Prep of the Week: Calleigh Richards

[anvplayer video=”5171292″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) — The sting of being a win away from State still lingers for Kasson-Mantorville Softball; but a year later, now-junior Calleigh Richards is ready to run it back and break through.

“I think our energy and our continued offense and just coming together as a team is going to take us right back to that same point we want to be in,” Richards said. “And then this year, it’s going to push us to state.”

She’s steadily become a crucial utility player for the KoMets as well as an important softball player overall in Southeast Minnesota. This is especially so when Richards had a .425 batting average in 2022.

“This year I’m hoping to put up some higher power numbers,” the junior added. “Last year, I had the average but this year, I’m hoping for, you know, the more doubles, the more triples, the more home runs.”

“Last year, when I was pitching, she was at third base, she was an asset,” teammate and pitcher Ella Babcock mentioned. “She was helping in just any way, she’s just super reliable. I don’t think I could tell you the best spot to put her because she can go anywhere.”

With a critical role on offense and the ability to play anywhere on the diamond, Richards’ leadership has also come in handy not only for the younger players but even seniors like Ella Babcock.

“She does the nonverbal communication, it’s like even the timing of the eye contact or like the slight nod of the head,” Babcock noted. “Or she knew better than I did when to meet me at the mound. I knew I needed a break but she knew when perfectly to time it and she just said the right words at the right time.”

“I think she is beyond her years as far as her maturity level,” assistant coach Clint Thome explained. “She’s just so good and so coachable that, like I said, we kind of push her. A lot of eyes on her, she’s going to be one of our big stars this year.”

As long as Richards is on the lineup, no game is out of reach for the KoMets. The diamond is life for the junior and she’ll remain an example no matter her position on the field.

“I also play the best when I’m having the most fun,” Richards concluded. “I think that when you’re out there having fun I’m also developing my leadership skills I’m getting ready for other aspects of life. It challenges me in a lot of different ways. It’s just – there’s nothing else that compares to it for me.”