When Callie Thornton plays softball, she believes that whatever it takes, no matter the consequences, she will make the winning play.
The North Duplin senior hits, pitches, steals bases, and dives into the dirt – working desperately to help her team win.
Thornton’s tough play in the batter’s box, mixed with her dominance in the pitcher’s circle, makes her a nightmare for opposing teams.
“I started playing softball when I was about four years old,” Thornton said, “I really love everything about it. The competition, the intensity, and the team atmosphere that every softball team I’ve been on has had is a really great environment.”
This week’s Brian Allen State Farm Insurance Female Athlete of the Week, Thornton has established herself as one of the Rebel’s top student-athletes.
Thornton is the type of player her teammates trust wholeheartedly. Her teammates know she will make every play to help the Rebels win, and in the rare instance that she does not, she will have given it her all and left it all on the field.
“Everybody on the team has grown up together, so it’s kind of like your sisters,” Thornton said. “It’s a great feeling to know that everybody has your back. We’re just one big family.”
Thornton, who verbally committed to play softball at Coker University to play softball, is now a confident and vocal senior, but like many other student-athletes, she started out as a shy freshman looking to cement her spot in the Rebel’s program.
Playing on the varsity team since she was a freshman, Thornton made sure to gain as much knowledge as possible from the seniors on the team.
Thornton, who also plays volleyball at North Duplin, is also involved in several extracurricular activities at North Duplin.
“I’m involved in Beta Club and student government, HOSA and science club,” Thornton said. “Those things really keep me busy. At first, it was is a little difficult, but I’ve learned how to manage my time really well and now it’s just routine.”
Early in her high school career, Thornton blossomed into a starter, and she quickly realized her potential on the softball field.
During her sophomore season, she helped the Rebels reach the second round of the playoffs – a memory she still refers to as one of her favorites to this day.
“That was a really great feeling,” Thornton said. “It’s a really great feeling when a team comes together like that.”
Thornton posted a career .354 batting average, with 54 RBIs, nine doubles, five triples and two home runs. In the pitcher’s circle, she has a 16-10 record, with 22 complete games and a 2.69 earned run average. Over on the volleyball court, Thornton posted 158 kills, 105 digs and 72 aces in two seasons.
Her versatility, mental acumen, and poise continue to set her apart, and she cannot wait to get back on the field with her teammates this spring.
“In softball this season, I’d really like to be number one in the conference and make the playoffs,” Thornton said. “Academically, I’d like to graduate with all A’s.”