‘A true competitor’
Published 2:43 pm Saturday, April 20, 2013
Wash is Lady Bulldogs’ ace in the circle
Sophomore pitcher Sydney Wash has been a force of nature for the King’s Fork High School softball team, and she continued to make a huge impact by leading the Lady Bulldogs to impressive wins over Hickory and Lakeland high schools. Her performances earned her a nomination and the title of Player of the Week.
Wash was active on both offense and defense against Lakeland, going 2-for-4 from the plate with an RBI and holding the Lady Cavaliers to one hit, while throwing seven strikeouts. Hickory had been regarded by some as the best in the area, but Wash pitched a shutout for the second straight year against the Lady Hawks.
“It was a big accomplishment beating them,” she said. “Definitely good hitting, as well as good defense. We played together as a team.”
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By the end of that week, she had pitched approximately 60 innings and thrown 93 strikeouts for the season.
Lady Bulldogs head coach Richard Froemel described what Wash brings to the team.
“Everybody can see her working hard out there, and she is a true competitor,” he said. “I almost think (her teammates) feel obligated that they’ve got to do their end, whether it be with the bat or play in the field.”
Wash started playing T-ball around the age of 5, and her first softball experience came playing recreational ball in Holland. Her early pitching days were a stark contrast from today.
“In rec ball, we didn’t really have a strong pitcher, so I thought, ‘Hey, I should give it a try,’” she said. “So I tried and one of the first games, I hit every single batter on the team and just couldn’t throw a strike to save my life. And then I actually worked in the backyard with my dad, and he’d go chasing after billions of balls, but eventually I got to the point where, especially in rec, I’d reached that level where it was time to move to travel ball.”
She credits Nicole Belote, a former softball coach, with helping hone her abilities on the mound, “developing all my pitches, and she taught me most of them.”
One of the things Wash loves the most about softball is the pressure that comes with it.
“You know, like, 3-2 counts, two outs, bases loaded, I just love the pressurized point of it,” she said. “I just like the sport in total. Just having the pressure on your shoulders, to me, it doesn’t affect me. It just makes me want to strike that person out or get that person out even more.”
Consequently, Froemel feels comfortable expressing his confidence in Wash with her in earshot.
“She’s always going to give us a chance to win,” he said. “We bring our bats, it’s going to be a good day. And that’s a lot placed on a sophomore, but again, she thrives in that situation, I think.”
Wash cited her parents and Belote as motivating her to succeed, along with a major goal she has set: “Playing in college, that probably motivates me the most, because I want to get that scholarship, that full ride to play in college for a (Division I) school.”