April 11, 2011
There is little Lauren Miller cherishes more on the softball diamond than her role as a senior leader for the St. Mary’s Lady Rattlers, which was why she treaded carefully in how she reacted to a recent hitting slump.
Sensing young eyes were watching, the outfielder knew it was a chance to help show some of her younger teammates how to deal with adversity.
“I was able to mentally get past it,” she said. “I think the way I handled myself helped other hitters. We worked through it together in a team effort. The things I was doing and did to my mental game, I passed along to them.”
Having gone hitless in 11 at-bats over four games, Miller stormed back with 19 hits in her next 34 trips to the plate (.559 average) to go along with 13 RBIs.
The stretch earned her Heartland Conference Hitter of the Week honors, allowing Miller to prove quite the example of how to break out of a slump.
“I knew there was nothing I was doing physically wrong,” said Miller, who hopes to become a firefighter after graduating from St. Mary’s. “I know I’m a good hitter, I have a good swing. I was seeing the ball.
“I just backtracked and went back to the mental game. I went into the box knowing I needed to change my mindset. Instead of just hitting a strike, I started looking for my pitch.”
Miller, who has recovered nicely from an ankle injury that sidelined her late last season, is batting .341 with 28 RBIs.
What those stats don’t spell out is her leadership, a trait she has made abundantly clear in recent weeks.