Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Murphy: ‘Sky is the limit’ for freshman McCleney

UA freshman Haylie McCleney entered her first season in a Crimson Tide uniform set to impress.

In the first four weeks of play, McCleney was honored as a Southeastern Freshman of the Week twice. The freshman also leads the team with a batting average of .559 and 38 hits.

Head coach Patrick Murphy said he has been impressed with McCleney from the start.

“To me, she’s probably the most talented kid we’ve ever recruited out of Alabama,” Murphy said. “From the very beginning, we thought she was going to be special. She hasn’t disappointed us at all.”

Murphy said the honor was well deserved asMcCleney came out swinging in her first week on the college diamond. It’s not often you see a player perform so well in their first few college games, the coach said.

Senior Kayla Braud said McCleney is one of the best outfielders she’s seen and surprises her teammates with the plays she is able to make. Braud said sometimes she thinks a ball will drop until McCleney dives to save it.

The freshman’s fearless attitude displayed in the outfield also allows her to attack the ball at the plate and get on base, Braud said.

“She’s just an all-around good player,” Braud said. “She’s kind of like a spark. She’s somebody you want on your team because she just plays the game right.”

McCleney said the coaching staff and her teammates at Alabama have helped the transition from high school games to college play. The freshman said she has had to adjust to the faster pace, pitching and plays at the college level, but her coaches and teammates agree that she has adapted well.

“She doesn’t really show signs of being a freshman,” Braud said. “She doesn’t make freshman mistakes as often as most do.”

With all of her talent, Murphy said McCleney could easily have “an ego the size of the state of Alabama,” but McCleney said she knows where she stands on the team.

“I think my role is to contribute and to know my place,” she said. “As a freshman, you don’t want to overstep any boundaries. So I think just being a contributor but being quiet and submitting to that senior leadership is important.”

Both Murphy and Braud said the “sky is the limit” for McCleney. Murphy said he expects the freshman to grow into a leader as she experiences more things on the field. As McCleney faces better competition, she will become a better player, Braud said.

“When you get to college, the players around you get better,” Braud said. “I think as she’s playing with better players and she faces better competition and better infielders, she’s going to have to get better at the plate. Then, the more pitchers she sees, the better she’s going to get that way too.”

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Concert to feature unconventional musicians

Art Night to feature 3-D printing, metal casting projects

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