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Shelby Crockett May 29, 2020

What might have been

Crockett knows Bruins would have been a contender in Class 3A softball

By Mike Beas

No one will ever know whether the 2020 Tri-West softball team would have been able to secure the program’s second state championship.

Shelby Crockett wishes she and her Bruins teammates would have at least been given the opportunity to try.

Photo by Eric Pritchett

Crockett, a two-time all-Sagamore Conference selection who hit .483 for last season’s 20-8 finisher, didn’t get in so much as a single at-bat thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. An outfielder for the Bruins the past two seasons, Crockett was expected to play third this spring.

Owner of a 3.9 grade-point average, Crockett will attend Franklin College and be a member of the Grizzlies softball program.

Before leaving, she hoped to lead Tri-West back to where the program was when she was a fifth-grader. The 2013 Bruins claimed the Class 3A title, defeating Yorktown 7-4 in the championship game at Ben Davis High School.

Crockett finished her junior campaign with eight doubles, four triples and three home runs. She stole 11 bases and struck out 14 batters in the 16 1/3 innings she pitched.

“Shelby is a coach’s dream because she can play the infield, she can play the outfield and she can pitch,” said second year Tri-West coach Mike Miller, previously a Bruins assistant from 1998-2008. “When she shows up, she gives 110%, and the other players work hard to get to her level.

“Shelby is a quiet girl, but the others always want to be with her. She always has a smile.”

Crockett participated in a Q&A with the ICON:

Q: It looked like Tri-West had the makings of another very good softball team. What are you missing the most by not having a season?

A: The seniors on our team are super close, and I think we could have made it to state. We’ve all basically gone to school here since we were younger, and some of my best friends are in the junior class. We’re all very close.

Q: What have you been doing during the quarantine to stay in shape for next softball season?

A: I’ve been doing workouts for my legs, and I have nets here so that I can practice my batting. It’s been hard without people there to motivate me, but it’s also made me focus more. I have to push myself to do it, but I want to be better than I was.

Q: Which schools recruited you besides Franklin College, and what made the Grizzlies program stand out?

A: I talked to Manchester University and Lincoln Trail College in Illinois. I fell in love with the Franklin College campus and liked the coach a lot. I liked that it wasn’t a big campus because I didn’t want to go to a large school.

Q: What are you going to major in at Franklin College?

A: I’m going in as undecided because there are a couple of things that have sparked my interest in the medical field and in criminal justice. I’m going to take classes for each to see which one I like more.

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