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Life event gives Roosevelt's Macko perspective in pitching, life PHOTO



It's hard to tell what Miranda Macko has been through by just watching her pitch. But once you hear the story, it all makes sense.

The Wyandotte senior pitcher walks to the mound the same way every inning. She carries her glove, a ball and a smile. And getting stressed out inside the pressure cooker of the circle just doesn't happen to Miranda.

It's called perspective.

You see a person changes after spending eight hours on an operating table undergoing heart surgery. Suddenly that one-out walk in the third inning really isn't a big deal. The game means little compared to the game of life.

Two years ago, right before tryouts, Miranda had what she now calls a "setback."

"I was so excited and looking forward to my junior year and when I found out I went home crying to my mom," she said Friday after pitching seven shutout innings against Trenton. "I thought, ‘how could this be happening to me now.’"

The "setback" started during winter practice for travel softball during her junior year.

"I started having heart palpitations (an unusually or abnormally rapid beating of the heart) and they thought it was hyperglycemia," Miranda said. "It happened quite a few times. So by the fifth time I felt like I was going to black out and my heart was racing."

This incident happened in Ohio while playing with the travel softball team.

"We came back here and went right to the hospital and they said my heart rate was 226 and that I would have died if I did not get there soon enough."

Miranda was only 16 years old at the time.

"I had surgery and it was supposed to only be two hours but it lasted eight hours because once they started they found more passages in my heart that they had to burn and freeze," she said.

"My mom was freaking out because we have had some surgeries in our family where they have died on the table. So it was rough on her. It was pretty scary."

The surgery happened in February and she needed six weeks to recover. She still came back to pitch her junior year, starting in April.

"I had to overcome a lot of stuff," she admits. "It was crazy."

She admits it was a little scary when she first walked out into the circle to pitch for the first time after the surgery. But once she started throwing, the fear left the strike zone.

Miranda, who is an excellent student with a 3.78 GPA, began pitching at the age of 12 but says the last two years have been her strongest in the circle. Of course, it helps to be healthy.

"When I first came up my sophomore year, I struggled a little bit," she said. "I have really focused on placing the ball and keeping it low and ever since then my pitching has really improved."

She pitched on the JV team as a freshman after tearing her ACL as an eighth-grader. She hurt her knee sliding into home plate during travel ball.

"It was a late slide that didn't end up too good," she says now with a laugh.

She was able to pitch though and said she did pretty well as a ninth-grader.

"I did come back sooner than later from the injury," she said with great pride. "It sometimes takes six months but I was back playing in four months. I struggled a little bit but I did what I had to do."

Wyandotte coach Jackie Jagiello is fortunate to have Miranda's experience and poise on the mound for the Bears.

"She places the ball really well," Jagiello said. She's worked really hard at that. She puts the ball right in the spots. She works really well with the coaches and has taken on a leadership role this year which is nice to see.”

Miranda, the daughter of Virginia and Anthony Macko, hopes to lead the Bears to a district title and right on into regionals. They certainly have a solid team built around their senior pitcher.

Now fully healthy, it's full-steam ahead for Miranda, now 18.

"I focus real well," she said. "I can focus on the spot I need to hit and usually hit it. I don't let the noise get to me. When I was younger, it used to affect me. But now it doesn't. I just focus on what I need to do."

That's called perspective and it's Miranda's best pitch.

Last Updated: 4/14/2014 1:19:36 AM EST

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