By Gini Sinclair, Medical Recruiting BrigadeDecember 21, 2011
Not every community can boast that it is home to a top athlete and champion. But the Medical Recruiting Station in Elkridge, Md., is home to Staff Sgt. April McGarity, member of the All Army Softball Team, and 2010 Army Female Athlete of the Year.
As a member of the All Army team, McGarity played in the 2011 Armed Forces Softball Championships Sept. 18-22 at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. The all-woman team competed against All Navy, All Air Force and All Marine Corps teams earning a second place trophy in the triple round robin tournament with a score of 6-2. The final Army game against the All Air Force team was rained out; the Air Force team came in first in the tournament.
McGarity moved from the All Army team to the All Interservice Team where they placed second at the Amateur Softball Association of America's National Championships Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Last year McGarity received the Army Female Athlete of the Year for 2010, while stationed at Fort Sam Houston. McGarity played softball on a Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation post team and her coach nominated her for the award.
McGarity, a nutrition care specialist from San Antonio, Texas, joined the Army 10 years ago. But that didn't stop her from playing her favorite sport.
"I'm always on a team," McGarity said. "Usually it's a civilian team, and generally it's a woman's team. I've been playing softball since I was nine years old. My dad is a [softball] coach and he still is my coach."
McGarity played on the post teams where she was stationed and for community teams when she could. Normally she plays left field, but said she can play any position on the team except pitcher. During the summer months McGarity says she plays softball every day. She is especially active when she visits her father, since he usually is coaching a team and McGarity will join that team while on leave. McGarity is the only girl in a family of six children, saying she and her brothers all learned to play ball from their father. Her brothers played baseball and seeing them play made her want to learn softball.
Now that the softball season has wound down, McGarity is focusing on raising her batting average and working on her civilian education. McGarity is working on her college degree and, once finished, plans to change career fields and become a physical therapist. However, she has no plans to leave the military. McGarity is looking at an Army program that will assist her with her career goals.
Along with continuing her military career McGarity plans to keep playing ball. Once she can clear some time from her calendar, McGarity wants to work with some of the youth softball teams in the local community.
"During the summer I play nearly every day," she said. "I love to play, and I won't quit until coach tells me that it's time and right now that coach is my dad."