Written by Briana Salem, Staff Writer
Shouts of “Clutch Canara,” can be heard all around Steel’s Diamond during softball games. These cheers are not random. They’re directed at senior, third baseman Chelsea Canara.
Following in the footsteps of her older siblings, Canara has been playing softball since the age of seven. She said she picked softball because she got to see her older siblings’ love for the game, and how much fun they had motivated her to pursue it.
Raised in Alpharetta, Georgia, Canara played for Milton High School in Milton, Georgia. Playing varsity all four years of high school, Canara scored her first homerun shortly after her sophomore season in high school.
Canara, who planned to attend VSU regardless of playing softball or not, made her decision late in her senior year of high school to play softball in Valdosta.
“I knew that VSU had a very good and competitive softball program, which is what drew me to contacting Coach Macera,” Canara said. “I was lucky enough to have been offered a spot on the team, and I’m so thankful I was given that opportunity.”
During her freshman season, Canara started in 60 out of 62 games. She started as the team’s second baseman, and she led the team in hits and finished the season with a batting average of 0.313.
“I do my best to come out to practices and games and work as hard as I can,” Canara said. “I hope, by doing that, it helps show my other teammates what is expected here in Valdosta. Coming in my freshman year not knowing what to expect, I had great role models to follow to
learn what it took to be successful here at VSU, and I can only hope that I can be that person for someone to look to.”
After freshman year at VSU, Canara started in every game her sophomore and junior year. During her sophomore year, she led the team in doubles, and during her junior year, she was second in sacrifice flies.
Junior outfielder, Taylor Hartenbach, has played with Chelsea for three years. She said Canara is a very well-rounded player.
“The first word that comes to mind when I think of her [Canara] is consistency,” Hartenbach said. “Knowing that every time the ball is hit to her, we are going to get an out is something that is hard to come by. We don’t call her ‘Clutch Canara’ for no reason. If we are down in a game and Chelsea is up, I have full confidence she will get the job done.”
Coach Macera, who has coached Canara for four years, played Canara at third base the last couple of years. As a junior, Canara had a career high batting average of 0.360.
Canara said she’ll miss her teammates the most after graduation.
“Softball is something I have done my whole life, and it’s something I will miss greatly,” Canara said. “I’ll miss all the other girls on the team. Every year there are new girls that come to that first meeting that most of us have never met before, but the bond that is formed between us is something that is hard to find.”