It was a building process for one of Canby softball's best. As a freshman she was a part of a squad that battled into the first round of the state playoffs, losing in a firefight to West Albany 18-17. As a sophomore she again reached the opening round of the playoffs with her team, this time falling to Jesuit 10-0. Her Cougars squad was bested in the first rounds of the next two playoffs by the same two foes they faced before, ultimately limiting her time in the postseason.
That softball player is now-graduated senior Kamryn Mobley, and while she was unable to move past the opening round of the playoffs in high school, she became one of the best players in the state.
As a senior, Mobley was named third team all-state catcher. That feat is impressive considering only two catchers make first, second, third, and honorable mention at the 6A level. The skill shown throughout the 2018-19 season is the result of an incredible competitiveness that's been with her since the beginning.
"As a softball player, I have always been very competitive," Mobley said. "Losing is never easy for me but as long as your team plays with heart and grit then there is nothing more to do. As a team leader that is all you can ask for from your girls. Play hard and have fun. The rest will come easy."
While the competitiveness was innate, becoming a team leader took time. As Mobley says it, there was a fair amount of nerves heading into the tryouts for a varsity spot her freshman year, despite extensive club experience. Thankfully, lessons learned from then-captain's Lucy Yazzolino and Sarah Bizon helped her assume the role of leader.
"They showed me what hard work and dedication can do for a young player," Mobley said. "Even though the high school season is pretty short, my seniors still taught me valuable lessons. They made me realize that when it comes down to it, you don't always play for yourself. As an underclassman you can always think 'oh I can do better next year' but for the seniors it was they're last year. I learned how to play for my seniors and not for myself."
The intangibles are great, but let's let her stats show through as well. She finished the season with a .543 BA, .617 OBP, .988 slugging %, 5 HR, 7 triples, 7 doubles, 17 RBI, 11 stolen bases, .969 fielding percentage, caught 5 runners stealing and picked 5 more runners off base. There's a reason she was an all-state catcher, first team all-league catcher, and a senior all-star. She's pretty darn good.
The lessons learned and skills built up over the years didn't mean the season was without its struggles. Mobley and fellow senior Parker Allhands had to adjust to a team predominantly made up of underclassmen.
"As a senior captain on the team, it was hard for me to adjust to the younger team," Mobley said. "I play at a very competitive level during the summer so I usually struggle with the change in pace, this year was a completely different perspective. I had seven girls who had no idea what kind of a change it was going to be from 14U summer tournaments to varsity softball. The best thing that I could do for them is to set the example on how to work hard and play with passion for the game."
The team definitely came together late in the season. Though the Cougars lost their last three games, it was by a single run apiece. It also claimed third place in league with big wins over Tigard (2x) and Tualatin. Now with her high school season at an end, Mobley turns her attention towards her next softball journey: playing with the Linfield Wildcats. She'll take lessons learned at Canby with her to the next level.
"I learned how to play for my team and realize that the game isn't about you individually," Mobley said. "Playing at Linfield will be different than high school because my fellow teammates worked just as hard as me to get the college level. High school ball is a little different in terms of previous play."
"My goal as a college athlete is to contribute as much as I can," Mobley continued. "Whether it's playing a different position than I'm used to, getting the extra reps, or staying late to help pitchers. Catcher has been my main position for the past few years however it's not the only position I can play. I will play wherever I am needed most."
Mobley, who will be studying biology and plans to attend medical school after undergrad, will be forever indebted to the lessons that softball has imparted to her. Teamwork and endurance are things that she will take with her through school. But finding a family amidst people with a common interest is something that stands above the rest.
"Teams turn into your second family," Mobley said. "Traveling for softball all the time can get to be a lot. We give up most of our summers for tournaments. When you have your second family to do it with you it becomes the most memorable part of the whole summer. The bonds and memories are life long and contribute the heart it takes to play the game."
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)