FARMINGTON – Jade Skaggs knows she can be a constant threat on the bases, and she wants to develop an even stronger sense of when to strike.
“There could possibly have been some bases I didn’t take (last year), just because I read the ball wrong or I just didn’t realize it,” said the Piedra Vista utility player, who tallied just 12 stolen bases in 2019. “As district comes around, we see the better catchers, we see the better teams. It’s harder for me to take the bases.”
Skaggs said she wants to pay better attention to littler things, like where the ball drops in the strike zone, the catcher’s arm movement and when to get a better jump off the bag.
“That’ll definitely help,” Skaggs said. “I want to be aggressive, and I want to be a big threat.”
The Lady Panthers’ lineup is already in good shape, returning several of its power hitters. Skaggs wants to do her part so that plentiful scoring chances don’t go to waste.
“I always want to do more, put myself in a position where (teammates) don’t have to worry about me getting out. They can use their big hits to get me in, and I can use my speed to help them and put me in a better position,” Skaggs said.
Skaggs said she’s aiming for at least 20 stolen bases during the 2020 softball season. And PV’s placing a greater emphasis on base-running, so having Skaggs back in the fold is all the more reassuring.
“It’s nice to have her kind of wheels in the lineup… You can’t really coach speed. When you’re fast, you’re fast,” coach Kevin Werth said. “She’s quick, she’s a smart baserunner and she’s aggressive.”
Skaggs is aware of what’s she capable of on the bases, and she looks to be even more proactive.
“It’s pretty awesome to have my speed come as an advantage for our team, and it’s pretty awesome to see how catchers respond to me whenever I’m on the bases,” Skaggs said. “They know I’ve got speed.. so they’re kind of throwing the ball around more to see if I can get out.”
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 5055-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.
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