TYLER, Texas (KETK) — There has been a culture change for Tyler Legacy softball, which started last season, and has continued into the early parts of district this year.
“I think they go out with the expectation to win and not just to get out there and compete and just hang around,” tells head coach Justin Kniffen.
The Lady Raiders are 3-0 to start district play, in large part due to their starting sophomore pitcher, Sara Eckert, who in the first two district matchups had 17 and 18 strikeouts respectively, and tossed a no-hitter against Rockwall-Heath.
“I just keep going, I don’t think about anything else, it’s just I get back on the mound and I pitch it and I guess outcomes like that happen,” laughs Eckert.
“She is a young pitcher and I think that she is surprising not only our district but everyone in our area and I’m really proud of her,” tells catcher Mallory Kniffen.
Eckert’s throwing motion consistently keeps batters off balance.
“I think she is a little unorthodox with her delivery has something to do with it. She spins the ball really well too and keeps batters off balance, I think it frustrates a lot of hitters and she has been effective that way,” explains coach Kniffen.
“My balls just move in certain ways that others don’t and I’m also on the slower side so most people are ahead most of the time so it also helps.
As Eckert continues to grow on the mound, she has a junior catcher she can count on behind the plate.
“If she has a bad pitch, you know it’s going to be okay just bare down and if she makes a great pitch and I do something, we both know it’s okay next pitch we got it,” declares Mallory Kniffen.
Setting the tone early, for what could be another special season for Legacy.