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Conestoga’s Libby Winters is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

A junior shortstop and co-captain who was an integral part of Conestoga’s 2019 Central League softball championship team as a freshman first baseman, Winters is off to a great start this spring, going 6-for-6 in her first two games and displaying outstanding defense. As a freshman, she received second team All-Main Line softball honors. Conestoga co-coach Todd Whitlow said, “Libby personifies Conestoga’s softball motto – ‘It’s all about Attitude and Effort.’  Libby’s attitude is mature, focused, positive and passionate about her team and softball.  She is the first to arrive at every practice, and the last to leave after raking the field.  Libby gives a full effort every practice and game, and she spends considerable time honing her hitting and defensive skills on her own.  She is respectful to and respected by all, and a friend to her teammates.” Conestoga co-coach Kevin Conaway added, “Libby is an exceptional young person. As her coach, she is the type of person and player that makes you want to come to practice every day.” Off the field at Conestoga, Winters is a member of National Honor Society, Peer Tutoring, and Girls in STEM. Winters is committed to Cornell University.

 

Q: What do you think has been the most important thing you’ve learned recently regarding hitting?

 

A: The most important thing I have learned is that hitting is mostly mental. I have been working a lot on balancing calmness and control with power and explosiveness while refining a swing that works the best for me.

 

Q: What aspect of your game did you work on most during the off-season?

 

A: Over the winter, I mainly worked on refining my swing and strength training. One of the college coaches I work with pitches live batting practice, which allows me to work on my swing in a game-like setting.

 

Q: Tell us a little about your softball training during this past COVID pandemic year, the biggest challenges you faced as a softball player, and how you dealt with those challenges.

 

A: COVID made it difficult at times to find space to practice and forced me to transition my college recruiting to a completely virtual platform. Fortunately, I was able to continue training at home, and I also give a lot of credit to my coaches at the Newtown Rock Gold (Coach Joe Garvey and Coach Dan Santelli) for finding opportunities to practice and play as much as possible. Coach Conaway and Coach Whitlow have done the same for the Conestoga program.

 

Q: This spring, you are playing shortstop after playing first base as a freshman. Had you played shortstop before this spring? What do you like best about playing shortstop?

 

A: As a freshman, I was asked to fill a role at first base, but my primary position is shortstop. I really enjoy it because it is a challenging position that requires agility, quickness, and leadership.

 

Q: Tell us a little about your start in competitive softball. Who have been your biggest softball mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you about softball?

 

A: I started playing competitive softball when I was 10 years old. I have been very fortunate to be able to train with some great college coaches, including Brittany Stroop, Jess O’Donnell, Samantha Campo, Brooke Kalman, and Melissa Finley. In addition to mechanics and fundamental skills, these coaches have taught me about the mental side of the game as well as the work ethic and competitive spirit needed to truly be great.

 

Q: What is your favorite ballpark and why?

 

A: My favorite place to play is at the PGF complex in Huntington Beach, California. There is always such great competition and the facility is amazing.

 

Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 7 for Conestoga softball – was there a reason you chose this number?

 

A: I chose that number years ago when a friend, a former teammate of mine, had to stop playing competitively and that was her number at the time. By wearing her number, a little part of her can still be on the field with me.

 

Q: What’s your favorite subject in school? What do you think you might like to major in at college? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?

 

A: My favorite subject in school is Biology. My plan is to major in some sort of biology with hopes of pursuing a career in the medical field one day. Sports medicine is one career that particularly interests me.

 

Fun facts – Libby Winters

Favorite TV show: Criminal Minds.

Favorite movie: Million Dollar Arm.

Favorite athlete: Sis Bates.

Favorite team: Pittsburgh Steelers.

Favorite place to visit: South Carolina.

Favorite pre-game meal: Protein bar.

Family members: Parents Dan and Martha, sister Kaitlyn.

Person I most admire and why: “The person I most admire is my grandmother because she is very supportive of me and she always helps others.”

 

(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)

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