It’s doubtful that Borgia senior Taylor Nadler ever will experience an inside-the-pork home run when she takes her softball bat and glove to Valparaiso next fall.
The inside-the-pork home run story told by Borgia Head Coach Stan Westhoff is one of her favorite memories of playing for the Lady Knights for the past four seasons.
“Coach Westhoff’s stories are my favorites,” Nadler said. “I’ll never forget them. On my class ring, I have ‘in-the-pork home run.’ That’s a story he tells every year at the beginning about how he played one time and there was a pigpen in the outfield. Someone hit it there and the pig ate the ball. He called that an in-the-pork home run. That’s one of my favorite stories. Then there are times like when he says to tomahawk the ball. Those are little memories that I’ll never forget and I’ll take to college with me.”
Nadler had an extremely successful high school and club softball career, which she has used to land an NCAA Division I softball scholarship.
“I am very excited,” Nadler said. “I just can’t wait. On the inside, I’m bouncing off the walls.”
Nadler was one of three seniors to help the Lady Knights post a 15-10 season this fall and advance to the Class 3 District 9 semifinals.
“I felt this year was the year when the whole Borgia family really connected on the softball field,” Nadler said. “We never had any problems. We hung out. We had bonfires. We texted and Snapchatted and did all kinds of crazy stuff. We all really connected on a different level this year. I’m glad to have had that experience in my senior year at Borgia. It was wonderful.”
Nadler had a very eventful senior season with the Lady Knights.
With Borgia, Nadler hit .455 this season with a .523 on-base percentage. She belted 13 doubles, two triples and three home runs. She scored 32 times with 24 RBIs and stole seven bases. She was named to the Archdiocesan Athletic Association Large Division second team, behind only league MVP Katie Kasubke of St. Dominic.
She was able to come through in the clutch to help Borgia win come-from-behind games.
“It’s what you’ve got to do when your teammates are on base and you’re up to bat,” Nadler said. “You have to bring them home to win or at least try to get it deep in the outfield or at least past an infielder to move them around.”
Nadler also is proud of her one pitching performance this season, a 14-2 win at Bayless. Nadler allowed two unearned runs on two hits and five walks while striking out 11 batters.
“I used to pitch when I was younger and played rec ball,” Nadler said. “I kept telling Coach Westhoff I could pitch. When Rachel Boley hurt her arm and Cali Witte hurt her foot, I was next in line. I proved him right (to pick me to pitch). I was a little nervous at the beginning.”
Nadler said she will miss Borgia.
“It’s been a great four years here and I’m going to miss it,” she said.
Nadler hopes to major in exercise science at Valparaiso and eventually become a physical therapist with the possibility of going into athletic training.
“Being a college athlete, you have to get it together,” Nadler said. “I started looking at colleges at the end of eighth grade and into freshman year because big colleges start having commitments at a very young age, so you’ve got to figure out what you want to do at an early age to see what schools you like which offer the programs you want to go into.”
With her dream of playing softball collegiately, Nadler has made many commitments into becoming the best player possible.
“We go to a lot of showcases,” Nadler said. “The club I’m on now, the St. Louis Prospects, just came back from a showcase where college coaches were there to watch.”
She has played club softball extensively and has seen action with St. Louis Espirit and the St. Louis Prospects.
She represented the U.S. on a team which went to Italy prior to her junior season in 2012. That came after she was named Team Missouri MVP in the ASA Metro Underclassman All-Star Game.
Nadler trains in Collinsville, Ill., with Brett Swip, a trip she’s gotten used to over the years.
“I drive 86 miles one way,” Nadler said. “It’s crazy, but it’s dedication because I love going to him for hitting. He really knows how to work with me. He understands how my body works and moves. It’s a very rigorous program. It’s like school work. I have a binder, a uniform and we get homework. We have stuff we have to do at home, such as hitting at a station at home.”
Nadler has learned much from Swip and had him drive to Washington for her signing.
“I’m sad to leave him,” she said. “It’s been a great four years. I’m still going to him until I head off to college. I’ll probably go back in the summer. He’s amazing. He’s a wonderful teacher.”
Additionally, Nadler has done training with Turn2 in Collinsville.
“I do S3 training, too. It’s strength, speed and stamina,” Nadler said. “Sometimes I go there just to train because they have a very good and intense program. I’m starting to fit into larges now because my muscles are starting to get so big. Turn2 is a wonderful place. A lot of prospective collegiate athletes train there. It’s a good program and I love it.”
Taylor knows going to Valparaiso will bring changes. One of those will be going to play exclusively in the outfield.
“I’m sad to let it go, but it’s a new experience at Valpo,” Nadler said. “It will be OK. I’ve been an outfielder and a catcher since I was about four years old. It’s just a part of me. It’s not like I will ever forget it. I’m glad I can be an outfielder.”
Nadler said she’s a little sad about leaving the catching profession.
“My catching days are over. I might fill in catching or pitching if they need one, but other than that, I’ll stick to being an outie,” Nadler said.