Longhorn softball youngest player Taylor Ellsworth ready for big debut

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Junior catcher Randel Leahy attempts to hit an incoming pitch. Leahy has been impressed with Taylor Ellsworth’s quick development at the same position.
Photo Credit: Mary Pistorius | Daily Texan Staff

Every collegiate athlete goes through the transition from high school to college competition. For freshman Taylor Ellsworth, that transition happened quicker
than most.

Ellsworth, a three-year catcher for Georgetown High School, skipped her senior season to enroll early at Texas, and has already impressed numerous teammates. Junior catcher Randel Leahy has worked with Ellsworth since she arrived at Texas and is thrilled with the freshman’s effort on the field.

“Taylor is super sweet and she’s definitely such a hard worker,” Leahy said. “I told her it’s nice to have someone catching beside me that was willing to come out and work extra. I’ve told her so many times I’m just excited to have her here and just to be able to work with her. She’s fun and she’s super sweet and she’s just so eager to learn everything and I think that that is really cool and it’s nice to see from the upperclassman standpoint.”

Leahy is not alone in her assessment of Taylor’s work ethic. Senior ace Tiarra Davis also has high praise for the youngest member of the team.

“I think Taylor’s done great,” Davis said. “She’s really stepped in and had a presence here so far behind the plate and offensively. She still has a lot to learn, but she’s taking everything in that we’re helping her do and really absorbing it and using it. I think she’ll have a great freshman year and by the time she graduates in four years she’s going to be a heck of a player here.”

As she learns the college game and gains wisdom from her teammates, Ellsworth works hard to fit in and find her place in the offense and on the team. She continually sets goals for herself as she strives to become immersed in the group.

“I would like to get my swing down,” Ellsworth said. “I want to help out the team as best I can and figure out my role.”

In last weekend’s season opening tournament, The Texas Classic, Ellsworth collected her first career base hit in her first career start against the No. 13 Minnesota Golden Gophers. Although the Longhorns fell 5-2, redshirt sophomore pitcher Erica Wright praised the freshman’s effort.

“I thought she did well,” Wright said. “I mean she was nervous too, we were talking about it and I was like, ‘It’s fine, it’s just another game.’ But no, we were both nervous. I thought she did really well.”

While Ellsworth is new to the team, she has bought into the championship mentality the team carries. The team has welcomed her in and brought her up to speed on the expectations the team has for the year.

“Just to work hard,” Ellsworth said. “We’re trying to win the Big 12 and then keep trying to win after that. That’s the goal.”