KEIZER, OR (KPTV) - In this Senior Spotlight, FOX 12 highlights a star softball player from McNary High School who has been productive in her community while away from the field.
"Softball is a game of failure. You're trying to hit a round object with a round bat, it’s a game of failure."
Failure is not an option for McNary High School senior Taylor Ebbs.
"How you fail and what you take away from failing is what’s going to make you a better player," Ebbs said.
Ebbs flows as the reigning Gatorade Oregon Player of the Year.
"That Gatorade Player of the Year - man, I worked hard in softball, but I worked hard in my community, I worked hard in my school, that is what made me happy to have it," she said.
The first team All-State shortstop captains the Celtics' diamond and prowls centerfield for her travel squad, the Northwest Bullets. A dirt devil for Oregon's lush green and soon to be Kentucky blue.
"They’ll tell you in the recruiting process, ‘you’re not going to get everything’ and I got everything," Ebbs said.
The 18-year-old who earned everything committed to University of Kentucky the November before her junior season which never really happened.
"I was very fortunate to commit at the time I did. My childhood dream was to play D1 softball. That is kinda what pushed me to have faith that something good is going to happen and that’s what kept pushing me to work harder on my own," she said.
Hoping for a return to the diamond soon, her second love of volleyball remains in limbo with a dark cloud above the indoor gym.
"Just give me something because that social interaction is what I live for," said Ebbs.
But she finds relief in knowing that she has a future in a sport she loves.
"It just gives me that relief of, it’s not done yet. You’re not. All of your hard work is still paying off for something," Ebbs said. "Knowing that I am going to keep playing is something that keeps me driving."
No two at bats are alike and neither are people.
"When the pandemic started, we had a lot of homeless people down here in Salem, so my mom and I made meals for them, took them down and gave them to them," she said. "I gave softball lessons to girls in my community. My teacher’s daughters in our school."
Ebbs is an all-star teen, leading by example.
"We’re gonna eat. We’re sitting at home doing absolutely nothing, they have a right to eat, they have a right to at least feel comfortable in the circumstances they are in," she said.
Ebbs is a helper and that will help her to capture a nursing degree for life after college softball.
"I really like helping people and I don’t want a job where I will have the same day, every day. I want them to be exciting, I want them to be crazy," she said.