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story.lead_photo.caption McLeod sophomore Ella Lambeth prepares to catch a pitch Feb. 27 in a varsity softball game. (Submitted photo)

MCLEOD, Texas — While many senior players' seasons ended abruptly, some younger players will still get one or more seasons to play.

McLeod standout softball player, sophomore Ella Lambeth, is looking forward to two more seasons as she turns her attention to keeping in shape and school work.

The softball season was called off, along with many others, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It was devastating for me because we had all of our team back except for two players," Lambeth said. "This year was looking good for us and we were looking for a lot of success. We were hoping to make a deep playoff run, and, when we heard that the season was canceled, our hopes were demolished.

"After thinking about it, we are allotted a lot more time to put in more work and effort. It gives us more motivation for next year. I do sit-ups, push-ups and crunches. Some of the other players run three times a week. I have been working on my core and upper body strength. I lift 15-pound weights to get stronger."

Lambeth usually starts at third base, but she is a utility player. She has played catcher, shortstop and some outfield. Lambeth started out as the lead-off hitter but also alternated between hitting first and second.

"The hardest part about hitting is the mental aspect," Lambeth said. " Good form and technique is crucial to success at the plate, but mental strength is the biggest part of hitting. Having great confidence at the plate will put a player 60 percent there. I try to have a positive mindset, and I come up to the plate knowing that I am going to hit."

In addition to her athleticism, Lambeth is sharp in the classroom. She took two college courses during her freshman year. Lambeth is taking U.S. history 2 and sociology and completed U.S. history 1 and general psychology earlier in the school year.

"I am planning on going to medical school," she said. "It's cheaper to take college classes in high school. I am trying to complete the least number of classes that I will need to have in order to get into medical school. College courses are graded on a different point scale, so it helps boost my GPA."

Lambeth is planning on becoming a physical therapist or occupational therapist.

"I enjoy helping people," she said. "I could work with athletes to help them get back to their peak performance. I love people so I think being a physical therapist would be really neat. I love anatomy.

"Softball has always been something that I love to compete in. I don't think I would turn down an opportunity to play softball at a college. It would be hard because I have to keep my grades up for medical school. But I wouldn't turn it down. I enjoy growing together with my team and the unity. My favorite part of softball is that when I step on the field, everything else going on in the world is gone. It is an escape from everything."

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