Photo credit : Lisa Slavin
Over the last year, Rocky Hill’s Megan Khanna worked tirelessly to recover from an injury, ensuring she’d be ready for her final high school season of the softball diamond.
Ultimately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, her senior season was over before it ever started.
“It sucks that I don’t get to finish high school softball but I feel a little bit better that I might still get a chance to play again,” said Khanna, who will be heading north to attend Plymouth State University where she’ll attempt to walk on to the school’s softball team, “I want to play at least another year. That’s all I want.”
Khanna was entering her fourth year as a starter, solidifying second base for the Terriers since 2017.
She got hooked on the spring sport as a kid while watching her role model Derek Jeter and learned to play the game from her father and childhood coach, Amir Khanna.
As a youth she played Jeter’s position of shortstop but moved to second base in high school.
“Second base was new to me, but I ended up liking it better than shortstop.”
Once in high school, Khanna learned the ropes from older players like 2018-graduate and mentor Sophie Kurdziel.
Head coach Tyler Catlin was also instrumental in Khanna’s maturation as a player, “He’s influenced me a lot. Even though I don’t need as much help as the younger players do, he still always gave me stuff to work on. It has made me a better player today.”
Catlin worked on making Khanna a more consistent player and called her a ‘fixture in our middle infield’, praising her reliability, “Each time Meg stepped to the plate, I was always confident she was going to get the barrel on the ball. She was not intimidated by any pitcher and I really appreciated her approach at the plate.”
The fifth-year coach added that there was a lot of optimism heading into the 2020 season prior to the cancellation, ending the high school careers of Khanna and five other seniors at Rocky Hill.
In her three seasons, Khanna was known for her power at the plate---racking up 53 hits (including seven triples), 38 RBI, 37 runs, while hitting .342.
During her freshman she injured her right arm but was able to play through it until she twisted her bicep and suffered a tear while throwing a ball last year.
She immediately got to work, rehabbing at Select Physical Therapy in Wethersfield, to repair her injured throwing arm.
With the help of PT and some emotional support of her parents, she was ready to go this spring before her high school softball career suddenly ended.
“It was a long journey. Right when I found out I could play softball again everything started getting shut down. That was tough on me.”
What was supposed to be a triumphant comeback has turned into another year of waiting to play the game she loves.
“I feel good. I’m still doing physical therapy but it’s just to strengthen the muscles. Everything is healed, I could go out and play today.”
Hard work and determination allowed her to recovery from the injury, clearing the way for more softball, and now her life’s journey is about to began.
Khanna stated that she will miss her family and friends but is looking forward to collegiate life in New Hampshire, where she’ll major in Business.
“When I visited Plymouth state, I fell in love with it and could absolutely see myself being there. I knew it was the place I wanted to be the next four years.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin