One of the top players from the Extra Inning Sports Class of 2022 Elite 100 rankings is Taylor Pannell, an infielder from Milan, Illinois who plays for the Beverly Bandits 14U Futures team and a verbal commit to Auburn as of January 2018.
We first met Taylor in an Extra Star Power feature and are excited to have the speedy player blogging for us as she chronicles what it takes individually and as a team to return to the fields in Southern California for the PGF 14U National Championship.
In her first Extra Inning Softball blog, the Bandit standout did a cool video slide show to the tune of "California Here We Come" by Phantom Planet! In her second blog, she talked about why it's so important to return to So Cal for the PGF Nationals and more…
Today, she talks about role models and how one player four years older than her helped pave the way and how, today, Taylor looks to be a similar example to upcoming young players—including her sister and those on her team.
And at the very end, we have a surprise that even Taylor doesn’t know about set up by her father which you won’t want to miss!!!
On every softball field there’s a role model and there are many reasons why any single player IS a role model.
When I first started playing softball I never knew where the journey would take me, I didn’t know all this could happen so fast. A lot of people helped me get to where I am today and I’m so thankful.
One person that had a huge impact on me is Maddi Banks, an infielder from Bettendorf, Iowa, who has been my role model since I first meet her.
Maddi signed with the University of Washington last November and used to play for the Beverly Bandits (she’s now with Iowa Premier). Maddi goes to the same hitting coach I go to and she also gave me some lessons when I was younger.
When Maddi was with the Bandits, she won a PFG National Championship and also a Boulder IDT title.
When she was little she had the same dream as I did: to play in the College World Series and now she has a chance too.
She let me believe that I could achieve my dream because she started out just like me and now I’m committed to Auburn University and I have a chance to live my dream and play in the College World Series too.
Now that I’m older I want to be a role model to all the younger softball players including my sister, Addison’s, team.
She plays on the 07 Texas Glory team and as I watch them play, I try to help out whenever I’m not playing myself.
When I watch them play it reminds me of myself when I first started playing. Through my journey of softball this year, I want to make an impact on younger softball players on and off the diamond just as others did for me.
I want to be a role model and example as Maddi was before me and give back to the sport and those following in my footsteps.
--Taylor Pannell, Auburn commit
BONUS SURPRISE: In a sweet gesture, Taylor’s father, Brandon, reached out to Taylor’s younger sister, Addison, and her coach and a teammate on the 07 Texas Glory team to get their thoughts on how Taylor is a role model to them!
- “Taylor is an incredible leader and role model to the young girls on our team. She has many times come to our girls with words of encouragement and motivation when they needed them the most.” --- Dave Duncan, 07 Texas Glory Coach
- “Taylor has been there for my teammates and me in tough games. She always encourages us to keep fighting and doesn't let us give up on ourselves. She is a great leader!” --- Bella Duncan, 07 Texas Glory
- “Taylor has been an awesome softball role model for me. She has taught me so much about the game of softball. She has always been there with tons of support for my teammates and myself. I hope that I can accomplish the same amount of goals that she has.” --- Addison Pannell, 07 Texas Glory