Michelle Bonnot recently became The Westminster School’s winningest softball pitcher. With a victory over Greater Atlanta Christian School, the 17-year-old recorded her 47th win.
“It was exciting,” Michelle said. “Everyone was really excited for me. I felt like I had done something well.”
A few days later, the Westminster team won its regional title game.
“The best was the feeling of accomplishment,” Michelle said. “I had put in the work, and the team had put in the work, and we really deserved it.”
Michelle has been playing softball since age 7. Seeing her sister play made her want to try it. She loved almost all sports at the time, but it was apparent that softball was her strength.
As a pitcher, Michelle likes having control over the game and being a part of it. She also enjoys being involved with the team. Michelle has learned many skills from the sport that she applies to her daily life.
“The essence of the team is carried on outside of the field,” Michelle said. “Also, being able to keep my calm during high-pressure situations has really helped me.”
Michelle became a player on the varsity softball team at Westminster during her freshman year. During her sophomore year, a great amount of pressure was put on Michelle as she was the only pitcher on the team. She was the number-one pitcher for the next three years.
“I had to rely more on my teammates for outs, as well as on myself and know that I could get through it,” Michelle said. “It was tough at first just because of nerves, but as the season progressed, I fell into a routine and really enjoyed being the only pitcher.”
Bobby McGuire has coached Michelle since her freshman year. “A lot of pressure was put on her shoulders,” McGuire said. “She developed leadership skills within herself, and gained respect from her peers and coaches because of what she had to do for our team.”
McGuire also coached the player who set the previous record for the “winningest pitcher” at Westminster. He knew what it took to set the record, and what it would take for Michelle to beat it.
“During her junior year, I told Michelle that the record was in sight and attainable, and that it had to be a goal of hers,” McGuire said. “When she beat it, it was a pretty special day.”
Michelle wants to attend a school in the Southeastern Conference, but says she has no plans to play college softball.