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Taylor Made

by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor

Photos: Geoff Schneider: Sports Union

Win or lose you won’t see the demeanor change with Mount Mercy Academy softball player Taylor Jahn.

In her three years with the Magic, Jahn has seen it all on the mound. She has seen the long losing streaks, as she has been part of a young team growing up together. Trying to find their way through a very tough Monsignor Martin schedule.

She has seen the wins this year, the team’s first in a few years. Through the good times, and the bad, Jahn is still the same pitcher on the mound. She is still the same teammate - pumping up the rest of the girls.

After all, that’s what leaders do. They lead from the front, not the back.

“It has been a rough couple seasons, but I have all confidence we can get some wins and create competition,” stated Jahn. “I am just trying to be a leader to get the program back on track, and set a good example to the younger girls on the team. It is our second season with our coach Kyle Anderson, and I know he does everything he can to get us to be better and work as a team.”

People have been talking about Jahn since she entered the circle her freshman year. The junior hasn’t disappointed. She has been dominant at times, un hittable. Coaches throughout the league have taken notice - voting her a second team All-Catholic both years.

The awards are nice, but Jahn is a team player. Of course, she would like to get first team honors this season. Who wouldn’t?

But, it’s about teaching this young group of girls how to win, something they have done this season. Trading in all the individual awards for wins is more important to Jahn.

“Being recognized as second team All-Catholic was a great accomplishment I received, but this year i'm striving for first All-Catholic as many other girls are,” stated Jahn. “Softball is a team sport. I'm just trying to be the best leader I can be with the young group of girls we have. We want wins and I would trade team accomplishments over individual accomplishments any day”

When watching Jahn on the mound you can see that she wants to attack hitters. She isn’t on the mound to nibble around the plate. She doesn’t mind going after some of the best players in the league.

Being aggressive is the mindset she has and she knows, at the end of the end of the day, she can only control what she can control. The league has so many great players, some that are going to continue their career at the Division I level.

“I can only control so much especially with other great competition we face. I try to be aggressive and get ahead in the count,” stated Jahn. “Hitting my spots, and working my spin to force hitters to chase pitches, helps take some pressure off our defense.”

Jahn also knows she needs to have a short memory. A lot of this game is mental. Having a rough inning isn’t the end of the world if the pitcher can shake it off and get back to their game plan.

As a captain, Jahn knows it’s her job, sometimes, to pick up her teammates if something goes wrong in the field. She knows these younger players are looking at her, and how she reacts, if something goes bad.

Having a positive attitude is important for Jahn and she helps teach this young team how to win, and compete.

“Having a short memory is extremely important because if you let one bad pitch or one bad at bat affect you the rest of the game you are only bringing down yourself and the rest of your team. You need to shake it off and go into the next at bat with a clean slate,” stated Jahn. “Being able to pick up your teammate if they made a mistake is an important part of the game. Being a captain on my team is being the leader so girls can look up to me and follow how I react when another teammate or myself makes a mistake.”

Pitching is just the tip of the ice berg for Jahn. Jahn can also rake at the plate for the Magic. While she does work hard on her pitching, because she is the only pitcher for Mt. Mercy, Jahn continues to put work in the batters box.

She will work with her hitting coach Trevor Sterner on being confident at the plate, even if things aren’t going the way she wants it.

“Splitting your time between pitching and batting is important. I focus a lot on pitching because being the only pitcher on my team is the most important position on the field,” stated Jahn. “I have been working hard with my hitting coach Trevor Sterner. He has taught me to have confidence at the plate and gave me the mindset to stay positive even when things are going wrong. Failure happens with everybody and someone has to lose and someone has to win”

When the high school season comes to an end, travel season kicks in. Most high school players, doesn’t matter what sport, will continue to play for a travel team in the summer. Gone are the days of playing high school sports, then taking the summer off - or playing rec league.

Now, athletes are trying to hone their skills over the summer to get better, and to possibly play at the collegiate level.

Jahn is one of those players that will continue to play softball this summer for the Inferno. Her, and her teammates, are coming off an impressive 2023 summer campaign where they rattled off 61 wins.

“I'm on a prestigious Inferno showcase team in Western NY. I am coming off 61 wins with my travel team from last year. I have had great support coming from West Seneca Magic to Revenge now to Inferno Showcase,” stated Jahn. “These teams have set me up for more accomplishments in my future career. I have had great support from my coaches Jim and Jordan Dudish. They have been my coaches the past two years and have created me into the greatest version of a softball player that I am today.”

She also makes sure she just plays within herself. Jahn knows there are college coaches at the events throughout the summer. Most recruiting gets done from travel teams, not high school. Some players can crumble under the pressure of playing in front of important people.

Jahn just goes out there and does her thing. She is a competitor, she plays multiple sports at Mt. Mercy. At the end of the day, Jahn just wants to be the best version of herself.

“Seeing college coaches in the stands I try not to affect how I play. I am a competitive person and I strive to be the best competitor I can be. And be the best version of myself. Everyday and every game gives me new opportunities to be a better player,” stated Jahn. “Colleges are not just looking for skill most of the time, they look for your attitude."

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