Carly Skinner is a country girl who knows how to play ball.
The junior from Verden (Okla.) High School plays all over the field. She is a catcher, a shortstop and a third baseman, while for her club team she catches, plays third and roams outfield.
She was Offensive Player of the Year both her freshman and sophomore years and this past season she was named the MVP of her squad. Now, just beginning the recruiting process, Skinner admits it isn't easy.
"It's pretty tough," said Skinner. "There are a lot of other girls who want to do the same thing I do and it is hard to get the attention."
It might be hard for some girls to get attention, but Skinner has been getting looks from several programs throughout the country. This might be due to her stellar résumé that includes a junior season batting average of .582, a team-leading 45 RBIs and nine triples. She was third in the state in hits with 53. Her stats improved throughout her high school career and according to Skinner that has been her goal all along.
"My biggest challenge has been to get better every year," she stated. "So far, I think I have accomplished that."
Her freshman season she batted an impressive .352 followed by a sophomore batting average of .407. Now with an average of .506, she improved each season.
Part of her success has to do with her athleticism and fitness level. Skinner exercises, runs and stays active on a daily basis. Part of staying in shape has to do with playing basketball for her high school team. Being the point guard for the varsity squad is a great way to prepare for her softball season. Softball always comes first, but that doesn't mean she takes basketball lightly.
"I only play basketball in high school, not as much as I play softball," said Skinner, "but I always give as much as I put into it, if I play, I'm going to give 100 percent."
In addition to basketball and softball, Skinner also participates in the Future Farmers of America, an agricultural leadership organization that Skinner has been a member of since she started high school. Having won several awards in the organization, it looks like Skinner finds success everywhere.
"Basically I go to stock shows and show steers and heifers," she said. "I have won numerous county awards including showmanship awards and one year I had the third best limousine steer in the state!"
Her favorite steer's name was Hurricane. One can only assume he was named Hurricane by Skinner, who seems to roll through teams and leave a mess on the field.
Like a hurricane.
Garland Cooper covers high school softball for ESPN RISE.