Kathryn Sandercock’s softball journey has been a unique one with its share of successes.
She started in Little League and pitched in the Little League World Series (LLWS) Championship game; became the Virginia High School Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior; competed on one of the East Coast’s elite travel teams, Virginia Glory – Mertz; recently became a two-time Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT) member; and is now a freshman for coach Lonni Alameda’s reigning Women’s College World Series Champion Florida State Seminoles, who are about to begin their season this Friday in the Joanne Graf Classic at FSU.
A NEW CHAPTER: FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
Last fall Sandercock joined her FSU teammates on campus as a freshman and her new head coach, Lonni Alameda, told Extra Inning Softball earlier today that when Sandercock first approached her about playing for FSU a few things caught her attention.
“First, she was already in the USA pool, so you knew she had a high level of ability and competitiveness.”
“Second, Kathryn has an incredible mixture of breaks, speeds and spins on her pitches...all helped by her physicality, stature and presence in the circle.”
“Third, when I met Kathryn and her family, I could tell it would be a good fit. She’s a fun, goofy kid, and that fits in well to our culture. A great mix of a loose demeanor, yet still able to focus and bear down when the game is on the line.”
Coach Alameda is not sure yet where Sandercock will fit in as a freshman for the reigning Women’s College World Series Champions, but she is glad to have her in a deep stable of pitchers this season.
“We know we are going into every game with a bullseye on our backs. I look at this as a positive because not many teams get to experience being the reigning champions--only one team can be in this position every season, and I’m glad it is us.”
“We’ve talked to our team about it,” Coach Alameda continued. “They understand we are going to get everyone’s best every time out. However, every team in the country is in the same position…we are all starting with a first game and a first pitch and a 0-0 record, so it will be up to us to respond.”
TWO-TIME JUNIOR WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MEMBER
Sandercock has just accomplished a rare feat: she was just named to her second stint on the Junior Women’s National Team, having made the team again in the first week of January.
Sandercock says, “The first time, in my junior year of high school, I attended the open tryout in Clearwater, Florida. My pitching coach suggested going and trying to make an impression. Making the team wasn’t even a thought. My family came with me and I went to tryout and did the best I could. There were over 200 attendees. I only got to throw a couple pitches in front of the selection committee.”
“We were in our car driving to Orlando on the way back home and I got a call that I was invited to the selection trials. There were 50 players who had a shot to make the final cut. Once there, I pitched in real scrimmages and I did really well. I was very nervous. I could feel adrenaline in my body. It was surreal to be there and be playing with all the top players. Making the team was such a shock. I was so grateful.”
“While making the team was great, it was also bittersweet because I wanted to play with my Glory teammates and friends at PGF in California. But how do you turn down a chance to play for Team USA? I didn’t regret the decision, but while they were at PGF, I missed them and wished I could be there with them too.”
The athlete remembers her first experiences with the Jr. National Team.