Monday, August 06, 2007

SPORTS>>BHS grad to play for Lady Mustangs

Leader sportswriter

Beebe High School graduate Callie Mahoney will be a Lady Mustang at Central Baptist College in Conway. Mahoney, a three-time All-State pitcher with the Lady Badgers, signed with CBC at the Beebe High School library on Wednesday in front of family, coaches and media.

Mahoney helped to lead the Lady Badgers to two state-championship game appearances her sophomore and senior years, as well as a semifinal appearance her junior year in 2006. The Lady Badgers have featured a group of dominating seniors the past few years, and ’07 was no exception.

Mahoney, along with teammates Sara Flenor and Brandi Birkhalter, only suffered one conference loss during their sophomore through senior years of softball, and never went out of the state championship lower than third place.

Mahoney had her choice of colleges, with interest from the University of Arkansas, Lyon College in Batesville, the University of Central Arkansas and her ultimate choice, CBC. She says the decision to choose Central Baptist was a tough one, but finally chose Central due in part to its closeness to home.

“I had so many things to think about and consider,” Mahoney said. “I had other offers, so it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do. I went to visit the other schools. I have friends that go to Central, and I also wanted to stay at home while I can. It just seemed like I would be more comfortable there.”

Mahoney racked up some impressive stats while playing for the Lady Badgers. Her junior year, she pitched a 21-5 record with an earned run average of 0.75. She also batted a .525 with four home runs. Her senior year, her ERA dropped to a staggering 0.75, with a 19-2 record, along with a .325 batting average and three home runs.

Lady Badgers coach Terry Flenor says Mahoney’s contribution to the team was stellar all the way around, but that she shined the brightest when the stakes were high.

“She was a dominant pitcher for her four years of high school,” Flenor said. “She pitched a lot of big games against a lot of big teams. She was our number one pitcher for three years. Even when we had Crystal (Robinson), Callie threw as much as she did; it was just a matter of Crystal being a little older and a little more experience.”

As for the championship losses, Mahoney said it was tough to experience the heartbreak two separate times, but chalks the outcomes up to fate.

“It was hard on all of us,” Mahoney said. “We wanted it so bad our last year. Even the younger girls were telling us ‘we’re doing this for y’all because it’s your last year and we want this for you, but everything happens for a reason.”