Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 8
Athlete of the WeekNathalia Powell
BY FRANK GONZALES
Because of the central role pitchers have on a team, the success of Allan Hancock College’s Bulldogs softball this season would not have been possible without starting pitcher and first year player Nathalia Powell. She leads the league in wins, with 18, in saves, and in strikeouts, with a whopping 107. She has also had four shutout games and she has an impressive ERA of 3.09. If her pitching wasn’t enough, she also has an equally impressive batting average of .410. Together with the impressive skills of her teammates, the Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 22-16-1 record and were first in runs, hits, doubles, triples, homeruns, RBIs, and a number of other stats. They most recently defeated Oxnard on April 23 with a 13-0 score and they hope to make playoffs, which will start on May 2. Assuming they make playoffs, their record should take them far.
Powell recently explained the key to her team’s success to the Sun: “We communicate a lot, on and off the field. We talk about certain plays and it’s actually good when after a game we all talk about it and everyone just feeds off each other. And we’re really supportive too,” she said. That communication helped the team develop as a unit so that challenges later in the season were more easily overcome.
“Sometimes when we would get down, [when] we would have one bad inning, it would be hard for us to come back and respond to it, but as we got older and matured more as players and became more of a family it became a lot easier for us to respond,” she said.
In addition to communication, Powell said attitude was central to winning. “We kind of have a saying, ‘110 all in’. So we have to make sure that we’re all checked in and [that] all of our minds are on softball at that moment,” she said.
Talent and experience surely play a role in Powell’s case too, given that she has been playing softball since she was 4 1/2 years old and pitching since sixth grade. While pitching for Cabrillo High School she went to CIF twice.
Over the years she has developed her own pitching style.
“I’m a little bit different, because I don’t have a lot of rocking motion to start momentum,” she said. “I like to turn to the side so I don’t show the ball and I try to keep everything the same so they don’t know what’s coming.”
This helps to explain the number of strikeouts she has racked up this season. Even so, some batters are a challenge.
“I’d say lefties are a little bit harder than right-handed batters, but I still try to drill them with as much as I can to keep them off balance,” she said. Despite this, power is not her ultimate weapon. “My spins are what get a lot of people,” she said.
Powell plans to study business and she hopes to be involved in softball for many years to come. “I definitely want to pass on the traditions that I have learned and coach and just keep it in my life because I absolutely love it,” she said.