Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
WASHINGTON C.H. — If you give Miami Trace’s Jessica Camp something to hit, she’s going to take full advantage of your mistake.
Camp, the Panthers’ senior catcher and cleanup hitter, has been magnificent this spring helping to lead Miami Trace back to glory after a disappointing end to last season.
While experiencing a power surge, Camp is hitting a team-high .447 with five homers, seven doubles, and 13 RBIs. Her on-base percentage is .509 with a slugging percentage of .957.
In other words, she’s seeing beach balls at the dish.
Her Panthers, who sit at 11-4 overall, have been battle-tested while playing the likes of Unioto, Sheridan and Minford in non-league competition.
We had a chance to catch up with Jessica to discuss what her team’s ceiling is, what she’s doing so well at the plate, her personal support system and much, much more.
Question: What have you thought of this season so far?
Camp: So far this season, I think our team has really came together and won against some good competition. We’ve really stepped up against teams that, last year, we would be scared to play against. I think with the tournament draw coming near, we have the potential to do well and have a good postseason run.
Q: You’ve ripped the cover off the ball this season. What have you done so well at the plate?
JC: Individually, I think I have done well defensively and offensively. I’ve put in a lot of time in the offseason working on my hitting mechanics and my catching. My teammates and coaches really push me to elevate my game at all times and I think that has helped keep me focused on constantly improving.
Q: As a team, you guys have made major improvements. What’s been the biggest key in that turnaround?
JC: I think the biggest key from last year [to this year] was that we all realized that this is the last year that many of us would play the game of softball together. Since we have 10 seniors, we all knew that our last season would go by fast and we knew that we have a lot of talented players. We shouldn’t waste our potential by arguing and bringing the team down. We have all grown into mature young women and our team has begun thriving.
Q: Your coaching staff seems to be the perfect fit for you guys. What’s the best thing about them and what do they do well on a daily basis?
JC: The best thing about our coaching staff is the trust we have in them and the trust they have in us. Our team has a set routine at the beginning of practice. But after that, we can tell the coaches what we feel we need to work on and they will allow us to do that. They trust that we know our team and we should be able to let our opinions be heard. They do this each and every practice and we have had quality practices.
Q: I don’t think I’ve been to a game where your parents aren’t at. Can you talk about the support you’ve gotten over your career and how much that means to you?
JC: Throughout my four years, I’ve had an unexplainable amount of support. My family has supported me through everything and without them, I would not be the player I am today. I’ve had great support from coaches, community members, players and it really has helped build my confidence. Even the support that I’ve gotten from SOSA has been amazing. I’m truly grateful for all the support.
Q: How about the FAC this year … what’s the competition like?
JC: The FAC is full of good teams. This year has proven that you cannot take anyone lightly. Hillsboro and Jackson have good pitchers. Greenfield is a good hitting team. Washington Court House and Chillicothe are young teams but have a lot of potential. I am excited to see the competition evolve over the years.
Q: What’s the ceiling for this team?
JC: I think that the sky’s the limit for this team. We are only going to get out what we put in. So, in the postseason, we just have to give everything we have and hold nothing back.