With keen skills,
Tayler Southern, from Winnsboro, is a member of the newly-crowned 14U National Championship team, Louisiana Impact Gold.
Additionally, Southern was chosen as a member of the all-state team and will be playing in a tournament with the team Aug. 3 in Broussard.
Impact Gold won the national championship last weekend in Dallas playing against teams from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. They finished their spring season with an impressive 41-9 record.
Southern’s offensive and defensive skills along with her positive attitude can be relied on by her teammates and coaches, said Mike Henry, head coach with the Louisiana Impact Gold team.
“She is a great leader,” Henry said. “She’s a grinder. She goes 110 mph in everything she does. She also brings a very vocal and positive influence to her team. When shoulders are slumping, she is there to pat somebody on the back and pick them back up.”
Along with her positive attitude, Southern’s .447 batting average and .559 on base percentage helped the Impact Gold team go undefeated in the tournament (8-0). Southern posted a superior stolen base percentage of .941 and was excellent defensively with a .812 fielding percentage.
“She did really well in the tournament,” Henry said. “She made some real good plays defensively and also had some timely hitting. When called upon, she delivered.”
Southern played right field for the team which started their spring season in February. Their fall season begins in August.
Like many softball and baseball players, her love of the game showed through her glove.
“This is a new glove,” Southern said, showing her worn softball glove. “They said this glove would take six months to break in. I had it broke in a few weeks.”
The relationships she builds with her teammates and the excitement the game of softball has to offer keeps her coming back.
“I love the sisterhood of the game,” she said. “I love to feel the adrenalin when a fly ball is hit to me or when I hit the ball and hear all the parents cheer. I love it.”
Since she has started playing softball at five years old, Southern has collected an impressive collection of 10 championship rings and has played on a total of three travel ball teams.
When asked if she was going to start wearing future rings on her toes since she had run out of fingers, she laughs, “That is what my dad said.”
With many softball seasons during the summer and high school ahead of her, she may have to start wearing open toed shoes.