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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

Lincoln High's Matty Cunningham

Softball
By: Jim Linsdau of The News Messenger
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The outfield is often a place to put a softball player who is better with her bat than her glove, but that would not be the case for Lincoln High’s Matty Cunningham, who is equally good with both.

True to form, the center-fielder ran down a fly ball hit deep and made the catch at the fence during the 39th annual Optimist High School All Star Game June 1.

“She’ll run any fly ball down. I mean, she’s an all-league centerfield,” said Lincoln athletic director and softball head coach Donna Tofft. “And she hits. … She’s a tough out.”

Nothing new for the senior left-hander, who caught 37-of-42 balls hit in her direction this season. She caught 37-of-41 as a junior, 40-of-44 as a sophomore and 28-of-34 as a freshman, all while playing varsity.

At the plate, Cunningham hit .400 this season and was impressive against Bear River’s pitching ace Nerissa Eason. Although Cunningham had only one hit against Eason in their April 13 meeting, the senior came back to go 3-for-3 April 29 and drove in a run.

Eason had 22 wins in 2016, with 256 strikeouts and an ERA of 0.55.

Cunningham will play for Eastern Florida University next season and is looking forward to the Florida sunshine.

“Honestly, all I really wanted to do was be on the beach and be able to play softball and know I was going to have fun,” Cunningham said, when she signed with the Titans. “So I found a good fit for me for that.”