High Five: Seahawks senior talks hitting, her future and Morgan Wallen

Published 7:38 am Friday, April 5, 2024

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Even after recording only one hit in two games against East Carteret before spring break, Southside center fielder Jacqueline Gutierrez still leads the Coastal Plains conference in hitting. Her mini “slump” dropped her average to a still-torrid .655. The Chocowinity native has played softball most of her life and is pointing toward a strong six weeks to end her career.

1. When did you start playing softball?

Jacqueline: My dad signed me up for the Washington Youth Softball League when I was eight and I’ve been playing ever since. He loves baseball and he’s always encouraged me and worked with me to get better.

2. Why did you stick with softball all the way through your senior year of high school?

Jacqueline: I played soccer in the Washington Optimist League when I was younger, but I made the 8U softball all-star team my first year and that showed me I could be good at softball if I kept working to improve. I’ve played travel ball with the Dirt Devils, Coastal Storm and the Carolina Diamonds as well as school ball and have always had good coaches and teammates, so every year has been fun.

3. What parts of the game are most challenging?

Jacqueline: Keeping my swing the same is the hardest part of hitting. We do a lot of hitting off tees in practice and that’s when I work on my technique. Reading the ball off the bat is the hardest in the outfield. We do several drills in practice to work on that part. The best part is making diving catches. Those are really fun.

4. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Jacqueline: I’m going to Pitt Community College next year to study ultrasound technology. I’m not going to play softball there, just focus on my career. I plan on looking for a job in Houston, TX, so hopefully I will be there in five years and be financially stable.

5. If you could invite three people over for a meal, who would they be and what would you serve?

Jacqueline: My grandfather who has passed away, so I could get to know him better, (Country music star) Morgan Wallen, because I like his music and tickets to his shows are really expensive. Maybe he would let me and my friends in free if I fed him and my former teammate Logan Dail who is away at college. It would be great to catch up with her. I would serve Cobb Salad from Zaxby’s, wings and cheesecake.