Camryn Quilling smiles in her Chandler-Gilbert Community College softball uniform.
Coming out of high school, initially Camryn Quilling wasn’t 100 percent sold which collegiate sport she was going to pursue.
Through 27 games and 86 at-bats into her freshman season with Chandler-Gilbert Community College softball, she’s producing as the best hitter on the team.
In those 86 at-bats, Quilling has 43 hits for a round .500 batting average.
Of those 43 hits, 18 have been for extra bases with nine doubles, five triples and four homers.
She’s also driven in the second most runs on the team with 24 RBIs.
In the midst of hitting .500, the Coyote freshman is slugging .860.
“I’m just having a blast out here,” said Quilling, who homered in her second collegiate game and recorded six RBIs in her opening weekend at the dish.
Grooving from the start
Quilling credits a lot of her early success on the diamond to the talent level of players she saw in Northern Nevada.
Facing off against numerous pitchers in Northern Nevada, who are now throwing collegiately, was an ideal transition to the speed of play at the junior college level.
“There were good pitchers all throughout high school. Alyssa Smokey, Tyra Clary,” Quilling said. “All of those girls I’ve grown up hitting against really helped me see those fast pitches and those good spots.”
As of now, Quilling said only one pitcher – from No. 1 Phoenix College (28-1) – has really found a way to shut down the Coyotes’ offense.
While the quality of opponents in high school has helped her step in and succeed, the freshman outfielder admits she’s found areas where she has felt the need to improve.
“My outfield coach was a college player so I’m learning a ton,” said Quilling. “We actually have a new hitting coach that was in the minor leagues and he has been so instrumental in my plate approach.”
Quilling credits Ken Brook with a number of the strides she’s made at the plate, and feels that she’s still picking up new things every day on the practice field.
“At the start of the season, … I was barely making the lineup,” said Quilling. “Within weeks, I was leadoff and I’ve been rotated in the first three batters the last five to 10 games. … It’s an honor they trust me with that.”
Chandler-Gilbert Community College sits with a 9-19 record as of Tuesday and while the Coyotes have regional postseason aspirations, Quilling is taking her defensive approach the same as the team – one step at a time.
While her relaxed and dialed-in approach at the plate has paid dividends through her first season, Quilling says she’s still learning to relax in the outfield.
“Defensively, I’m not as confident if I’m being honest,” said Quilling. “Out here, everybody is a power hitter. So, outfield gets a lot more attention.”
Though that’s been the biggest transition on the field for the freshman, enjoying her time in a shortened season has brought plenty of joy to one of the conference’s top sluggers.
As of Tuesday, she led her conference (ACCAC) in triples (5) and was top 10 in average and on-base percentage.
“It’s really crazy how much I’ve learned within like three months,” Quilling said. “Next year, we will have a full season and I’m so excited for how much more I will learn, with how much I am learning right now.”