Okmulgee senior Jade Whinery is a bit unusual in the world of softball in that she has developed into a pitcher for both fast pitch and slow pitch.
“I didn’t pitch in fast pitch until this past fall, so I had to start learning the techniques last summer,” said Jade. “There are lot of differences between from how you deliver, to the different spins and curves. In fast pitch I hold the ball in several different ways depending on what the pitch is whereas in slow pitch I hold it just one way. Learning how to throw a good drop curve in fast pitch was probably one of my biggest challenges at first but now it’s one of my better pitches while my backspin is probably my best in slow pitch.”
Jade was introduced to the game when she was four or five by her mom who played softball all through high school and on to Bacone for college ball.
“I guess I really started loving the game and taking it more seriously when I got in to kid pitch ball at around 13,” said Jade. “I really prefer playing fast pitch over slow pitch because it just seems more competitive and is more serious.”
As a senior Jade is called on to be a team leader and says creating a good team comradery is an important part of that job. That leadership is important to the team according to her coach Shane Bevan.
“Jade is a leader on the field and in the classroom. She’s always willing to help everybody who needs it,” said Bevan.
As she gets ready to start her final softball season at Okmulgee High, Jade talked about her special moments, goals, prospects for slow pitch and her future.
“As far a goals are concerned, I feel like I’ve already fulfilled one which was to make the starting lineup all four years of high school and I’ve done that. I guess last year was probably my most favorite. We didn’t have a great won-loss record, but it was just a fun year and we had a great group of girls. We did better in fast pitch this last fall than we have in awhile so I’m hoping that carries over into a successful season in slow pitch,” said Whinery. “I’d like to be remembered as a good softball player that people could look up to.”
Jade plans on attending trade school and focus on a career in the medical field after graduation next spring.