WESTVILLE | At some point before the softball season comes to a close, Westville junior Shelly Cunningham is hoping at a fair chance for hitting the first home run of her career.
Cunningham, a junior third baseman for the Blackhawks, is one of the top hitters on the team, but has yet to hit a ball over the fence this season.
The steady dose of rain this month has hampered Cunningham's chances, but not just because of postponements.
"When it rains our field floods pretty easily, so we end up playing a lot of our games at one of the local parks," Cunningham said. "The fences there are so far back that I don't really have a chance at it."
Despite the lack of a home run this season, Cunningham has helped lead the Blackhawks to an 8-2 record with a combination of her offense and defense. Cunningham is hitting .461 this season and has been a force defensively.
"Shelly is as solid as they come," Westville coach Gary Dick said. "She's an all-around super player for us. She's one of our best hitters and then on defense, opposing teams are afraid to bunt against her because Shelly will charge the ball. She isn't afraid to go after the play."
Cunningham's love for the game of softball translates outside of her high school season. The junior plays other sports, but softball is the game that is always on her mind.
"If I'm not playing softball, I'm usually thinking about softball or talking about softball," Cunningham said. "That's basically my hobby. I love playing the game."
Dick loves the passion in which Cunningham approaches the game and he didn't think twice when he named the junior one of the captains this season. Through the first seven games of the season, Cunningham averaged more than a run and a RBI in each contest.
"I've typically had juniors and seniors serve as captains throughout the years and Shelly was an easy choice this season," Dick said.
While Cunningham would prefer to hit a home run this s season, she's glad to continue to get singles and score runs if that means Westville continues to win games.
"This year our team has been doing really well and we've been doing it because we play together," Cunningham said. "We play for each other."