BY WENDI REARDON
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Two games came to mind as Hailey Minton reflected on her first year pitching for the Clarkston Varsity Softball team.
The first she noted was against Troy Athens where she threw the most strikeouts she had during a game and her first shut out. The second was the win over Lake Orion in the regular season.
“We broke their undefeated streak and that was awesome,” she said.
“She is mentally tough,” said Don Peters, head coach, after the Lake Orion game, May 26. “She didn’t get rattled out there. She stays focused. She fields the position really well. She’s a good kid.”
Minton will be a junior in the fall at Clarkston High School and Peters noted being on the varsity team during her sophomore year will help
“We play such a tough schedule it helps the girls mature and once they start to see success in it they really grow. They know they can do it,” he added.
Her parents, Jamie and Jeff, explained Hailey began playing when she was five in T-Ball.
“Her older sister played,” Jamie said. “She got into it after watching her. I played when I was young, too, and that’s how she got into pitching. She watched me trying to teach her older sibling how to pitch. My oldest daughter said it wasn’t for me. When Hailey was eight asked if she could try. I said, sure. She was a natural.”
“I like being involved in every play and each batter,” Hailey said about pitching.
Hailey later joined a travel league at nine-years-old beginning with Oakland Sidewinders and now plays with Turnin 2. She played for the Clarkston JV Softball team as a freshman and was honored with Most Valuable Player.
“I really like meeting new people,” Hailey said about playing softball. “It’s a great way to make friends you can have forever. The competition is very fun. I like competition. I am a very competitive person.”
Hailey also works hard off of the field in her academics and has a 3.98 grade point average. She also performs with the school orchestra and began playing the violin in sixth grade.
“She’s a great student,” Jamie added.
“She’s very easy going, laid back kid. She gets along with everyone and she is very humble.”
Hailey explained she doesn’t have a particular way to balance everything but goes with the flow.
“I make sure I talk to each one of my teachers and my coaches to make sure if I have practice the same day I have an orchestra concert I let them know ahead of time,” she said. “I talk to them. It’s important when trying to balance multiple activities.”
She also enjoys art and painting and leans towards using acrylic paint.
Her advice to aspiring athletes is to work hard and do your best.
“Your family is always going to be there for you,” Hailey added. “The sport isn’t going to make or break your life. You’re always going to have something in your life. Live in the now and just try your hardest.”