THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The old adage says “mother knows best.”
But for Kelly Lockwood, it was her father providing the sage advice.
The Cal Lutheran junior shortstop was going through a mild slump at the plate before her dad suggested a solution.
“He asked me if I was watching the ball all the way through and I kind of laughed and said, ‘Come on, Dad. Obviously I’m watching the ball the way through,’ ” Lockwood said. “But then at practice I noticed that I wasn’t. I wasn’t as focused on watching the middle of the ball, so I guess I just needed a little reminder.”
Lockwood saw immediate benefits.
She hit for the cycle in a doubleheader against Occidental, and continued her hot streak last weekend by going 7 for 7 with two home runs and a double against Pomona-Pitzer.
The output raised her average to .278 with three home runs, two doubles and two triples.
“I felt like I was getting back into the groove of things and things became easy again. It wasn’t such a struggle,” she said. “Before, I kept hitting right at people and that was frustrating. But now I am slowing down and really watching the ball. It sounds so easy, but it’s not.”
Lockwood, a Santa Ynez native, transferred to CLU this year from Cuesta Community College, where she set program records for doubles in a season and a career.
Lockwood started playing softball at age 3, and has always preferred swinging to defending.
“Hitting is my thing,” she said. “I definitely like hitting better than fielding. Just the feeling of squaring up on the ball perfectly is unexplainable.”
CLU started the season 0-7 and fell to 1-12 before gaining some recent momentum. The Regals (4-14, 3-11) have split their last two doubleheaders against SCIAC opponents.
“Our pitching has really improved and that is half the game right there,” Lockwood said. “I think our hitting is picking up as well. At the beginning of the season, we weren’t getting the timely hits we needed. That is starting to happen now, and we are hitting more as a team.”
Lockwood is an exercise science major, and wants to become an athletic director and coach once she graduates.
“I had a really good experience through Cuesta. It was a great athletic family and a great athletic director and great coaches,” Lockwood said. “It was just really inspiring and I hope to be as inspiring as well some day. If I could be half of what they were to me, I would be happy.”