For four years Jamie Bingaman was the one calling the shots behind the plate as the catcher for the Mountlake Terrace High School softball team. The two-time All-Wesco selection was a freshman on the Hawks’ 2017 Class 2A state tournament team, and she and her teammates were aiming for a return trip to state when spring sports were shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Bingaman spoke about what could have been this year, the fact that despite what Tom Hanks said in “A League of Their Own” that there is crying in softball, and her future in philanthropy in this installment of the spring sports senior salute:
What kind of team would the Hawks have had this season?
We would have had a great season this year. We had two of our best pitchers, Kierra Scott and Laney Flynn, back, and we had some amazing freshmen like Mya Sheffield, Cameron Dunn and Kaylee Mitchell.
How would this year’s team have compared to that 2017 state-qualifying squad?
I think it would have been pretty tight. I think the lineup this year would have been better, we would have had better offense. My freshman year we had better defense because we had Kira Doan pitching. She’s at Western Washington University now and is one of the best pitchers I ever got to catch.
Speaking of catching, how did you become a catcher?
My dad was a catcher in high school and so was my brother, but I was never really forced into it. In Little League you try all the positions, but as soon as I threw out my first runner at second base I knew catching was for me, I wasn’t going anywhere else.
What is your favorite memory from high school softball?
My freshman year when we qualified for state I cried my first happy tears. I never had that much excitement all at once, and I just started crying. It was crazy, and I had so much fun those years.
You were one of 16 athletes from the Edmond School District who received a $1,250 scholarship for your achievements in athletics and academics. What did that mean to you?
Oh my gosh, everything. I like school, but softball is what motivated me with my academics. I treated every letter grade like it was an extra $1,000 scholarship or an extra school I could go to. It’s the reason why I’m able to play softball in southern California (Bingaman will be attending NCAA Division III California Lutheran University). There are so many kids in the state of California that schools there don’t spend money to recruit in Washington. Because of my grades I was able to get a good scholarship and go to a school I’m excited to be a part of.
What are your professional aspirations?
I’m going to major in business with an emphasis on international business. I want to work for a nonprofit. I’ve been volunteering to help take care of a 94-year-old senior citizen (Marjie), and that’s helped me realize that in my career I don’t want to work for a business where the goal is to make money, I want to work for someone where the goal is to better the community and do something good.
What does Marjie think about you leaving for SoCal?
She was like, ‘Oh my God, I have to start packing!’