Amanda Hedges came into this softball season desiring to improve her batting skills. She had a .508 batting average as a freshman, .388 as a sophomore and .421 last season as a junior. Those are …
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Amanda Hedges came into this softball season desiring to improve her batting skills.
She had a .508 batting average as a freshman, .388 as a sophomore and .421 last season as a junior.
Those are gratifying averages for many high school hitters, but Hedges was hoping to get better and this season she has done just that.
At press time, nearing the season's end, the ThunderRidge senior shortstop was the top hitter in the Continental League and one of the leading Class 5A hitters in addition to being the ThunderRidge all-time home run leader with 11.
“My goal was to just hit better than I did in past years,” said Hedges who runs on the track team in the spring. “I kind of start off strong my freshman year but then kind of dipped my sophomore and junior years so I've worked hard during the off season.
“I've got a lot more experience now and kind of changed up my swing a little bit. It's worked a little bit.”
At press time, Hedges led the Continental League in six of seven offensive categories and was second with 19 stolen bases. The 5-foot-6 slugger was hitting .600 to improve her career batting average to .480.
“She is obviously having a great season. She tied the school home run record and is hitting over .500. She's a senior captain and four-year letterman. She does it all. She's just awesome.”
ThunderRidge girls softball coach
Q&A with Hedges
Who is your favorite athlete?
Albert Pujols. I grew up in St. Louis and my family is big Cardinals people. He was the main guy. I chose Number 5 because of him as my first number.
What or who motivates you most to excel in sports?
My team motivates me a lot because I want to be a good role model for them and give it all out on the field.
What would be a perfect performance in your sport?
A cycle with a single, double, triple and home run. That would be perfect because it is really hard to hit a cycle.
What is your favorite class in school and why?
Psychology, because that's what I enjoy studying.
What do you like to do away from sports and school?
I like hanging out with my friends, we like to play games like fugitive and stuff where we like run around. I like playing outside like a little kid. We go shoot hoops and stuff.
What are your plans after high school?
I am going to attend Metro State University and play softball.
What is your approach at the plate when you have two strikes against you?
Once you have two strikes, the strike zone opens up for you. You foul off everything you don't like until you get something you do like. Pitchers are going to try to throw you everything once you have two strikes on you.
What is the key to stealing bases in high school softball?
Leaving early and hopefully the umpires don't catch you.
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