Taylor Kigerl-Hill likes to work with her hands, which serves her well both on and off the softball field.
The Eaglecrest senior infielder is in her fourth season on the varsity softball team and will serve as a team captain for the third straight season, a role even more vital this year with a very young nucleus and a new coach coming on board in Yvette Hendrian.
A two-time All-Centennial League second team selection, Kigerl-Hill hit a team-best .377 last season and led the Raptors in hits (23) and RBI (13). She opened the 2012 campaign by driving in three runs in Eaglecrest’s 8-2 win over Regis Jesuit on Aug. 20.
Kigerl-Hill — who also enjoys working with ceramics — carries a 3.76 GPA is hoping to head to the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., next year. She has been accepted as a candidate and is working through the lengthy process of becoming an approved cadet.
What is your favorite high school memory, athletically or otherwise?
My favorite memory is of my freshman year. The softball team made it to the top 8 in state. The team was very close. I was the only freshman on the team and the upperclassmen were very supportive. We were very close. It was about softball and all working to a common goal.
What is the biggest sacrifice you have to make to play your sport?
I have sacrificed much of my social life. Softball is not only a high school sport, but I also play it competitively. Over the summer on the weekends I can’t go to parties because I have to wake up early the next day. Also when my friends ask to hang out after school I say I can’t because of softball.
What’s the best piece of advice ever given to you in sports or in life?
The best advice I have ever gotten was to stick with it. There has been times that I was so frustrated that I wanted to quit, however, sticking with it was the best thing I could have done. I would have been very disappointed in myself if I would have given up.
Are you a leader? If so, what do you think makes a good leader in yourself or others?
I would consider myself a leader. I have been the captain of my the softball team at Eaglecrest for three years. To be a good leader you need to be a listener. You need to listen to the people you are leading as well as people higher up like a coach. I also think you need to know what you are talking about. I personally wouldn’t accept a leader (on the softball field) who has never even heard of softball. Knowledge is power, and if you don’t have the exact knowledge you need to be ok with asking for help or information.
Do you have any quirks or superstitions when it comes to your sport or in life in general?
I believe in Karma. I know that if you are a bad sport or disrespectful, it will come back to get you. I think this applies both to softball and life. I am unable to even think about being a bad sport or being disrespectful without looking over my shoulder for the consequences.
If you listen to music before a game, what gets you most ready for competition? If not, how do you get focused?
I get focused by thinking about what needs to be done to win. I think about my hitting and fielding, what I need to remember, and what my team needs to do as well. I tune out all other distractions and focus on me, my teammates, and softball. I don’t listen to the fans or my parents when they talk to me during warm-ups. It’s my time to do me, to get ready.
What’s a sport you’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t and why haven’t you?
I have always wanted to try football. I haven’t because I am scared. I know that I am tough for a girl, but I also know that the boys are tougher. They are trained to be hit and take hits. I don’t know if I could handle it.
If you could pick a person living or dead to spend a day with, who would it be and why?
I would pick my grandparents, Nana and Papa. My grandfather, Papa, is dead and my grandmother lives in Alabama. I haven’t really spent a ton of time with either of them but I would love to get to know them better. I don’t remember much of my granddad and I miss him.
Other than sports, do you have another true passion in life and if so, what is it and why?
I really love to work with my hands. I do ceramics. I own my own wheel and clay. I can make pots, bowls, vases, cups, almost anything. I love how nothing I make is exactly the same. No two pieces are perfect because I made them and not a machine.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
In 10 years, I hope to be an officer in the Army. I want to be a physical therapist and work in one of the hospitals that help treat injured/recovering soldiers. I want to help the most deserving people I know and those are the men and women fighting for our freedom and protection.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-750-7555