Swingin’ sophomore starter

Sophomore Abby Orr’s season so far


Sophia Chingren

Being a starter for the Lady Dawgs puts more responsibility on Orr’s shoulders. “She knows that carries extra weight and that she has to do the extra work. If the best players on the team aren’t doing all the extra little things, why would anyone else?” Coach Barner said.

Sophomore Abby Orr is a silent threat. A varsity starter since she began playing high school softball last year, Orr has managed to prove her skill time and time again. Since the beginning of softball season this year, she’s not only hit several home runs for the Lady Dawgs, but has also managed to lead the team with her batting average. “I am competitive. I’m a quiet person, sometimes that’s scary and sometimes that’s not. It depends on how you take it,” Orr said.

Orr began playing softball when she was six years old after her parents asked her if she wanted to play t-ball. From there onwards, she played through the city rec leagues, ultimately joining a travelling softball team for the summer months. Orr made the high school team her freshman year and is on track to be a 4-year varsity starter. “It’s pretty cool and a lot of the girls are very supportive about it,” she said.

However, it wasn’t solely Orr’s athletic ability that helped her achieve a varsity spot on the team. Her passion for softball drives her to push herself as far as she can. “She works really hard. She’s very coachable, [and] she wants to learn,” softball coach Jeff Barner said. Barner, who has coached Orr for several years prior to the prep level, knows that even though she can be very easygoing, she’s also a tough competitor. “If she doesn’t compete at the level she wants to, she figures out what she needs to do better and she does it better next time,” he said.

Sophia Chingren
Sophomore Abby Orr, playing shortstop, fields a ball during a tournament on September 15, 2018 in North Platte, NE.

Orr draws a lot of her success from those around her, whether it be her teammates or her family. When she was younger, Orr’s brother helped her a lot with softball, throwing a ball around with her in the yard. “He would actually throw it so hard that I’d cry because I’d get scared of it, but it toughened me up,” she said. Her dad pushes her to be a leader on and off the field, which helps Orr to stay humble. As for her mother, Orr said she’s a bit clueless when it comes to sports, but still supports her to the fullest extent.

When it comes to her teammates, Orr knows that she can always rely on them. After the Lady Dawgs play a particularly rough game, everyone does their best to lift each other’s spirits. “They pick me up when I’m down, which is really good, because you need your teammates to help you. They support me and I support them,” she said. Usually, spirits are lifted by cracking jokes or saying something funny. “It’s usually [sophomore] Michaela Wright that says something hilarious,” Orr said.

Along with softball, Orr is also a soccer player and plays the saxophone in band. Her goal is to play softball in college, and maybe even go pro someday. Despite not knowing what her future holds, Orr remains optimistic. “I’ll do whatever I can, but if things don’t work out, I’ll still have it in my heart,” she said.