Prep of the Week: Mackenzie Steele

Mackenzie Steele: Pitching Machine

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(ABC 6 News) — Many teams have a pitching machine to help them in practice, but Byron Softball has seemingly found a pitching machine to put on the mound.

Mackenzie Steele ended the regular season with an ERA below one and nearly 30 strikeouts.

“Even after hard games and we’re always there for each other in between games and it’s kind of cool to be atop especially because I’m only a 9th grader,” Steele noted. “So it’s really cool to be at the top with another great pitcher.”

That other great pitcher is Tali Behrens; with almost 50 K’s on the year, they’re both making life difficult for opposing hitters.

“Honestly, it’s awesome to see Mack and Tali as a centerfielder,” teammate Leeah Strain said. “It gets nerve-wracking when I see a ball get flown up, but it’s great to have their backs and just see them succeed at a young age.”

With just one senior on the squad, Steele is a shining example of the Bears’ youthful energy.

“Super bubbly kid, very very nice to be around, a great team player, she will do anything we ask her.” Head coach Jacob Harmon added. “She’ll play third, she’ll play short, play second, she’ll pitch, the total team package as a teammate.”

She works both sides of the plate as well, batting over .400 and adding a handful of home runs to boot.

“For my hitting mentality, I go to bat each time thinking, ‘I’m going to get a hit.’ And I’m being really aggressive on the plate, the same things (go) for being aggressive on the mound and I’m always trying to do my best for my team.”

Steele is one of many cubs on the roster, but make no mistake, they are ready to bear down at a moment’s notice.