Prep Softball: Danville's Taylor Estes understands the 'key' to getting better
Danville catcher Taylor Estes says an overseas trip helped improve her play. (Hal Morris / April 16, 2012)
The Danville catcher, an honorable mention all-state pick last season, has been preparing for a successful junior season, and so far likes the results.
“I’ve been pleased with how I’ve been hitting. I’ve been working with different people, so my hitting has gotten a lot better since last year,” she said. “And catching-wise, it’s great. I love catching.”
It’s also been quite a whirlwind for her the past few months.
In January, Estes was part of a team of Americans that played in the World Cup of Softball in the Netherlands. That experience, she said, was terrific as both a learning experience and simply a great tourist opportunity.
“That was so cool. We played mostly in Rotterdam. There were about 12 teams. There were teams from Germany and all around that area and other places, and we got to play all those foreign girls and it was so cool to see how they all played,” she said. “One catcher didn’t even use shin guards. There were a lot of short game players. They loved slapping the ball, they loved stealing. It was so cool. And the touring part was cool, too.”
The team played about 10 games in the seven days it was in Europe, and Estes said she learned a lot playing with and against some top-flight talent.
“I think it improved me a lot. Coming from that and then coming to high school ball, it’s kind of shocking. It’s really two different levels. Even coming from here to summer (softball), everybody there wants to play the game and everybody wants to win,” she said. “It really improved my game, and it taught me to always be aggressive and always have the drive and determination to do the best I can.”
Because of that drive and determination Estes has, she recently found out she was receiving another honor — the Danville City Commission will give her the key to the city.
“That was a huge surprise. It was over spring break and I just had just gotten home and mom said she got a call that I was going to get a key to the city for my softball,” she said. “That was shocking. I was like, ‘What? (country music singer) Eddie Montgomery has a key to Danville, I didn’t expect me to get it. I mean, I’m just a teenager.’ So that was really cool.”
Estes said honors such as getting to play oversees and getting the key to the city are nice, and she is appreciative that she is being recognized. But she wants to focus on helping the Ads improve.
In the preseason, she wasn’t sure how good her squad would be, especially after a couple of rough scrimmages. But Danville is sitting at 8-7 heading into today’s 45th District contest at home against Garrard County.
“We’re a really young team and we’ve been doing a lot better than I thought we were going to. I didn’t get my hopes up too high,” she said. “But we’ve really come through in some important games, so that’s cool.”