Harlem’s Lindsey Stokes took her first baby steps on a softball field where her dad, Gregg Stokes, was playing, and she’s been on one ever since.
“I live for this,” said Stokes. “I don’t do anything else but practice softball. If I’m not at home asleep, I’m here.”
In 2011, the junior third baseman was named to the All-County Team for a season in which she batted .462 with 36 runs scored, 29 RBI and two home runs.
There are few, if any, holes to her game, according to head coach Mike Leverett.
“She loves to play,” said Leverett. “She’s a little shy about running, but everything else falls into place.”
Leverett added he expects her to be a leader but she won’t be a team captain because he reserves that honor for seniors.
Competition is what drives Lindsey.
“I’ve always been competitive,” said Stokes. “We play checkers, I hate to lose. And I like channeling it into something worthwhile I can go to college on.”
She has been checking places to see where she might have the opportunity to play at the next level.
“I’ve been looking at D-I, D-II, everything,” she said. “I’m kind of set on a college, but...,” she said, not wanting to reveal that dream school.
Stokes knows that she is not a one-man gang. Batting third in the order, she has faith in those around her.
“The team in front of me, I know they’re going to get on base,” she said. “If I don’t hit ’em in, I know the four or five are going to hit ’em in. We have a very good bottom of the lineup. I’m just as confident with me up there as I am with number nine or 10.”
There is a natural closeness she has gained with her teammates.
“I like knowing the fact that my friends here, they are like a family,” she said. “I consider every single one of them family. We are just like sisters. I know if anything goes wrong they’ll be right there with me.”
Not much went wrong for the Lady Bulldogs in 2011. They finished 25-9 and lost in the first round of the state playoffs by 2-1 and 1-0 (8) margins. Personal goals aside, taking the state title is what she wants..
“I want to win region and make it to Columbus,” Stokes said. “If we do that, I’ll be happy. This year we have the team to do it. We can beat anybody who comes on the field with us. We’re that good of a team and that closely bonded.”