WHITE PLAINS — Anna Snider turned in another sterling softball season for White Plains High, but it didn’t always come from the pitcher’s circle.
In an effort to keep Snider’s arm fresh for the postseason, White Plains coach Rachel Ford sometimes moved Snider to second base and put Amber Greenwood in the circle. It was just another place for Snider to excel.
“Anna is just so competitive and has such a high standard for herself that I don’t have to be hard on her that often because she’s so hard on herself,” Ford said. “That’s why she’s such a good athlete. She really wants to do her best, and if she’s not doing her best then she’s going to take action and correct what she’s doing wrong.
“She puts in a lot of hours off the field and away from White Plains. She does hitting on her own and she’s always done pitching lessons. It’s not just a three-month sport to her.”
In the circle, Snider held a 1.54 ERA and at the plate she hit .493, while leading White Plains to the Class 3A, Area 8 title, the South Central Regional crown and fourth place in the 3A state tournament. As a result, the junior is The Anniston Star’s Calhoun County 3A softball player of the year.
She was also a good teammate, as she saw Greenwood’s innings on the mound as a chance to rest.
“Anna responded wonderfully. She really got Amber’s back and was just her biggest cheerleader,” Ford said. “The thing about Anna is she can help us at other positions when she’s not pitching. At practice, anytime she can get reps fielding ground balls from a different spot she’s doing that just because she knows we may need her there.”
With softball having so many games, Snider said the schedule can take its toll. Teams sometimes play up to five days in the week with playing multiple games in tournaments, and by the end of the year, “you’re just kind of hoping for the best and that your body can make it through the rest of it,” she said.
“This year was probably the most rested that I’ve ever felt going into the postseason,” she said.
She didn’t get a break after the season ended. A week after White Plains played in the state tournament, Snider was playing with her travel team, the Alabama Twisters.
With Snider not playing another sport until next softball season rolls around, Ford said travel softball in the offseason provides a great opportunity for Snider to work out the kinks in other pitches and get better all-around.
“You can always improve pitching wise and introduce a couple more pitches,” Ford said. “She has pitches that she can throw but not consistently, like the drop ball. She did work on the rise more this year, so that was a pitch she improved on. Kind of just tweaking her pitches so we can throw them more in deeper counts and have them close to the strike zone is something to improve on.
“But she’s going to work all summer and all fall, so I’m expecting big things out of her. She’s really going to lead us next year.”
Sports Writer Brandon Miller: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @bmiller_star.