Harley Duke takes over as Varsity Softball Pitcher

Cody Evens, Sports Reporter

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  Harley Duke, Senior, at Mountain View High School is the starting pitcher for Mountain View’s Varsity Softball team. Last year, she was the starting first baseman and a backup pitcher. However, this season Duke has had to rise to the occasion to replace Bailey Carlson, Junior, who recently had shoulder surgery. When will Carlson be back? Is the team as good as the past years? These are the questions we all have been wondering.

  When asked about how it feels to be filling in such a position, Duke said, “It’s alright, but I’d rather be playing other positions, like first.” With the teams record 1-6 and 1-1 in conference, it seems as if they will have to turn their season around to be able to make it to state. Duke’s position change, not only has affected her season but the majority of her teammates as well, “We had to move a lot of players around. A lot of people have moved to their secondary positions, which seems to be affecting the team a lot.” Stated assistant coach Rich Benedict. 

  When asked about the loss of Carlson as starting pitcher this year, Benedict said, “We have Harley Duke pitching, they are fortunate to have 2 major pitchers that are really close to being star pitchers in their conference. Very fortunate to have two good pitchers.” When asked how the team battles having one pitcher Benedict said, “We have three girls that have previous varsity experience. Six new girls in new positions on the defense. With not so deep count out levels, we have a lot of girls playing awkward positions which is different than the previous year.” They have six new players on varsity this year all playing in unfamiliar positions. Losing Bailey has had a big impact on the softball team.

  When asked about her surgery, Carlson said,  “I tore my labrum in my right shoulder which basically holds my socket in place, so when it was torn, my shoulder would pop out of place whenever I threw. I got cleared today so I’m back as of today with no restrictions.” This road has been very hard on Carlson. It would be hard for anyone to not be able to do what they love.  “I’ve felt really sad and mad about it. It’s sad watching everyone play without me and I sit there knowing I could be out there helping but I wasn’t cleared at the time.” Carlson is on the road to recovery and the softball season is not quite over yet. There is still time for the season to take a turn for the best.