It turns out there is a way to keep Hunter's Sam McDonald off base.
Keep her on the disabled list.
She took a bad hop to the face and suffered a broken nose and a concussion during a game against Manti last week. She now has a protective face guard and is waiting for medical clearance to get back in the lineup.
"She's champing at the bit and is raring to go, but there is nothing I can do until she gets a release from the doctor," Hunter coach Wes Haymond said. "We are hoping she will be back for the playoffs because she's been so important to our team. She gets on base and she's a very good outfielder. She's not afraid to dive for a ball and has an above-average arm."
Hunter finished with a 6-4 record in Region 2 and entered the Class 5A state tournament as a No. 3 seed.
Haymond is using her as a second leadoff hitter in the No. 9 spot. Opposing teams are finding out just how difficult it is to keep her off base, as a left-handed hitter with speed and someone who has a good eye at the plate.
She's hitting .456 and has an on-base percentage of .650. The success she's had at the plate has only made the view from the bench more difficult to watch.
"It's been really tough," McDonald said. "I've had an emotional week not being able to play. I've had to push through it because I really want to be on the field with them. I've been meeting with the trainer every day. He said most likely I'll be practicing Wednesday, and if I'm OK, I'll be cleared and ready to play state on Thursday."
Regardless of when she is cleared to play, she has a bright future with Hunter.
"She's just a freshman and should be a natural to play college ball," Haymond said. "She's a very coordinated young lady and is a threat with a bat in her hands. She has a great attitude, she's a very hard worker and she has total support from her family."