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"One thing I keep in mind is a quote from [former All-American at Michigan] Sierra Romero, is that I never want to let the umpire dictate an at bat," Cuchran said. "I don't like when umpires call strikes on me. That's something I'm always conscious of."
Coincidentally, Cuchran struck out her first at bat of this season. She didn't agree with the call, but her professional reaction to such a rare occurrence showed her maturity.
So did an at bat against Kaneland in a game last season.
"She came up bases loaded, bottom of the seventh or whatever, end of game, she fouled off 9-10 pitches and on a 3-2 count drew a walk," Bukovsky said. "That's what she is willing to do. The amount of walks she takes is just staggering. She will not succumb to the pressure, will not leave the zone. She can be that devastating."
Cuchran came to Montini with the hitting tool, but she's worked to get stronger.
She's really into watching Olympic lifting, and lifts a lot in her free time at a gym in Lemont. A typical day consists of school, softball practice, then lifting and homework.
Bukovsky has the unenviable task of throwing to Cuchran in the cage indoors.
"The violence in her swing, it's terrifying," Bukovsky said. "When you are in a cage throwing indoors, six feet in front of her and she just jolts the ball, it's a different noise."
Cuchran is intent on Montini making noise this spring.
"My goal right now is to get downstate again," Cuchran said. "We want to go out with a bang."