Nya hits homers.
For the last four years, she’s been hitting homers at Ozark High School, setting a couple of school records in the process. Next year she’ll be hitting homers at Southwest Baptist University. Now that the softball season is over, Nya’s keeping her swing sharp working at CY Sports, doing her best to give Ryan and Chandler a hard time in the process.
“It’s busy here and the atmosphere is amazing. I really do like working here and it is quite fun giving Ryan a hard time.”
CY Sports was packed. Every tunnel was full of hitters taking swings and teams working during the off-season. I figured most people were just coming to welcome Nya back after another successful season.
Nya’s a catcher and fully embraces the responsibilities that come with the position.
“I know how to speak up. I know how to lead. I know the importance of being a team player and not being bossy, but sometimes you have to say something.”
For fun, Nya likes to take swings off the tee after work or at home in her garage. She also loves hanging out with her friends. I was completely surprised when she told me her dream job.
“FBI special agent. I really like helping people, but don’t want to do anything medical.”
This past summer, Nya was catching a travel ball game in the state tournament. She went to block a ball in the dirt and it hit her in the wrist.
“I played on it for four more weeks until my school ball coach said I had to go to the doctor or I wasn’t going to play. I broke the hardest bone to break — the radial styloid. I was out for four weeks and missed five games. I was worried I wasn’t going to hit as well when I came back.”
But Nya kept hitting homers.
“At one of the district games, I broke my record from last year. It felt really good off the bat; straight over centerfield. That was the last time they pitched to me that game.”
Nya also accrued 20 intentional walks over the course of the season.
In between phone calls and tunnel reservations and surrounded by the echoes of batting practice, Nya and I stretched and played catch.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see her on an Olympic team hitting home runs for our country. If (when) that happens, I’ll have to get a Team USA #14 jersey — she’s worn the same number since she was 5.
Which reminds me of another home run hitter who wore #14 — Ernie Banks.
Over these next couple months, as catch playing becomes an indoor activity thanks to time change and limited daylight hours, hopefully I can stay on Nya’s good side.
Maybe she can give me some tips in swinging for the fences.