When Maeleigh Tidd talks about playing softball at Brownstown Central, there is no doubt that she feels most comfortable behind the plate.
The senior has thrived playing at catcher for the Braves.
“I enjoy it,” she said. “When I was a freshman and a sophomore I filled in at left field, and I liked it, but it definitely wasn’t my position. I like it behind the plate. I’ve been catching since I was 8 or 10 years old.”
This season, Tidd has taken more control catching.
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“Defensive plays, the coaches call them, but I’ve actually been calling the pitches this year, which is actually a plus,” Tidd said.
Tidd said the pitches she calls are based on what the batter did the previous at-bat.
The senior has an unconventional method of remembering batters.
“Sometimes I can just remember what they did, and I remember by cleats, which is a weird thing to remember them by,” she said. “A lot of times it’s just kind of how they set up in the box. If the batter is far off the plate you know not to pitch them an inside pitch because that is what they want. It really depends on their footing and what they hit last time.
As a catcher, Tidd relies on communication with her pitchers, and chemistry is a must.
“I’ve been (senior) Kourtney Branaman’s catcher for a long time,” Tidd said. “We travel together, and we really have that chemistry out on the field and behind the plate where we try to keep each other calm and focused on the game, and it’s just kind of me and her back there.”
In the past, Tidd batted at the No. 6 position.
However, she’s moved up to fourth this spring and admitted it made her uncomfortable at times.
“I was kind of nervous at the beginning of the season because I’m usually a sixth-spot hitter,” Tidd said. “Coach (Monte) Ault and coach Darren (Bryant) have really big faith in me. I want to really show them that I can lead the team in that spot. I think I’ve shown myself so far, but I don’t want to jinx myself at any point.”
This season the Braves have relied on Tidd in the cleanup spot.
“I really like outside pitches,” Tidd said. “From previous years, these pitchers know that I’m not well with the changeup. I worked on it this offseason, and I haven’t got fooled yet and that’s a plus. If a pitcher has faced me all four years I usually know if a changeup is going to be the first pitch.
“I’m one of those batters when I stand in the box you can’t really decide if she wants an inside pitch or an outside pitch, so I just go with whatever they pitch me. I try to swing at that first pitch because I know that is probably going to be the best one that I’m going to get.”
When she was younger, Tidd started playing softball in Seymour.
“I started in T-ball, and I started traveling with Mike Wright when I was 10 years old,” Tidd said. “He picked me up and he had faith that I could become a great athlete, and he made me the player I am today.”
For Tidd, playing travel ball aided in her growth on the diamond.
“The pitching in travel is much more advanced than high school, so it has helped me with batting,” Tidd said. “It’s really a stress reliever to play, and it’s really relaxed.
“In high school I kind of feel a lot of pressure because coach Ault and coach Darren want me to do the best that I can.”
Parents: Brad and LaWanda Tidd
Siblings: Briar, Maggie
Sports: Softball 4 years
Attending BCHS: “I enjoy the teachers. They try to really make you a better student every single day whether you want to be there or not. They push you to your farthest, and they want to see you succeed. I love that, and I love that everybody comes together whether we’re having a good day or having a bad day.
Plans after high school: Attend Manchester University, study pharmacy and play softball
Favorite away diamond: Charlestown
Key to winning: “Team chemistry. This year we really back each-other up, we pick each-other up. In the past we’ve kind of let each other get down because we’ve all been down on ourselves. Most importantly we keep each other up and keep a positive attitude. We can’t let one little error ruin our whole game.
Organizations: National Honor Society, Lettermen’s Club, Booster Club, FBC Youth Camp
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite TV show: “The Voice”
Favorite musician: Pink
Favorite movie: “Bridesmaids”
Favorite team: Arizona State softball
Favorite quote: “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”