Bauxite's Elizabeth Harris 'hates to lose'
In her first game for the Lady Miners three years ago, Elizabeth Harris didn't even know where she would be in the lineup, which head coach Wes Mode announced as the game was starting against the defending state champions.
"My name was first, and I was playing center field," she said. "I looked at coach Mode and said, 'Are you nuts?!'"
The freshman leadoff hitter, who's now a senior and still bats first in the Bauxite lineup, calmed her nerves, stepped up to the plate and hit a double.
"After that hit I was fine," she said.
Harris, 18, the daughter of David and Estrella Harris and sister of Cyntanna and David Jr., has mostly played second base this season, but also has seen time at shortstop, center field, left field, third base, catcher and pitcher.
"Her biggest asset is her athleticism," Mode said.
After playing center field her freshman year, Mode moved Harris to second base her sophomore year, where she's continued to play "until the domino effect took place this season," he said.
"I have had to shuffle her around because of injuries to other players," Mode said. "Her willingness to play anywhere proves that she is unselfish."
Mode jokingly said he and Harris, his "utility" player, have a "love/hate relationship."
"We are both so competitive," he said. "Her competitiveness gets in the way of her attitude sometimes."
Mode added, "The bottom line is she hates to lose."
Unfortunately, the Lady Miners have been more on the losing end of the stick this season. Going into Monday's game against 4A-7 Conference rival Ashdown, Bauxite has an overall record of 8-12 (2-3 4A-7).
However, it's only seemed to fuel Harris' performance. This season she has a batting average of .367 with an on-base percentage of .415 and slugging percentage of .483.
Harris has scored 17 runs and batted in 11 while making only six errors in the field in 58 chances, giving her a fielding percentage of .897.
Throughout her career at Bauxite, Harris has scored 11 percent (73) of the Lady Miners' runs and maintained a .333 BA.
"Playing for coach Mode over the past four years has been great," Harris said. My teammates are great. They are always there picking everyone up when they get down, and they try their hardest at everything they do."
For Harris, who also runs track and loves math and science, "Nothing else beats being a Bauxite Lady Miner!"
After graduation, Harris said she plans to attend Arkansas Tech University at Russellville — while continuing to be an avid Arkansas Razorbacks fan — and later become a physical therapist.
When asked if she has a hero, Harris said, "My heroes would have to be both of my parents. Without them I would not be where I am at today."
For Bauxite to be successful in the upcoming 4A-7 District Tournament, which will be held in De Queen starting Friday, the Lady Miners will need big things from Harris, who said, at the age of 7, when asked by her parents if she wanted to start playing softball, she casually replied, "Sure, why not."