From the time she could walk, Comanche’s Laney Ledford has been on a softball field in some form or fashion.
And during her four years as a member of the Lady Indians, there was never a secret who opponents were going to have to deal with inside the circle.
While her high school career might be over, Ledford says she has no regrets about the way she played, including throwing every inning of Comanche’s fast pitch season during the 2012-13 season.
During her final season as a Lady Indian, Ledford registered a 3.26 ERA along with 107 strikeouts and 27 walks.
“As a pitcher, that was my main desire,” she said about being apart of the Lady Indians squad. “I loved having control of what the ball did in all aspects. Playing that role on the team along with the intensity is what made me love the game so much. I wouldn’t have had it any other way to be honest.”
For some, the end of a career in a sport can be commemorated in a scrapbook full of pictures and articles, but in the Ledford family, they tend to do things outside the box to remember their special memories.
Laney had a special way to help keep the memories of her softball career inside her home, as she came up with a creative idea for a Christmas present this past year for her mother Shlynn.
“I actually had all of my shirts from t-ball until the end of my senior year with a picture from each year put into a blanket,” Laney said. “My mom has always been my number one fan during my softball career. I can never recall a time when she wasn’t at a game cheering me on. This was a way for us all to remember these memories everytime we see that blanket.”
There could possibly be a new blanket being made in the next few years, as Laney’s younger brother Braden is making quite a name for himself as a member of the Comanche basketball and track teams.
In his first season as a member of the Indians basketball team, Braden set the bar pretty high.
He finished the season averaging 10.3 points per game, along with 4.2 rebounds per game and 1.8 steals per game.
He also shot 44.2 percent from the field to go with 76.3 percent from the free throw line.
On the track scene, Braden took his game to the next level, qualifying for the state meet, placing seventh in the high jump event this past year.
“Growing up in such a sport related home has been an asset to us both in our careers,” Laney said about her sibling. “Braden is a true athlete in my eyes. Being able to watch him progress and grow as a player makes me appreciate the competitiveness we have given one another. I’m so proud to get to watch him, because for so many years he was the one watching me.”
With high school now behind her, Laney will shift her focus away from athletics to another dream of hers in life, becoming a principal.
Beginning this fall, Laney will be attending Murray State College in Tishomingo to obtain her associates degree, before moving on to a university. She will be majoring in secondary education, before looking to obtain her master degree in administration.
To make things better, several of her CHS classmates will also be joining her at Murray State College.
“I’m extremely excited to start the next chapter of my life, especially with my best friends Jake Standridge, Lyle Vansill and Kale Reed,” Laney said. “I’ll miss the game of softball mainly because of the level of intensity and the satisfaction of a strikeout.
“But at the same time, I’m looking forward to taking the competitiveness I learned in the game of softball, and pursuing it in my education,” she added. “I want to give back to the game that has given so much to me through coaching and other areas.”