By Eric Butler
Marina McGhee certainly was pleased to be selected as a representative of the South team for this week’s softball All-Star series in Clovis.
What’s just as obvious is the pride McGhee takes in her home ball park. Although her high school playing days ended more than a month ago, she is often found these days at the Clovis Softball Park helping maintain the site.
“I really have been looking forward to the all-star game — it’s a big honor to actually be a part of it,” said McGhee, just before cleaning out the visitor’s dugout on Tuesday. “I’ve been practicing; been out here, pretty much every day.”
McGhee and KayCee Cornelison will represent Clovis when the North and South square off in the 15th annual North/South senior high school all-star softball game. The first game of today’s doubleheader begins at 6 p.m. The teams play against at 10 a.m. Saturday.
McGhee was one of the first at the park last week when it was noticed that a heavy vehicle, used to pour more dirt on the infield, had left an indelible imprint of tire tracks across the rightfield grass.
“That was a doozy. Me and coach (Larry) Trower were a little upset — there was a big ol’ track of John Deere tracks there,” McGhee said. “It’s my field. They’re going to play here — we have to have it look good.
“I usually help with whatever needs to be done. But there’s been a bunch of people that have come out to help clean it up, like mowing it. Coach Trower has been real dedicated. From morning ‘til night, slaving away.”
Next month, McGhee will be part of a volleyball team of New Mexicans selected by the group Coaches Care New Mexico to tour Australia — before she attends New Mexico State University in the fall.
Before her world travels begin, McGhee is looking forward to meeting fellow softballers from around the state this weekend.
“I know there Sirissa Goeke from Carlsbad and Vanessa Buendia (also from Carlsbad), people from Silver City will be there. I’m really looking forward to playing with the best,” McGhee said. “I really like softball, it’s really fun. Getting to hold on to that feeling for a little bit longer is worth it.”
Like McGhee, Cornelison has no plans to continue playing softball past the all-star series. Cornelison, a catcher, plans on relishing her last chance on the diamond.
“I’ve never been part of an all-star event, never had that privilege before.
So, it’s pretty big honor,” Cornelison said. “This just kind of gives us the chance to play one more time for those of us that aren’t going to play in college.
“The last time is always difficult. And it was difficult when we played that last time in Hobbs,” she added. “Now, I’m taking this as another chance to go play something I love to do.”