Addison Graves working through injury, aiming to finish prep career well

May 16—JAMESTOWN — Addison Graves' senior softball season was going swimmingly until last week.

Graves, a senior for the Jamestown High School team, suffered an elbow injury during the Jays' game against Watford City on May 3.

"I started feeling pain in my elbow that radiated down my forearm," Graves said. "As the game went on it just continued to feel worse and worse. As of right now the plan is to see how it heals to determine what is next."

Since trainers and doctors are not exactly sure what Graves did to her elbow, the rehab for the injury has been trying to keep the inflammation down. This includes taping, icing and compression sleeve. Graves said she has also have started doing some range of motion exercises along with slowly trying out the motions she needs for softball.

"Not being able to play has been really hard," Graves said. "I feel at points that I am letting some of my teammates down in a way as I can't be there for them in the field. It has also been hard not to play each game of my senior season. Softball has always been a big part of my life and being out at this point in my career has definitely been tough.

"I do adjust and try to be as helpful as I can be by being encouraging to my teammates and keeping a positive vibe in the dugout," she said. "I also am trying to help out the other catchers on the team and help them do their best."

The Jays are currently sitting at the No. 7 spot in the WDA at 12-8. Overall, the team is 17-10. The team went 2-4 since Graves was ruled out with the injury. Since she has been back in the lineup the Jays have gone 2-1.

"My goal is to hopefully try out some playing this week to see how it goes," Graves said. "The main priority is to hopefully get to play the WDA tournament and help my team out as much as I can, if I am able to."

Graves wound up playing in the field during the Jays' singleheader against Kindred on May 13 and for portions of both games of the Jays' conference finale against Dickinson on May 14. Graves did not hit against Kindred but did hit a few times against the Midgets.

Graves holds the best batting average on the Blue Jay roster at .554. The senior has hit five home runs and driven in 24 runners. In the field, she has had 178 chances and has only recorded three errors. Her fielding percentage stands at .983.

Graves started playing softball around the age of 8 but before that, the senior played T-ball and Jay Ball for quite a few years.

"My dad played baseball growing up so we got into softball due to my dad's love for the sport," Graves said. "From the beginning, he has always encouraged me to be the best player I can be physically and mentally. He is always there to encourage me and help me through the slumps. Feeling the support and dedication from him has grown my love for the game since I was little.

"I have always loved the sport," she said. "My first memory in softball is walking into one of the first practices. Two of my coaches, Brett Stockert and Brad Nold, played (baseball) with my dad and both their daughters, Makenna Nold and Cadee Stockert, played with me."

Graves is still playing with Nold.

"I really started to love softball when I got to play with the same people year to year," Graves said. "This caused us to grow as players and people together encouraging a stronger team aspect. When you're playing on the field, I feel it is important to be able to trust each other. This grows as you play together and can lead to success. Having that with all my teammates through the years has really made softball an enjoyable factor in my life."

Graves said despite the age difference, she has been fortunate enough to get to play on the same teams as her younger sister, Avery, throughout the years. Avery, a sophomore, has been acting as the Jays' designated hitter and first baseman this spring.

"Getting to experience the highs and lows in softball with her has been a great opportunity especially when each of our plays include each other whether that be one of us hits and scores the other or we make a play to each other," Graves said. "The support from my friends, family, and coaches since the beginning has been so encouraging."

Jamestown's last two games of the regular season are slated for May 16 at West Fargo. The WDA tournament is slated to be held at Jamestown's Trapper Field May 23-25.

As of May 14, Graves does not have plans to play collegiate-level softball but said she has reached out to the softball coach at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where she will be attending.

"The impact and support I have had from everyone in my career has made me love the sport and encouraged me to better myself as much as I can," Graves said. "This support has kept me in the game and able to balance softball with school. As an athlete, I want to do my best and represent Jamestown softball in a positive way."