Athlete of the week: Hudson Wood gets it done on the fairway and the softball field

Published 9:45 am Saturday, May 13, 2023

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It does not matter if it is at the plate on a softball field or in the middle of the fairway, odds are Hudson Wood is going to strike the ball cleanly. The LaGrange High sophomore is coming to the end of her second year as a Granger but still has some unfinished business on the greens. 

Wood will be a key figure for the LaGrange girls golf team when they go to state at the end of the month. In fact, she is one of, if not the, primary reasons the Grangers finished third in their area to book a spot at the state tournament, shooting a team-low score of 96.

“That was the first time I was the lowest scorer for us all season, so that was kind of shocking,” Wood said. “My drives were really strong, and I was chipping really well that day.”

Wood decided to take up golf her freshman year and has never looked back. 

“Really I just started playing golf for something to do but now I really enjoy it,” Wood said. 

While softball is where her heart lies, she calls the spring “my golf season.” While it started as something to occupy her time in the spring, it is now something that she genuinely enjoys doing.

While this is her golf season, Wood is really making a name for herself on the softball diamond. She enjoyed a true breakout sophomore campaign.

“I really worked on my timing and how to see the ball better,” Wood said. “I also had more confidence. I wasn’t the youngest one on the team anymore, and I could rely on my experience.”

In just her second year as a high schooler, she led the team by hitting .410 and an on bse percentage of .484. Her impressive statline did not end there as she also drove in 23 runs and scored another 33. What might have been most impressive was her home run total of three, which was good for second on the team — one behind power hitting first baseman Carolyne Garcia. 

“Hitting those home runs really helped me out with my confidence,” Wood said. “It helped me get more confident and feel more settled when I would go up to the plate.”

She has worked to add that power to her frame. But her offseason work at the plate did not just see a jump in home runs as her stats were up entirely across the board as she got better and more confident in the offseason, something she hopes to continue into this summer offseason before her junior campaign kicks off in August.

“Defense is important, but hitting is the name of the game because if you don’t hit you’re not scoring runs,” Wood said. “I want to be able to see the ball better and start to find the gaps more consistently.”

There is not much for Wood to clean up defensively as she committed just a single error in the entirety of her sophomore season. 

One of the reasons for her sophomore leap was coach Craig Mobley, who took over the reins as head coach of the Grangers prior to last season. He empowered her and gave her even more confidence that helped her take that next step. 

She has taken that confidence and passed it down to the younger girls on the team. Despite her youth, she is already a leader for the team.

“This year was big for me,” Wood said. “There were like 12 sophomores and only one senior that had been playing every year, so we had to step up as leaders this year. Next year we will have to step up even more and be even bigger leaders for this team.”

Whether it is on the greens in the spring or running the bases in the fall, you can find Wood draped in the Granger blue and white during every season.