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Hilldale

“Rylin Clark-Volunteer Catcher”-sponsored by Economy Pharmacy

RYLIN CLARK

HILLDALE HIGH SCHOOL

By Nick Hampton

Junior Rylin Clark is one of five returning starters for the Hilldale Lady Hornets fast pitch team that went to the state semifinals last year. She and senior Kensley Allen will be the main focus of the team as they head into the 2023 season.

“Rylin is a two-year starter for us at catcher and has gotten better about holding runners on base this past year. She also led the team in home runs last year,” said head coach Darren Riddle.

Clark got going in softball at the tender age of three when her dad put together a little team and put her on it. So how did you end up wearing the “tools of ignorance” as the catcher’s gear is known in baseball?

“Nobody on that first team wanted to catch, so I volunteered, and it just kind of stuck. I tried pitching once but found that it wasn’t my cup of tea,” laughed Clark. “I like the constant involvement in the game that you get as the catcher, and you really form a bond between yourself and the pitcher since you work together in almost every game during the season.”

Clark also feels that being a catcher helps her with her hitting where she hit seven “dingers” last year.

“I like hitting more than catching. I look for a pitch in a particular place and if it’s not there, I take it. I think being a catcher helps me be a better hitter because I’m used to seeing the spin on the ball and I can read a pitcher pretty well.”

Rylin plays travel ball with SPI during the year which she says helps keep her focused on softball since Hilldale doesn’t play slow pitch in the spring.

As one of the more experienced players returning for Hilldale, Clark looks forward to taking on the role as one of the team leaders.

“I’m definitely excited to be one of the leaders this year and even though we’ll be young I think we’ll be pretty good. Even though the younger girls lack experience, as they get more reps they’ll get better.”

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