Semoball

SENIOR RECOGNITION: Oran softball quartet reflect on careers with Lady Eagles

Oran softball seniors pose for a picture at the Oran High School softball field, on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. Pictured (from left to right): Heather Gosche, Taylor Lowes, Kaylee Payne, Samantha Welter
Alex Wallner/Standard Democrat

SIKESTON — With the cancellation of spring athletics for the 2020 season, seniors in the Standard-Democrat coverage are not able to have final moments with their teammates.

Below is the sixth part of a series of stories on recognizing senior athletes, where they are going next, what they loved most about playing their respective sport at their school, and more.

The series continues with the Oran softball team. The Lady Eagles had four seniors on the roster.

“They’re four special girls,” Oran head coach Jim Eftink said. “I’m sure going to miss them. It’s a shame that we didn’t get to, at least, play one game, and see that first hit of the year, see that first stolen base of the year, see them catch their first fly ball or ground ball. It’s a tough situation, but every team is going through it.”

Kaylee Payne, Infield/Pitcher

Kaylee Payne

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the volleyball team and the girls’ basketball team; FCCLA, Beta Club, Student Council, Yearbook, FCA

Plans after high school… Attending Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and planning to major in the medical field. She is also playing on the softball team.

Advice for underclassmen… “You got to work harder than everyone else to be the best.”

Favorite softball memory… “Eating sausage bread on the bus rides.”

What got you interested in softball… “My passion for wanting to be the best.”

Taylor Lowes, Outfield

Taylor Lowes

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the girls’ basketball team; FCCLA, Beta Club

Plans after high school… Attending Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and majoring in pre-med.

Advice for underclassmen… “Don’t take your four years for granted.”

Favorite softball memory… “When I was trying to catch a fly ball, and I missed, and it hit me in the head.”

What got you interested in softball… “Playing with my friends when I was younger.”

Heather Gosche, Outfield

Heather Gosche

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the volleyball team, the girls’ basketball team, and the track and field team; Beta Club, FCCLA, FFA, Science Club, FCA, Art Club, Student Council

Plans after high school… Attending Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and majoring in environmental science.

Advice for underclassmen… “Always try your hardest, but don’t forget to have fun doing it and soak in all the little moments because you might not ever get them back.”

Favorite softball memory… “This is my first year playing, but I would say at the open gyms when I didn’t want to practice new stuff, Sam and Kennedi made me, and it wasn’t so bad after all.”

What got you interested in softball… “Sam made a bet with me that if she played basketball her senior year, I would have to play softball, and here we are.”

Samantha Welter, Infield/Pitcher

Samantha Welter

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the volleyball team, and the girls’ basketball team; Beta Club, Science Club, Art Club, FCA, FCCLA, Student Council

Plans after high school… Attending Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and majoring in nursing.

Advice for underclassmen… “It does go by fast, so don’t take any of it for granted.”

Favorite softball memory… “Going almost undefeated my freshman year.”

What got you interested in softball… “When my sister was playing when she was in high school.”

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