Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014
Preps

Prep softball: Strawberry Crest’s Fung a triple-threat

Tribune staff
Published:
DOVER -

Since her freshman year at Strawberry Crest, catcher Mia Fung has had a reputation in Hillsborough County as a speedy base runner.

During her first two high school seasons, she had 71 stolen bases.

“When she first got here, she got the green light (to steal) 99 percent of the time,” said Strawberry Crest coach Mindy Miltner.

Now a junior, Fung, who is verbally committed to South Florida, has added another weapon to her arsenal — power. As of Tuesday, Fung has six home runs, the most of any player in Hillsborough County, and she is batting .583 with 21 hits, 17 for extra bases.

Fung said spending extra time in batting cages or out in the field with her father led to her improved swing.

“I learned how to focus on the ball and to get my timing down,” she said.

Fung’s power is putting opposing teams in a bind. Intentionally walking the two-time all-county pick isn’t a smart decision. Miltner said she clocked Fung’s sprint from home plate to first base at 2.8 seconds.

“Maybe they can get her to pop up,” Miltner said. “She’s a hard out.”

As a result, Fung has experienced more pitchers trying to strike her out. So far, it’s only happened four times.

“They try to figure out what I can’t hit and make me fall for it,” Fung said.

“She’s more mature,” Miltner said. “She waits for her pitches, and then she knows she can rip one.”

Fung said she is being recruited as an outfielder and catcher. Though she’s built a name for herself with her speed on the bases, Miltner said Fung is just as fast behind the plate. This season, she’s caught two runners stealing. Last year, she caught eight. Miltner said runners are more reluctant to test Fung’s throwing ability.

“Nobody steals on us,” she said. “She’s a triple threat.”

Her statistics on the bases have dwindled some (she only has 11 stolen bases this season), but Fung isn’t concerned.

“I’ve been hitting home runs and triples, so I don’t have any bases to steal,” she laughed.

Extra Bases Riverview coach Angela Slater recorded her 500th career victory Tuesday in a 9-6 win over East Bay, becoming the second county coach this season to get 500. Earlier, Chamberlain coach Bob Diez recorded his 500th win. … With less than three weeks left, the top seed in 8A-District 7 remains uncertain. Durant sits atop with two district losses while Newsome, Bloomingdale and Wharton each have three. Plant has four and Alonso five. Things can get more interesting tonight when Wharton travels to Plant and Bloomingdale plays at Newsome.


nwilliams@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7305

Twitter: @NickWilliamsTBO

Comments