For Daniel Boone senior Bekah Slattery, the year 2015 will be a busy one. As a pitcher on the high school softball team in the spring, she is looking for the squad to have as much success as possible. For herself, she is facing another big challenge — moving up from high school softball to the college variety. Slattery will be attending Lock Haven University after graduation in the summer.
“I want to surpass the goals that I set for myself last year, which included the team going to districts,’ said Slattery about her upcoming senior softball season at Boone. “I want us to be able to take the next step and get to states.’
Slattery says she is very confident in herself and her team coming into this season.
“Overall I think we have a lot of freshmen with raw talent coming up, and it’ll all come down to us forming into a cohesive unit and seeing how far we go,’ said Slattery. “The senior said the newer and returning players are still getting used to each other, even though formal practices haven’t begun yet.
Slattery noted that for herself, it’s going to be an exciting year because she’ll be looking forward to ending her high school softball career with a bang, and starting a new path when she begins her freshman year at Lock Haven University.
“From here, my plan is just to have fun with my teammates and enjoy my senior year,’ said Slattery.Slattery initially started looking at colleges between seventh and eighth grade.
“That’s when I started showcasing,’ she said, “We would go to all the big tournaments where the college coaches come and watch. That’s when I really started looking into the next phase of my ‘ journey’.’
In those two years she was playing softball to play, and also to see what kind of colleges were out there (D-I, D-II, etc.).
“I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to major in, so I was just interested to see who came to watch me. By tenth grade, I began to narrow the schools down.’
Although Slattery wasn’t sure how long it took to settle on Lock Haven, she said that both she and the school had a mutual interest in each other.
“I looked at their majors and they had things that I was interested in, and she (Lock Haven softball coach Kelly Shannon) was interested in having me on the team, so the connection was there right away.’
Besides playing softball for Lock Haven, Slattery will be studying sports administration with a minor in coaching. The senior said a job aspiration of hers once she is done college is getting a coaching position.
She said, “I want to stay in the sports realm with my major. I love softball, so I figure if I can get a job within that area, I can stay close to it, but if I get a chance to coach, I hope that will be my main job.’
Slattery was initially impressed by her first visit to Lock Haven.
“The campus was a very good size for me. I enjoyed visiting the big schools, but it didn’t feel right. When I got to Lock Haven, I liked the size of the school, the softball coach was awesome and the team chemistry and culture of itself was phenomenal. It was a definite fit right away. The team did everything together, and they were so unified, I thought it was awesome.’
Slattery had been to Lock Haven numerous times on visits, and was able to do overnights with the softball team.
“Being around the girls was funm,’ she said. “They’re all super nice, know how to play the sport, and have each other’s back, and they’re a team off the field as well, which I was really drawn to.’
Slattery said she’ll have to earn her spot on the Lock Haven squad, noting “I believe I can definitely start if I want to, I just have to work for it.’
If she doesn’t play right away, Slattery commented it wouldn’t bother her, but she would work her hardest to earn a spot on the team.
“The motivation is there for me,’ said Slattery. “I know what I need to do, and I’m prepared to do what is necessary.’
Slattery clarified that she is definitely on the team as a pitcher, but will need to earn her spot for hitting on the squad.
Playing in college will be a bit different for Slattery. She’ll be coming up against girls that are a lot more serious about the sport than they may be in high school.
“They, like me, are being recruited for that sport,’ said Slattery. “There’ll be better competition, girls who’ll be striving for excellence, like me, so other than a competition, I think it’ll be exciting.’
Slattery has already played with two girls who are on the Lock Haven squad, which will make her transition from high school to college a bit easier – freshman Amanda Loar and sophomore Jodi Weakneckt. They’ve played on a travel team together, and Slattery is very familiar with the girls and their families.
“Because I’ve been up there so many times on visits, I know most of the team and I’m very comfortable with them,’ said the senior. “I think they’re going to make my college transition very easy.’
Heading into her final softball season in high school, Slattery said the most important thing for the team is to go as far as they can, and to get as familiar with each other as best as possible. She believes what countes is all the great play and great traditions are passed from one team to the other.
Slattery also hopes that the team can learn a thing or two from her in her last season. One being not to give up, because the game isn’t over until it’s over.
“We’ve come back from games where we were down and then turned it around,’ said Slattery. “We’ve kept a drive within us, and we’ve had fun out there. If you’re not having fun, it’s kind of hard to play the game, and when you’re having fun, it’s easy.’
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