District News


Finneytown Softball: A golden season for Hayley Richardson

Posted on: April 5, 2017

Hayley Richardson started her final season of Finneytown softball in spectacular fashion. She threw 13 strikeouts and hit a grand slam to bury Mount Healthy 14-4. Then she topped it on April 3 with a perfect game against league rival, Mariemont. Read on to learn more about Hayley.

Q: So what role does softball play in your life, Hayley?

HR: Softball is very important to me. If I didn’t have it, I’d be bored with my life. It’s taught me discipline, respect and it’s really taught me time management.

I’ve played softball for 10 years. It’s amazing how far I’ve come with pitching since I started at eight. I’ve had the same pitching coach ever since. It takes time to become something successful.

Q: Tell us what you like about the game, and how you approach your role as pitcher.

HR: I love the intensity of the game. I’m sure some people watch it and say it’s not very intense, but one play can change the whole game.

During the game, I don’t smile much. I stay calm. As the pitcher, you’re the center of the team. If the girls see me freaking out or getting mad, they’re going to do the same thing.

Q: What was your best moment in softball?

HR: It was during the traveling season championship game. It was the second-to-last inning, and the score was tied. There were two outs and the bases were loaded. I got up to bat. I had two strikes on me, and I hit a grand slam. Then I went back onto the field to pitch, and I had back-to-back straight outs. That was every player’s dream! There’s a saying that pitchers can’t hit, but I can hit.

Q: So over the years, where have you played?

HR: I play for a traveling team so the season is year-round. The farthest I’ve traveled is Panama City, Florida, but it’s mostly been in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

Q: You’ve had a great academic and athletic career here at Finneytown. Tell us about your plans for next year.

HR: I’ve committed to play softball at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. I’m going to study exercise science, then I can go into occupational therapy or physical therapy.

Q: How did you decide on Transylvania?

HR: In 2015, my team had gone to a tournament there. I had never heard of it before. I was pitching, and their coach was watching me. In the second game, I wasn’t playing but their coach asked our coach to put me back in.

I visited campus and stayed overnight and met the team. That was August 2016. The team said the coach told them my name and they had searched for me in social media. They kind of did the FBI work. So I went online and saw who they were, and who played what position.

Transylvania is in Lexington, Kentucky, so my family will come down to see me play.

Q: How long have you gone to Finneytown Schools?

HR: I’ve gone to Finneytown Schools ever since kindergarten. Finneytown is so tight knit. We’re all family.

Q: You’re involved in a lot of activities besides athletics.

HR: I take a lot of AP classes and honors classes. I have a 3.8 GPA. I’m in National Honor Society, Community Service, I’ve been the class secretary for Student Council and this year I’m the vice president. I love art as a pastime.

Q: You’ve got a lot on your plate. How do you set priorities?

HR: My family always comes first. If there’s a family event, I’m there. Then comes school work, then softball.

Q: Graduation is just about nine weeks away. What are you doing this summer?

HR: This summer, about every other weekend is a softball tournament. We usually play seven to 10 games a week. I work at the Powell Crosley YMCA and run sports camps in the summer – I plan every minute from when they arrive to when they leave.

Q: You’re a planner! What are your plans for the next four years?

 HR: Success! I hope I can go in there, calm down, get my work done and play a game I love with all my heart.

Q: What will you remember most about your years at Finneytown?

HR: The friends and the good moments. I’m never going to remember the grades I had or the work I turned in, but I’m going to remember the fun I had and the camaraderie.