home runs, 23 RBIs and only one strikeout.
For Joyce, Snavely’s recent hot streak is a product of her dedication to the game.
Joyce explained that Snavely is a year-round player; when she isn’t playing for the Lady Cougars, she is likely suited up with her travel ball team. Snavely’s game experience coupled with her dedication to the weight room has produced a new air of confidence that Joyce hadn’t seen in her before.
This was never more clear than in Brookstone’s game with Taylor County Aug. 24. With two runners on the bases in a 3-3 game in the bottom of the seventh inning, Snavely stepped to the plate. As she watched Snavely settle in, Joyce said she could tell something was different.
“It was her demeanor,” Joyce said. “She looked down at third base and said, ‘I got this.’”
“I was like, ‘You know what, Katherine? It’s your turn to do this for your team. They need you,’” Snavely said. “I was walking up there thinking that I just have to get on base.”
Instead, she hit a walk-off, three-run home run.
“It was just really special,” Snavely said. “You see everybody standing there clapping for you and waiting for you around home plate. I was just happy that I did it for them. It’s not for you; it’s for them.”
The key now for Snavely is to extend that fast start for the long run. Joyce said she is confident Snavely can do just that thanks to her resilience and her improvements not only in her physical strength, but her mental strength as well.
As for Snavely, she believes it can happen if she and the others follow the team’s motto.
“We have a special word that we always say — ‘Finish,’” Snavely said. “No matter what you do, it’s always about finishing your job and giving everything you’ve got for it. I think if we do that, we’ll be solid through the rest of the year.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports