Taelor Mayben and North Medford’s softball team have been on a path set for a State championship game all year and that’s exactly what Mayben has plan for this team, “We have wanted to make it far in the playoffs since the beginning of the year. Now that we are here, the goal is to win the state title.”
First, the Black Tornado will have to take care of business this Tuesday at home against the seventh seeded Tualatin Timberwolves at 5:00 PM in the semifinals of the OSAA 6A state semifinals. Mayben knows that it’s gonna take her team playing at their top level to accomplish their goal. “It’s gonna take a lot of poise and confidence to win the state title. We’ve been focusing on those two bricks of John Wooden’s pyramid of success. If we go into each game having the confidence that we’ve worked hard enough to be the best team on the field, poised enough to make it through the close games and compete then this team will be unstoppable,” according to North’s third base stud.
North is coming off three, huge, home playoff wins, where they beat 30th seeded David Douglas 13-3 in five innings, 14th seeded West Albany 7-2 and sixth seeded Glencoe 4-3 in eight innings. In the last two games Taelor has been a huge factor in North’s success, hitting 5-for-7, with three RBIs and three runs scored. “I bring a higher level of knowledge of the game to this team. Being a coaches kid, Ive been around the sport and watched it for so long. I am able to make plays at third because I think through each situation and I am a really good base runner because I know how to make it difficult for the defense. I also bring a lot of energy and passion to this team,” is what Taelor commentated about her role on this team.
Being the daughter of North Medford’s, 16 year, head softball coach Mike Mayben and being around the game so much has paid off for Taelor in a major way. On the season, she is hitting .514 with 33 RBIs, 23 steals and 48 runs scored, which has earned her a scholarship to play at Southern Oregon University. Hard work is also another factor for her success on the softball diamond. Taelor has been playing softball since she was ten years old for North Medford’s 10U program. She has built a pretty special relationship with her dad along the way, “I love playing for my dad. It’s so special to get to call him my coach and my dad. Spending every second of doing what I love with my family is something I’m so grateful for.”
This Black Tornado team has been preparing for this state title run for a long time according to Taelor, “Our team has been so successful this year because we all have been together in the program for so long. We’ve completely bought in to the philosophy and ideals this program and coaches have taught us. Overall, we just love playing the game together. We work so hard for one another and to make our last season together last as long as possible.”
Taylor isn’t just a one sport athlete a, she also was a defensive specialist for North’s volleyball program for four years and played basketball until her eighth grade year. She claimed that she’s always been a pretty good athlete and said that the other sports were a good way to keep her endurance level up and increase her athleticism for softball.
If Taelor isn’t displaying her athleticism for North, she is probably hanging with her family and playing with he little cousins. “I am very blessed to have my almost my entire family here in the Rogue Valley. We get together a lot for family gatherings. My favorite thing to do is hang out and play with my little cousins,” according to Mayben.
As mentioned earlier, next year Taelor will be playing for SOU, along with former Tablerock Sports’ Athlete of the Week, Megan Ayers. She is very excited to continue her softball career and get a chance to play with other local players, “I am so very blessed to get to play the sport I love at the next level. I love the coaches at SOU and am really excited to get there… Getting the chance to play with Megan is awesome, we have played against each other sine we were nine years old and she is an outstanding player. It’s really cool to get a chance to play with other fellow local athletes.”
Watch Taelor and the North Medford Black Tornado softball team try to keep their hopes of winning a state title alive, as they play host to Tualatin in OSAA 5A semifinals action at Larry Binney field live on Tablerocksports.net. Broadcast time is set for 4:45 PM.
Also be sure to stay tuned to TablerockSports.net each week to watch live coverage of local athletes. Also, be sure to follow our Athletes of the Week each week, right here at RogueValley Sports, official blog of Tablerock Sports.