May 6, 2010
The throw was in the dirt, the runner bearing down, but Erin McClain has a job to do, which at the moment was blocking the plate. The runner was out. And soon, thereafter, was McClain.
"I got cleated in the thigh and hyperextended my left knee," the Army catcher said. "I stayed in the game for another couple of innings, but I felt I couldn't do it anymore."
The real pain was missing the next four games, but she's back. And when the Patriot League softball tournament starts next Thursday, that'll be McClain behind the plate. Calling pitches for the first-place Black Knights may be her first priority, but hardly the only one.
"I think it's my job to be the leader out there," she said. "I've played for 17 years; I take control of the game. I think there are situations in softball when there's got to be leadership. You get a feel for the pitching staff, and a lot of it is trial and error. Should a player be walked, shouldn't they be walked."
And when such a decision need be made, coach Michele DePolo knows whose hands in which it can be left.
To read the rest of the article by Ronald Mergenthaler of the Washington (D.C.) Examiner, click here.