For some players, like those in Georgia and other states that play high school softball in the fall, it’s strange to think that they’re done with their four years at the prep level.
Such is the case for Ansleigh Hollifield, who had a great career pitching for perennial power Buford (Georiga) High. Ansleigh led the Wolves to the State Final Four and finished the season with a school-record 11.91 strikeouts per game.
She also had three no-hitters and pitched a perfect game in the state playoffs. Ansleigh also led Buford with nine home runs and 38 home runs which helped her earn Class 8AAAAA Pitcher of the Year and 1st Team All-State honors.
When Ansleigh signed with Minnesota on Nov. 13, it was literally the realization of her dream to “go big” as she signed with the Gophers in the Big Ten!
Gopher Head Coach Jamie Trachsel and the softball program tweeted on Nov. 15: “Ansleigh is a good athlete who can contribute in multiple ways to the depth and strength of our team. Her personality, coachability and unselfishness make her a great fit on our program.”
We are not done with the 2020 class yet. Always a good day when you can welcome a new pitcher! @_hollifield was named the All-Region 8AAAAA Pitcher of the Year in 2019 and garnered All-State honors! Oh, she can swing the bat as well. #NSD19 pic.twitter.com/Y9CbEUyN4c
We are not done with the 2020 class yet. Always a good day when you can welcome a new pitcher! @_hollifield was named the All-Region 8AAAAA Pitcher of the Year in 2019 and garnered All-State honors! Oh, she can swing the bat as well. #NSD19 pic.twitter.com/Y9CbEUyN4c— Minnesota Softball (@GopherSoftball) November 15, 2019
Here’s more on this talented player who should make some waves early on in her Gopher career!
Player Name: ANSLEIGH HOLLIFIELD
Grad Year: 2020
Club Team: Atlanta Vipers - Holbrook 18U
High School: Buford, Georgia
Has it sunk in yet that you’re done with high school softball?
It hasn’t! Although I’m super excited to be leaving for college soon, time has flown by so fast these past four years at Buford.
You averaged almost 12 K’s per game as a senior… what would you say—modesty aside!—made you so dominant in the circle?
Every single game I went in with a mindset to leave everything I had out on the field and finish my senior year with no regrets. Having a team like mine helped a lot too because they were constantly cheering me on and being my best supporters.
Imagine this scenario: you’re ahead one run, bottom of the 7th with bases loaded and full count… what do you throw?
I would remember my hitter and what she has done in the previous at-bats, and most likely throw a change-up because it’s one of my favorite pitches, one I am very confident pitching.
You threw a perfect game in the state playoffs… what stands out in your mind about that game and were you aware of how “on” you were?
That game by far was one of my best memories while playing at Buford, and not only because I pitched a perfect game but just the energy and atmosphere we had was just incredible. It’s something you dream about and will always remember. That night I knew I was pitching well, but honestly hadn’t realized until after the final out that I had thrown a perfect game because my focus was on each batter as new competition requiring 100 percent of my attention and I was more focused on that.
*** Scroll down to read more about Ansleigh including her thoughts on wearing the Gopher uniform for the first time and when it hit her that she wanted to go to Minnesota!