In fast-pitch softball, the pitcher is a huge part of a team’s success. If you have a great one, she’ll pitch nearly every game.
As a freshman, Claire Carruthers was the dominant pitcher for the Clinton-Massie softball team.
The very next year, she was relegated to playing first base. Another freshman, Taylor Florea, was an even better pitcher and Carruthers was moved out of the circle.
“I was upset but then after a while you have to know your role (on the team) … and that’s a big part of this team,” said Carruthers. “I had to accept that.”
Carruthers is now a senior and one of the leaders of the Lady Falcons team that is playing in its second straight regional semifinal game 2 p.m. Wednesday against Greenville at Mason High School.
Carruthers admitted it was difficult at first to simply take a few steps to her left and play first base, even for a successful team.
“It was hard at first, don’t get me wrong,” said Carruthers. “I wanted to be mad but I knew it was for the best of the team.”
Florea has been a dominant hurler for the Lady Falcons, receiving Division I college offers.
“She deserves it,” Carruthers said of Florea. “She’s talented enough.”
Carruthers has even used her situation to help younger players who may have a different role on the varsity team compared to their travel ball or junior varsity teams.
“I did help the girls who came up from JV and help us in the tournament games,” Carruthers said. “I told them I had to know my role.
“It’s not for the best of me,” she said. “It’s for the best of getting us further (in the tournament).”