Skinner receives conference honor
Former Mountain Home Lady Tiger softball star and two-team Idaho Gatorade Softball Player of the Year Nickayla Skinner recently completed her freshman year of softball at the College of Idaho in Caldwell, where she helped lead the Lady 'Yotes to a 24-16 overall record and a tie for fourth place in the Cascade Conference standings.
She also earned All-Cascade Conference First Team honors.
Nickayla Skinner had nine single-season marks as a freshman, ranking number four in wins (15), strikeouts (166) and innings pitched (145), number five in doubles (11), games started (21) and decisions (22), number six in complete games (16) and number eight in both ERA (2.90) and appearances (25).
She also tossed the sixth no-hitter in school history and had three shutouts.
Looking back on her first year of college softball, Skinner called it, "nerve-racking, but fun. It's completely different from high school."
The competition in college ball definitely differs from high school ball, she said.
"The players you face are stronger, faster, and it's really hard to adjust to that," she added. "But once you do, you start to get used to it, and it's nice to feel the competition. Playing at C of I is fun. Everybody meshes, but at the same time, it's college and you're in charge of yourself, so you're more of an individual person. The coaches don't really pick you up like high school, so that's tough to get used to."
Skinner finished the season batting .328 with 40 hits, including 11 doubles, a triple and four home runs, while driving in 25 runs. She said hitting against college pitching is a challenge.
"Yeah, it's definitely a lot better. Everybody knows how to throw everything, so you've got to get used to that, and they find your weaknesses so fast -- I realized that the very first game."
Skinner, who has switched her major to business with a focus on marketing, is looking forward to next year's softball season, where the Lady 'Yotes are expected to be in the thick of the battle for the Cascade Conference crown.