Even with Kenna Mayfield having the reputation of owning a silky-smooth swing from the left side, the Ozark senior third baseman is prone to a slump, like every other hitter.
Mayfield’s numbers this season haven’t been up to the standards she set on her way to becoming a member of the Lady Tigers’ 100-hit club. But a 4-for-4 night against Glendale at Districts on Tueday has her hitting .692 over Ozark’s last five games.
“She’s been in a slump, but is turning it on at the right time,” coach Jimmy Nimmo said.
The Lady Tigers feel that more often than not Mayfield’s troubles were more a result of her getting herself out by chasing pitches out of the strike zone or on the corners of the plate.
“I have not been as consistent at the plate as I would like to be,” Mayfield said. “Early on in the season, I didn’t do so well against slower pitching. I was not waiting on the slower pitching. My timing was a little off. I had to change my swing a little bit, slow my stride down so I could time it up good. I’ve told myself to stay back and wait for my pitch.”
“With Kenna, it’s about anxiety and being overanxious,” coach Jimmy Nimmo said. “She needs to let the ball travel and be looking for her pitch early in the count. She’s gotten in a groove and is going to produce the rest of the year.”
Mayfield was glad to have momentum on her side entering Districts, after helping Ozark win the Carthage Tournament championship this past weekend. She was 5-for-9 during the tourney.
“Toward the end of the season, I knew I had to step it up,” she said. “I had a good weekend and I’m glad it carried over to today (against Glendale). It’s made me confident.”
By all account, Mayfield’s struggles at the plate didn’t carry over to the field or her role as a leader. She has done a commendable job making the transition from the outfield to third base this season.
“You can depend on Kenna to do anything for her team,” Nimmo said.
“Kenna is one of those teammates who in the dugout you can’t tell how she is doing,” fellow senior Abby Ford said. “It always looks like she is going 4-for-4. She is a great example to me.”