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Story Archives: Sanders shining at East Central
|Sanders shining at East Central|
Mary Sanders of Vidalia did not know what to expect when she arrived at East Central Community College in Decatur, Ms.
"There were three freshmen pitchers, so I really didn't expect to pitch a lot," Sanders said. "And I thought junior college ball would not be a lot different from high school."
Sanders has exceeded expectations on the mound and has a new-found respect for junior college softball.
The Adams County Christian School graduate sports a 9-1 record and 3.36 earned run average.
"I really thought I was going to be the No. 3 pitcher," said Sanders, who is the No. 2 pitcher behind freshman Tenna Patterson.
On March 27, East Central defeated Southwest Mississippi Community College 13-1.
Sanders allowed just three hits to claim the victory.
Sanders has struck out 19 batters over 56.1 innings, allowing only eight walks.
"Junior college ball is way more competitive," Sanders said. "You have to fight for every out. I didn't think it would be this big a difference, but there's definitely a difference."
Sanders has about seven different pitches, with the curve ball being her favorite.
"It's not really the speed, it's the movement that's the key," she said. "I like throwing the curve ball because it is my best pitch. And I can throw it at any time."
East Central is currently 25-9 overall and 9-4 in league play.
Lady Warrior head coach Scott Hill has not been surprised by Sander's success.
"When she came in it was very apparent that she is a competitor, a good kid and a hard worker," Hill said. "She puts in a lot of time. She doesn't go out and try to strike out everybody, she pitches to a low zone and gets batters to hit groundballs. She doesn't give in to hitters, she gives her defense a chance to make the plays. And she is only going to get better because of how hard she works."
Sanders said she works hard on her pitching game every day.
"Every day we have to go out and throw some, even if it's lightly," she said. "I try to do more each day. If you start slacking off, it's going to show. I pick a different pitch to work on each day."
Sanders credits her parents, Mike and Chris Sanders, for helping her to push herself.
"At first I didn't know if I could handle it," Sanders admitted. "The offseason workouts were really rough. I was getting down on myself, but my parents helped pick me up and get through it."
Sanders has only batted three times this season.
"Right now I'm just concentrating on pitching," Sanders said. "We've got a girl who just bats this year, but she graduates so I think I will hit more next year. But pitching is my main focus."
On the field, that is. In the classroom, Sanders is all about the books. She is majoring in denistry.
"I know I am going to be here two years," Sanders said. "I don't really think about the next level because I know I am going to be in school for eight years. I have to focus on my education first and foremost."
As for her future as a dentist, Sanders laughs about her choice of occupation.
"I've always loved teeth," she said. "I don't know what it is. The first thing I do when I meet people is look at their smile and their teeth. I love going to the dentist. That's one of my favorite things to do."
Besides picking up a win on the mound.
"I'm having a good time here," Sanders said. "Everybody is real close. We hang out together and with the baseball team. We'll drive two hours to watch them play and they'll drive to support us and watch us play. I'm really happy with where I am."
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