As we are in what would have been the last week of our regular season before the playoffs we were scheduled to play a home game against Sprague on Tuesday, May 19th. This would have been our traditional Senior Night celebrating our three 2020 graduates to be. Since Covid-19 has wiped out this season we still want to pay tribute to Alina “Ali” Miller, Ashley McKenzie, and Maliya “Mia” Reece. It’s no replacement for a season full of memories, Medford, sleepovers, dance parties, team dinners, senior night, and playoff games, but any celebration we can hold is worth having. They each were dedicated players who’d worked very hard to prepare themselves for this season. Each day we will hi-lite one of these outstanding young ladies. We love you and wish you all the success as you move in to the next chapter of your life.
Tuesday: Ali Miller
Wednesday: Ashley McKenzie
Thursday: Mia Reece
Maliya “Mia” Reece #10
1. What is your Favorite Saxon Softball Memory?
· My favorite memory is when McCormick would buy us all monster pops on a hot day after practice and when we would drive to team dinners dancing to loud music in the car.
2. What will you miss most about South Softball?
· The energy of home games, the laughs, friendships, Medford trips, scrimmages, the uniforms, and the feeling of a great hit or play.
3. What is something you learned as a South Softball player?
· The South Salem Softball program is a special place that I have grown in a multitude of ways. I have learned dedication, discipline, accountability, and a new love for the game.
4. What would be something you’d hope people would remember about you as a South Softball player?
· I would like to be remembered as a dedicated player who can get past any obstacle in her way.
5. Any people you would like to thank and reasons why?
· I’d like to thank my parents for the supporting (and funding) my love for the game. I would also like to thank my sisters and grandma their dedication and always pushing me to be my best.
6. What’s your best advice to current and future South Softball players?
· My best advice for current and future players is to enjoy the small things and don’t take anything for granted. As for many 2020 seniors we did not expect for our last game to be our high school career ending game, but here we are. Take this moment to appreciate, practice, and play like it could be your last.
7. What are your future plans?
· I plan on continuing softball at a collegiate level with career plans as a social worker.
8. Any last thoughts or things you’d like to add?
· I would like to thank everyone that makes the South Salem Softball program special. Thank you to the coaches and my teammates that have made the last four years unforgettable.
Coach McCormick’s Comments. Mia’s older sister Raina played for me starting in our 12U program so I have known her since she was 7-8 years old. Had her working in our concession stand for football games when she was 11. She was kind of a brat and had what we called a “tude” back then, but there was something about this kid that was special and I really liked. Like there was a chip on her shoulder and she would challenge you to knock it off. I watched her play off and on through her early years in ASA softball and was excited when I found out she was coming to South. We started her out as a shortstop/pitcher, but her real home was third base. She became one of the finest third basemen’s I’ve coached in my 39 year career. Nothing got by her. To add to that she was a clutch hitter who never thought a pitcher was going to get the best of her and rarely did. Nothing rattled her. Calm and composed no matter how intense the situation was. Working with her all those years made me a better coach and I hope made her a better player and person. She was always checking in on me and us old guys in the coaches room. Like Coach Sutherland says “Mia gets us old coaches sarcasm.” She’d just smile with a little smirk and give it right back to us. Kids like Mia are what keeps me coaching. I am so proud of her. To see her graduate and move on to the next phase of her life. I know she can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to do.
Coach Sutherland’s Comments. Mia: Mia’s softball intelligence is outstanding. An intense competitor, she has played softball at very high levels and fears no one. She has grit and the ability to shake off failure. I don’t believe she ever doubts in her softball abilities. If she does she hides it extremely well. She was always steady. She took both success and failure in stride. She is a kid you just “pencil in”. A rock. Mia is 17 going on 25. I loved coaching her for all the reasons above but also because I’m sarcastic and she “gets the joke”. I know that she internally rolls her eyes at many of the things all these old coaches would say. That little smile gave it away.😊 Mia has the great ability to take the valuable and let the rest roll off of her. She doesn’t take things personally. I really will miss her personality. My hope is that Mia won’t “settle”,that she’ll not take the completion of this phase in her life as an ending but a beginning. The world is now open to her. Whether it’s softball, college, or otherwise, she has the ability to be successful. She just needs to visually place herself in whatever that picture of success is for her and go for it.
Comments from Alley Isaac: Mia, I’m so glad I got to play ball with you for the last three years, you’ve made them so fun! Thank you so much for always being there for me, I’ll miss you! Next year I’ll text you when my dad bbq’s again 😂. I can’t wait to hear about all of the great things in your future ❤️