Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – When Skyler Stookey steps in the batter’s box the Solon senior is thinking about one thing and it isn’t hitting a home run.
“When I get to the plate, I just think about getting a base hit to try to get us going,” Stookey explained.
That approach has worked well for Stookey who leads Class 3A seventh-ranked Solon (18-8) with a .461 batting average and ranks third in 3A with 41 hits this season.
The plan may be base hits but when the plan goes to perfection Stookey has proven to possess one of the most powerful bats in the state.
Stookey has homered in three of her last four games after hammering home runs in both games of a doubleheader sweep of Clear Creek Amana on Wednesday and ranks third in the state with
12 home runs this season.
“I don’t think about home runs,” Stookey said. “But when it all comes together and base hits go over the fence that’s a good feeling.”
Stookey burst onto the scene as one of the state’s best power hitters a year ago finishing with nine home runs and 44 RBI.
After going 7-for-15 with three home runs and eight RBI over the past four games the senior catcher is already approaching those numbers this season.
Stookey has already eclipsed her home run total from a year ago and ranks seventh in the state with 37 RBI.
“She really is focused,” Solon coach Erin White said. “She has the ability to make an adjustment within an at bat now versus taking a couple of games to adjust.”
Stookey hasn’t just raised her batting average this season she has done so while improving her power stats.
Of the 41 hits for Stookey this season a state-best 25 have gone for extra bases helping her post an impressive 1.011 slugging percentage.
“We have a great coaching staff and that’s has helped all of us improve,” Stookey said. “We have a great support system that improves us every day.”
With 13 walks to just four strikeouts in 89 at bats this season Stookey isn’t the typical power hitter.
She leads the Spartans with a .524 on-base percentage and owns an eye-popping OPS of 1.535.
“I work on it all year round, getting on the cage and working on tee work. You have to work hard for it and it feels good to see that hard work pay off,” Stookey said. “Just being able to do it for my team is the most amazing feeling ever.”
The improvement for Stookey in her senior season hasn’t been limited to her performance at the plate.
In her second season as the Spartans full-time catcher Stookey has become a leader behind the plate for Solon.
“She has been working really, really hard and I am not easy on her,” White said. “When you can have a senior catcher that is willing to day in and day out work on skills it’s really cool. She is really bought in to trusting and understanding that she might not get everything right away but it will transfer over.”
Last season Stookey threw out 10 of 37 attempted base stealers. This season she has cut down six of 17 potential base stealers.
“The thing with Skyler is she plays with a love of the game,” White said. “She loves to play and she loves her teammates and she wants to get better every day and she tries to make it fun.”
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