The O’Fallon High girls softball team got off to a rocky start with an opening game loss to the Highland Bulldogs. However, several silver linings appeared in the Lady Panthers debut.
None was more prominent than the performance of Jade Williams — this week’s top athlete. Getting the starting nod as O’Fallon’s catcher, the daughter of Kara Swan and Kurtis Scheich, was a one person wrecking crew at the plate, providing most of the Panthers offense. Williams went 3-for-3 at the plate, banging out a single, double and round-tripper. She drove in both O’Fallon runs and was a solid back-stop for the OTHS pitchers. Her first varsity effort drew rave reviews from Panther coach Lauren Muniz.
“Jade has an excellent work ethic. She is a student of the game, not only wanting to improve her physical skills but also wanting to improve her softball knowledge,” Muniz said. “She has a great approach to the game and is consistent in her attitude which shows in her performance.”
“Jade is very athletic and passionate about softball,” Muniz added. “Between her athleticism and her love of the game, she has tremendous potential.”
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“I started playing softball when I was about 8 years old when I joined my first parks and recreation team in O’Fallon,” explained the OTHS junior. “I chose to keep playing, because the plays and connections that come with softball hooked me. It made me ambitious for more. I definitely wouldn’t be the player I am today without all of my coaches, my parents and my teammates supporting me.”
“Playing softball has taught me to take risks.” Williams explained. “Because being aggressive is expected and patience is needed to wait on your pitch. Most importantly, I’ve learned that we can’t succeed without failure. It’s okay to fail, but you must continue to pursue your goals after a setback on the field or in life.”