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Never have I witnessed a player of Taylore Fuller’s caliber. Perhaps Barry Bonds, but the only juice Taylore takes is orange, apple or grape.
In this week's print edition, we include a graphic called ‘Taylore’s Tally” that will update throughout the remainder of the season as she’s challenging for the national lead for home runs hit by a high school softball player, as far as those who have submitted statistics to MaxPreps.com.
If this is the first time you’ve picked up the Chiefland Citizen this spring, let me catch you up to speed. Taylore Fuller is a junior catcher for Chiefland, who also is verbally committed to play for the Univeristy of Florida.
She’s been hitting homers at a frantic pace, and with five in her last three games she’s now in the running to finish as the top slugger in the country.
In our eyes, she already is the best. Simply check out the graphic. The leader has more than twice as many at-bats as Taylore does. Give her 91 swings, and Taylore’s probably on the dark side of 30 by now.
The problem is, most teams won’t throw her a strike, and I cannot blame them. She’s been walked 23 times, mostly intentional, and hit by a pitch twice.
And for folks who haven’t been to a high school softball game, these are not inside-the-parkers. These are over the fence, and way over in Taylore’s case. More than once have I wanted to get a tape measure on one of her bombs, and word has it I didn’t even see the longest one she’s clubbed this season.
I’ve watched a ton of fastpitch softball and never saw a batter do what she wants with the ball like Taylore does. If they pitch her inside, she turns on it and ropes it down the left field line. Pitch her away, and she goes with the pitch, driving it to opposite field the way many major leaguers can only hope to do with outside pitches.
She gets her arms extended at the point of contact better than most baseball players her age.
Let’s face it. What we’re witnessing here is a freak of nature. If you haven’t seen Taylore before, do yourself a favor and check out the schedule on the left hand side of this page.
You’ll be glad you did.