Photo by Beau Bearden.
KINGMAN – There’s no doubt that Maryssa Edwards has accomplished a lot during her career, but she isn’t going to stop now.
The Kingman Academy High School senior signed in January to play softball at Scottsdale Community College and that’s only a small step in her overall journey.
“I’m super excited to play,” Edwards said. “My goal is to even go on further to a university. I love pitching and I have done it for so long.”
Edwards has developed into a talented leftie for the Lady Tigers – posting a 2.95 ERA with 86 strikeouts in 59.1 innings this season.
Those numbers were instrumental to Academy making yet another trip to the state tournament, but Edwards also led the team with a .561 batting average and 34 RBIs.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” Edwards said.
But the journey is far from over. Lady Tigers head coach Tim Pena knows Edwards will succeed at the next level, especially due to a characteristic that sets her apart from other pitchers.
“Her composure in the circle is just great,” Pena said. “That’s what drew the attention of the Scottsdale coach. He told her, ‘No matter what’s happening on the field, your demeanor never changes. You’re focused.’ She has kind of always been like that.”
That’s not an easy attitude to have when you’re pitching as it’s one of the most stressful position on the field. But Edwards knows her teammates are depending on her to lead by example.
“I don’t like to get mad,” Edwards said. “If I get mad, it just builds up and I pitch badly. So I just try to keep a positive attitude, keep my infielders and outfielders having fun and up on their toes. I think if they do that, then they will be good and hopefully we’ll play well.”
That mentality has worked so far and she will no doubt use it at the next level. But for now, she can’t contain the excitement.
“I love my coaches down there,” Edwards said. “I’ve met them and I’ve met some of the teammates too. I’m just going to start all over and learn more skills. I’ll get better as I go. This summer I’m going to move early so I have plenty of time to learn.”
That’ll be in her best interest as Pena knows the work ethic in college is the biggest adjustment for any athlete. The morning weight lifting and afternoon practices along with a packed class schedule isn’t the easiest to balance.
But Pena has all the faith in Edwards after she demonstrated her abilities for the Lady Tigers.
“She’s been a huge asset to this team,” Pena said. “I know she doesn’t think so, but I tell her all the time. Her demeanor is just so calm and quiet. It’s kind of difficult to read her a little bit. But I want her know that I always have confidence in her.”