When Raygan Feight steps up to the plate, the crowd takes notice. Instead of the traditional stadium chant of “Texas Fight,” the crowd shows its support for the senior with an enthusiastic cheer of “Raygan Fight!”
For a young Texas team, the coaches value the leadership and experience of the senior class. At the beginning of the season, head coach Connie Clark talked about the importance of conveying last year’s disappointing finish to the freshmen, and left the task up to the three seniors on the roster. Clark’s warnings have worked so far, as the Longhorns have cruised to a 41-4 record and remain undefeated in Big 12 play 11 games in.
Feight took that message to heart. This year, she and catcher Amy Hooks are the only two senior regular starters.
Freshman shortstop Taylor Thom said Feight has been like a big sister to her both on the field and off.
“I take pride in trying to be a leader to these girls since I have been here for three years,” Feight said. “I want to be that communicator on the field and that leader that everyone can look up to — a role model.”
Feight’s .207 average may not be the best on the team, but she has contributed plenty to the offense. This past weekend, Feight went 3-3 in game one against Texas Tech. It was her first multi-hit game of the season and she also scored two runs. She makes up on defense what she lacks in offense.
“I think she is one of the best defensive players we have had come through the program,” Clark said.
Going into the weekend, Feight had a .991 fielding percentage, which is second best on a team that leads the Big 12 and the country in fielding. As a junior, she started every game in the infield and has started in 40 games this season while only committing one error so far. According to Clark, Feight has the ability to take command and can effectively communicate on the field while building confidence among her teammates. Feight is filling the leadership role left vacant by Lauren Johnson, who graduated last year.
“It was a big part for me to come here and follow Lauren Johnson’s lead,” Feight said. “I told the coaches that is what I wanted to do — take over that spot and be that role model.”
Feight is also becoming a role model for children.
After a series against Iowa State, Feight took control of the infield during a clinic hosted by the Longhorns for youth in the Austin area. The young softball players were able to learn how to properly field ground balls and how to improve their throwing technique. No one on the staff was surprised to see Feight leading that portion of the clinic.
Feight and the No. 5 Longhorns host UTSA tonight before heading to Waco for a mid-week conference game against Baylor on Wednesday.