By Krista Pirtle
From the eyes of a freshman, looking out into a field of juniors and seniors fresh off a World Series appearance can be rather intimidating; however, to look out and see Clare Hosack behind the plate can add some confidence and desire.
“Just the fact that she’s a sophomore and starting and succeeding as well as she’s doing is a huge inspiration for the other kids,” senior third baseman Megan Turk said. “They see, my sophomore year, I can be like Clare. I think it’s great for them.”
Hosack, a sophomore from North Palm Beach, Fla., can be found behind home plate in catcher’s gear.
“I was 12 when I started playing softball,” Hosack said. “I played baseball before that and I pitched. They asked me if I wanted to pitch softball and I said no. My best friend was a pitcher, and she said catch for me. That’s how I started catching.”
Hosack usually catches for junior pitcher Whitney Canion, but Baylor head coach Glenn Moore wants to rotate more between Hosack and junior Kelsi Kettler.
“I don’t think there’s a catcher in the country with a stronger arm than Clare Hosack,” Moore said. “Whitney really likes pitching to her and they work well together.”
Turk agrees with Moore about Hosack’s presence behind the plate.
“She might be the best in the country when it comes to her arm strength,” Turk said. “She’s one of those kids when if you get on, you’re getting out. She’ll pick you off because she doesn’t watch you on the bases.”
So far this season, Hosack is batting .364 with a pair of doubles and Baylor’s only home run.
It came Tuesday evening against Northwestern State in the bottom of the fourth, when there were runners at first and second.
After a huge swing and miss at a changeup, Hosack’s aggressive swing caught a pitch and sent it over the wall in left center field.
“I’m working on swinging aggressively more and more,” Hosack said. “On the first pitch she threw me a change up and I swung at it like it was a fastball and I whiffed so people probably felt it.”
From the eight new faces in green and gold to the veterans who finished fourth in the nation last season, Hosack provides a spark on both sides of the game.