She takes three practice swings, fixes her low ponytail, and messes with her helmet mask a few times. A sweat bead slowly drips from the pitcher’s forehead as she steps up to bat.
She looks the pitcher straight in the eyes and inhales deeply. It’s a full-count. The pitcher starts her motion again and a slight smirk comes to Faith’s lips. She’s ready and more excited than ever. This is when she’s most confident and determined.
The ball is thrown at 65mph, comes directly down the plate. Faith’s swing is powerful, professional, and perfect.
The ball shoots to left field. The fielder tracks it, sprinting back towards the fence, but the ball is out of reach.
Another home run for Crowder. And the game is over.
On her way home from a close win, she orders her chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-a, and heads back to start on her Pre-Calc homework.
Faith is a unique player. One that excels in both academics and athletics.
“She always has her priorities straight when it comes to athletics and academics,” her close friend Wyatt Fly stated.
Her parents also make sure she is doing the right thing and is on the right path with both sports and school.
“She has good parents who push her to the max and she also loves to be the best at everything she can be,” another close friend, Taylor Casey said.
Faith is the type of player who never puts herself before the team. She will play any position, even if she doesn’t like it. As long as it benefits the team, she’ll be there.
“Faith is very competitive, not only with the opposition and teammates, but with herself, always expecting her next at bat to be her best ever,” her varsity coach, Matthew Arrington said.
She is always giving it her all when it comes to both. “Even if she wasn’t as good of a softball player as she is, she’s the kind of player you keep on the team just because you know she’s giving you everything she’s got,” her former coach, Allen Cotton said.
Her being able to learn how to manage both sports and school has made it look easy to do. She quoted that she’d never give up sports because she just wouldn’t be herself without them.
Her coaches believe she will be able to make it far with softball. “She has tremendous talent, quick hands, and she’s a great team player,” said Allen Cotton.
Matthew Arrington stated that having the opportunity to coach an athlete with the talent she has doesn’t come along very often.
Faith is not only a great athlete, she makes sure her school work is complete and that she has studied for any upcoming tests or quizes. ‘If you know how to manage your time between school and sports, it’s not too bad,” she said.
“I think her decision on which college to attend will have just as much to do with academics as it does with athletics,” said Matthew Arrington.
Faith believes that anyone can keep up with both as long as they put their mind to it. “Just keep trying, it may seem hard to keep up with right now, but once you get it together, it’ll be totally worth it,” Faith said, giving some advice to any student-athlete struggling to manage both.
Faith Crowder at the bat against Norview's pitcher.
Photos: Aniyah Smith