When Bethany Westin transferred from New Washington to Brownstown Central she decided she wanted to become involved in school activities, so she tried out for the cheerleading squad and the softball team.
Softball was an instant hit.
Westin has her own philosophy when it comes to hitting in softball.
“I’m right handed, I played softball at New Washington all the way up since T-ball,” Westin said. “I used to be really good hitting, and for some reason when I got to seventh grade I couldn’t hit the ball right handed, so one year in youth league my coach said, ‘Why don’t you try hitting it left-handed?’
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“So I did and I was hitting every one of them, so I switched and ever since my freshman year I started hitting left-handed. This year they said ‘Try bunting left-handed,’ but for some reason I couldn’t make contact with the ball so I switched back over right-handed and I can bunt better right-handed so I bunt right-handed and bat left-handed.”
For Westin, batting can be a mental battle.
“I enjoy batting for the most part,” Westin said. “It’s kind of nerve wracking because I’m the second batter, and if the first batter gets out I don’t want to be the second out. It’s stressful, but I do enjoy hitting and watching my progress, and seeing where I hit the ball, and running. I enjoy it.
“I think I’m a pretty good bunter. Pretty much every one of my bunts has been successful because I’m fast and I can bunt down instead of hitting it in the air. You want to try to get it down third base.”
In the field, Westin typically plays towards the back.
“I like outfield better because it’s more thrilling,” Westin said. “You get pop ups in the outfield and its like ‘I have to catch the ball and make the out.’ I’ve always liked centerfield. I have more time to react to the ball and like the excitement of trying to catch up to the ball before it hits the ground.”
Communication has been key to the Braves’ success this softball season.
“Say a ball is hit over the shortstops head but in front of the centerfielder, If I thought I would have it I would holler ‘I got it’ and the shortstop would back off,” Westin said. “If I thought she had it and wasn’t calling it I would say, ‘That’s you’, and we would just communicate and also the left fielder and right fielder help us communicate whether to go up or back
Since transferring, Westin has welcomed a new home in Brownstown.
“I’ve enjoyed mainly how the team has made me feel welcome because this is my first year playing this sport at Brownstown,” Westin said. “They’ve brought me in like I’m not new, like I’m part of family. I kind of lost my groove a little bit and the coaches have all worked with me to help me get better.
“They’ve improved my batting and my defensive skills and I feel like I’ve gone from five progress to 12 progress instantly.
The senior cheered for both the football and boys basketball teams and said that was an interesting experience, especially getting to cheer in Lucas Oil Stadium last fall.
“I enjoyed the space, mainly, because it wasn’t as hot, and you didn’t have as many people screaming,” she said of cheering at the football games.
“I liked the environment. I liked being able to see high up in the bleachers and everything. That was probably my favorite part about it.”
Westin said she tore ligaments in her rotator cuff during the football season and didn’t get to cheer during the sectional game at Charlestown.
For Westin, having a positive mindset and attitude pays dividends.
“It’s very important to have a good attitude about things,” Westin said. “It’s very important in softball to keep up the energy because I’ve definitely noticed that days we don’t have as much energy or are not cheering on each other as much as we normally do that everybody kind of gets down and it’s like ‘let’s just get this game over.’
“On days where we cheer for each other we work a lot better. I feel going into games with a good attitude is very important because chances are going to do better.”