Greater Spokane League catchers can close their eyes and still know when Ashlynn Bocook is at the plate.
Mead’s senior center fielder said she sings aloud in the batter’s box to calm herself.
One of Bocook’s favorite selections is “I’m a Little Teapot.” She attempts to connect with the ball when she reaches the verse, “Here is my handle …”
Bocook, a three-year, first-team all-leaguer, plays with abandon despite multiple injuries.
“Not a lot of people know, but my hips are uneven and when I run they dislocate, causing my knees to dislocate,” she said. “So for four years, I’ve been going to physical therapy for my hips and fighting the pain.”
Bocook missed the end of her sophomore season after dislocating her knee in a game against Rogers. She had homered earlier in the game and swung too hard in her attempt to duplicate the feat.
Bocook has also battled an Achilles tendon injury and sore shoulders.
“The thing is, I have all these problems happening, but is it going to stop me from playing? No,” Bocook said. “I’m seriously going to play this game until I’m dead.”
Last Thursday’s game against Mt. Spokane was a special time for Bocook. She had the chance to play against cousins Kaylee Draine and MaKenzie Funk.
Bocook said she has ADHD and struggled with her grades the first two years at Mead. She turned around her academics by attending Mead School District’s Riverpoint Academy, where classes are loosely structured and used project- based learning techniques.
“It’s an innovative school where we’re faced with real-world challenges,” she said. “I didn’t want to go to that school, but because of softball I had to figure out a way to make a sacrifice and do something with my grades.”
Bocook will play next season for Spokane Falls Community College.
Around the diamond
Rogers postponed three GSL games last week after an injury to junior pitcher Kalena Quilt. The Pirates will attempt to start making up the games by playing five consecutive days, starting Monday. … Shadle Park has turned to freshman Jaya Allen on the mound in its last three games, including last Thursday’s breakthrough victory over first-place Central Valley. “She has some good speed and she reminds me a lot of (CV’s) Carli Riordan,” said Mead coach Joel Shawen, whose Panthers faced Allen on March 25 after scoring six runs in the first inning against returning all-leaguer Brittney Gately. Gately had three hits to aid Allen’s win over CV. … CV coach Joe Stanton has been impressed by the many new players on his roster. “We are having some difficulties just with learning some new positions, but man, I tell you, it’s just the raw talent that this program has,” Stanton said. Riordan agreed: “It’s definitely different because we lost a lot of seniors last year, but it’s good because they’re fitting right in.”