Clayton’s Melissa Wren – Player Spotlight Presented by McCurtain County National Bank

By Nick Hampton

It will be a year of growing up fast for sophomore Melissa Wren of Clayton during the 2019 fast pitch season.

She went through the usual struggles of being a freshman last season but really improved towards the end of the season according to her coach Charles Durrence. She hit .317 with 17 RBIs and maybe more importantly for this year, showed she can be a team leader.

“She’s got a great work ethic and has become a real vocal team leader,” said Durrence. “She can play several different positions but will probably end up at second base for us this year.”

Wren, who also plays basketball for the Lady Bulldogs as well as slow pitch softball in the spring, says being a utility player is alright with her and says being vocal comes naturally.

“It’s just my personality,” said Wren who is also on the Clayton academic team and a member of FFA. “I think that whenever you see someone down, you’ve got to get them up and if they need help, as a team leader you’ve got to give it to them.”

Melissa didn’t really start playing ball until the sixth grade and she came to high school last year not sure what to expect.

“Last year a lot of positions were fairly open so I got to try second base part way through the season and was good enough to win the job away from an older girl.”

With just two seniors on the squad this year, Durrence will be depending on Wren to maintain her leadership style to keep the young Clayton team focused while also continuing to improve her offense in particular.

“We’ve got good pitching depth and a solid infield this year and even though we lost six senior starters, I would expect us to still be able to win 20 plus games this year and win the district title,” said Durrence.

The Lady Bulldogs made it to the finals of the district tournament last fall but being so young in 2019, Melissa knows that the road will be tougher this year.

“I think we’ll have to work harder than last year to be successful,” said Wren. “But I think we’ve got the players to do it.”