By Shannon Fagan/Cherokee County Herald
Being a southpaw is something Collinsville High senior softball player Jamie Roberts has been used to all her life.
It’s also something she’s used to her advantage.
Last year, Roberts wreaked havoc on opposing pitchers from the plate. She batted .552 with 10 home runs, seven doubles, a triple, 33 runs and 49 RBIs.
Defensively, she brought about a change of pace pit-ching in the circle in addition to playing first base. She’s also spent time playing in the outfield.
That was the kind of versatility that first-year Gadsden State softball coach Shane Sanderson was looking for, and on Monday (Mar. 2), he helped Roberts’ dream of playing softball at the next level officially become a reality with a scholarship to GSCC
Roberts will be reunited with former Collinsville and current Gadsden State softball player Hanna Hornbuckle.
Roberts said she’s excited to be able to continue her softball career.
“I’m proud to finally achieve a dream I’ve had since I was four or five years old,” Roberts said. “Playing college softball has always been my dream. I love the people there. I love the coaches. I think they’re going to do a really good job rebuilding. Once we get started, I think we’re going to be pretty good.”
Sanderson, who was hired as Gadsden State’s softball coach back in July, said he had seven players on the Cardinal roster when he took over. He decided to have an open tryout for high school juniors and seniors, at which time he first caught a glimpse of what Roberts could do.
“When I looked at her in the summer, the big advantage I felt she had was her being left handed,” Sanderson said. “We were looking for diversity, and right now, all I have is right-handed pitchers. We definitely wanted someone who could throw left handed with a different spin on the ball.”
But as impressed as Sanderson was with Roberts’ abilities in the circle, he soon became more impressed with what she could do at the plate.
“When I pitched to her, she hit about five home runs off me and I threw only about 20 pitches,” he said. “I’m excited more about her hitting and her power. That’s really what we need. We’ll find somewhere for her to play defensively.”
Roberts said she loves hitting as much as she does pitching.
“I love knowing when people are on base that I can drive them in and being a potential threat to the other team,” she said.