Harlem High School’s Christian Mullis has been playing softball since fifth grade, and it is hard for her to pin down exactly what it is that she likes about it.
She knows it is her passion, however, and it took a step back from the sport for that to become clear.
“It’s the only place I want to be if I’m not at home,” said Mullis. “Like a couple of years ago when I didn’t play travel ball, I was watching my sister – my sister played on the team – and I was like, ‘Dang I miss this. I want to do travel ball next year.’”
Nicknamed “Speedy,” she hasn’t taken time off from the Lady Bulldogs entering her senior year after three years as the starting centerfielder. Head coach Mike Leverett has come to rely on her and plans to move her into the second spot in the batting order this year.
“She made a big impact last year,” Leverett said. “She’s a great defensive player in the outfield plus she hit the ball well for us.”
As one of three returning starters, Mullis knows her role will have to change and is embracing having to be a leader on what will be a young team.
“Compared to last year we’ve got all newbies because all six seniors played on the field,” Mullis said. “So it’s a little nerve-wracking, but we’ve got to learn to play as a team and we’ll get there.”
Mullis has improved throughout her career, and though it is about the team for her, she has a specific personal goal she’d like to hit.
“I can tell that my throwing has gotten a lot better and I’m hitting balls harder, of course,” Mullis said. “I’m hoping to make my home run this year because I haven’t made one yet. I used to be a switcher (switch hitter) and didn’t like that so I went back righty.”
Mullis would like to get her grade-point-average up and is planning for the future.
“I’m looking forward to going to college, and getting my degree and being a nurse and of course I want to play softball throughout my college years and as long as I can.” she said.
The rain in July wasn’t disconcerting to Mullis as it helped provide the proper environment for her favorite hobby – mudding.
“I’ve been doing it a long time since I was little,” said Mullis. “I’ve been doing it since I knew how to ride a four-wheeler. It’s just something I like to do. I just enjoy getting dirty I guess.”
While leading others on the practice field, she is also able to impart her softball experience to her younger sister Micah, who is a sophomore on the Lady Bulldogs squad this year.
“It’s different, but I like to be able to go home to her if she’s doing something wrong and be able to help her out and tell her it’s going to be OK,” Mullis said. “Just being able to share stuff with my sister on the field -- I like doing that because we’re close.”