Park Falls natives enjoy the adrenaline of being on the mound
PARK FALLS – As multi-sport athletes growing up, both Andrea and Hannah Williams say there was no particular point they realized softball was the sport they enjoyed the most.
© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
Andrea and Hannah Williams pose for a photo at the Dorrington Complex in Stellarton where the sisters got their start playing fastpitch. Andrea is now a member of the Johnson State College women’s softball team, while this summer her younger sister Hannah will be playing with the Nor’Easter Softball 16 and under team out of Laconia, New Hampshire.
There have been ups and downs of playing softball, much like they experienced in other sports, but the good has outweighed the bad, albeit they say there was little downside to playing softball.
Hannah, 16, got her start with the Subway Stingers in the Learn to Play program. Her first regular position was behind the plate as a catcher, but eventually she moved to the mound where she has grown her game.
She has been a member of Softball Nova Scotia provincial teams for the last few seasons and has attended four Eastern Canadian championships and three national championships in that time, but this summer with Nova Scotia not having a U-17 team she will be joining the Nor’Easter Softball 16 and under team out of Laconia, New Hampshire.
“I want to go to a university in the States, so playing with them will give me more exposure,” said Hannah. “I want to go to another college from where Andrea is, but I guess when she went I figured I’d go (try to play softball) too.”
Having just completed her second year at Johnson State College in Vermont, Andrea is now 20 years old and becoming a leader on the women’s softball team. Also a pitcher, she got her start with the Subway Stingers peewee program where she was an outfielder.
During one of her games soon after starting to play the sport she was brought in to pitch because they didn’t have anyone else. She had no control and threw fast, making batters afraid they were going to get hit.
Although it was frustrating to begin with and there were growing pains along the way, Andrea said she couldn’t think of another position she’d rather play now.
“I love the adrenaline of it, the rush I get when I’m pitching,” she said. “You feel like you’re in control.”
Since beginning to play on a more serious level she has been to at least four Eastern Canadian championships with teams from around the province, as well as three national championships and the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbooke, Que.
Andrea never planned for or expected the success she has had in the sport, she just enjoyed it and wanted to keep playing.
“I just thought it was fun,” she said. “I had just asked to play for something more to do in the summer. At the time I was playing soccer (in the summers), but I had played everything in elementary school and middle school. Once I started playing it I liked it more than soccer, so I dropped soccer.
“I found it took you further than soccer and there were more opportunities to play. I just picked this one out of a lot of sports and it worked out well.”
Although both girls aren’t close enough in age that they’ve been able to play together, they each support each other and are excited to be on the field all summer.
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris