Amory catcher/infielder Connor Stevens has been a force at the plate for the Lady Panthers since her eighth-grade year in both slow-pitch and fast-pitch.
Her Amory career may have come to an end, but Stevens still regrets not being able to see how her senior year would have finished out in fast-pitch.
“The shutdown was definitely upsetting because I think we hadn’t fully hit our peak as a team,” Stevens said. “It was definitely disappointing with it being my last year with everyone. I feel like we could have done something for the end of the season and made a run for it. We were in a new division and had a good chance.”
In addition to softball, Stevens also played soccer for five years. She was an all-division selection since her freshmen year in slow-pitch, all-division in fast-pitch as a junior and honorable mention as a sophomore. She was a member of the .500 club in slow-pitch and .400 club in fast-pitch.
“We had a bigger ball this past season in slow-pitch, and I am proud I was still able to hit home runs,” Stevens said. “We won the Monroe County Tournament five years in a row, and that was definitely a big accomplishment. In fast-pitch, we didn’t get to have as much of a season and hadn’t produced like we did in slow, but I think that we would have.”
Stevens has signed to play softball at Itawamba Community College and plans on going to Mississippi State after that to major in economics. She committed to the Lady Indians back in the fall and signed in November.
She named a huge playoff series win in slow-pitch as her favorite memory on the field and making memories on bus rides and team meals as her favorite memories off the field.
“I will definitely never forget beating Tishomingo County in the playoffs my junior year. That was a huge series,” Stevens said. “You also can’t beat bus rides to and from games and eating with your teammates after games. You are building a stronger bond and getting closer with them during those times. I will miss seeing all those girls literally every day, even weekends. They are my close friends, and it was great just having that time with them.”
Praise for coaches
Stevens also thanked her coaches, Jessica Seger in fast-pitch and Chris Pace is slow-pitch, for their influence on her softball career.
“I want to thank Coach Pace for him always sticking with us and believing in me as a player,” she said. “I want to thank Coach Seger for always being understanding about everything, knowing everyone’s limits and their full potential, and she always makes sure we are pushed to that.”
While Stevens will still be with her fellow senior and ICC signee Emma Walker for the next two seasons, she is proud that all of her senior teammates are continuing their athletic careers.
“I think it’s great that we are all sticking with it with Emma, Addie (Bunch), Cassidy (Simmons) and myself still playing softball, and Madison (Kirkpatrick) cheerleading,” she said. “I just want us to continue to push ourselves to do our best.”
She urged her younger teammates to push for success next season and not wish games or practices away.
“We always talk about how fast it goes by, so don’t wish it away,” Stevens said. “This year got cut short for something that no one would have expected, so don’t ever take it for granted.”