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Farmington’s Makayla Donald now confident she can shut down any and every opposing lineup

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com
Farmington's Makayla Donald throws a strike against Piedra Vista during a District 2-5A softball game on Friday, April 12, 2019, at Farmington Sports Complex. Donald went 9-4 with a 3.07 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 2019.

FARMINGTON – Encountering a potent opposing lineup, with the 2019 softball season hanging in the balance, Makayla Donald was undeterred and ready to shine.

The Farmington pitcher shut down Centennial, which scored 241 total runs, in a complete-game no-hitter to start the 5A playoffs, on the road.

Donald’s mentality changed that day.

She understood that she can take down the elites, later winning back-to-back playoff games against Piedra Vista and Volcano Vista.

Now she wants to resume that kind of dominance against New Mexico’s best in 2020, over and over again.

“I hope I can do that against even better teams this year,” Donald said. “That was good to see, that all my hard work was finally useful in those games.”

Donald said her curveball and rise ball were effective to where she made opposing batters swing and miss easily.

Donald threw 98 total innings in 2019, went 9-4 with a 3.07 earned run average and 135 strikeouts.

“She has the velocity to work in, she has good spin. I think it’s (about) overcoming any kind of fear of the batter,” coach Tim Trotter said. “She’s gotten better and better at hitting her spots, and I think that makes her that much better.”

Entering the new campaign, Donald also said she wants to improve the speed on her pitches and hit the inside corners of the strike zone more often.

Donald’s already showcased her potential in the circle, and the Lady Scorpions expect her to be that anchor in the rotation when the big games arrive.

“She’s not a kid that’s going to fold on you, and she’s competitive,” Trotter said.

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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