By Kelly Burge | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ally Marcano has been making a name for herself at Flagler College since joining in the fall of 2016.
All the way from Middletown, New York, Marcano has had her dream start for her NCAA softball collegiate career. Who would have thought that coming to Florida for a softball camp would have led her to Flagler College? Well it did, and softball coach Kristen Overton was definitely not missing out on the chance to bring her to Flagler College.
“She came on a 1-day camp. I don’t normally go into the pitching pen but, someone told me to and holy crap! I don’t remember anyone else from that camp except her and I called her the next day to offer her a spot on the Flagler softball team,” said Overton.
Growing up, Marcano started playing softball at age 9 and began pitching at 11, which compared to some other children was a late start. Throughout school, coaches continuously told her she would not be a good pitcher because she was too small. Marcano, at 5-foot-6, thought differently, and is proving them all wrong.
“This made me push myself and think I can do this. You can’t tell me what I can and can’t do. So that pushed me to work really really hard,” said Marcano.
Since joining Flagler, Marcano has received awards from the college, and also the Peach Belt Conference. Each week the Peach Belt conference announces its weekly Freshman of the Week and Pitcher of the Week for softball. Only days into the season, Marcano won Freshman of the Week. From then on, she’s just got better and better.
“She has the talent. She has an advantage being a freshman because teams in the conference don’t know her yet, plus she’s also left handed,” said Overton.
A week later she was named not only Pitcher of the Week in the Peach Belt Conference, but also National Pitcher of the week for NCAA Division II schools.
“I couldn’t believe it. My coach called me and I was just like ‘Oh my God. I need to call my mom,’” said Marcano.
Katelynn Smith is a senior pitcher for the Flagler softball team. She says the future is bright for Marcano.
“If she continues to work hard and turn her weaknesses to her strengths, she will be successful in the next three years,” said Smith.
Marcano believes that every day is a new challenge for her. Whether it’s on the practice field or in a game.
“We are a small-sized team compared to others and when I come up against some girls they are pretty big. It’s a little intimidating at first, but I know they are good and I want to challenge myself when I play against people like them,” said Marcano.
When it comes down to Marcano’s technique and skills when pitching, she certainly doesn’t run out of any ideas when coming against opponents.
“I throw a fast ball, a drop ball, a change up, a curve ball, a screw ball, a backdoor curve ball and a rise ball,” said Marcano.
With that many pitching moves, it’s no wonder she has helped push the team to a 13-5 record.
“My main goal is to help the team make it to conference. I know they haven’t been the last two years so I really want to help us get there because that would be huge for us,” said Marcano.
Being a freshman and coming into a collegiate team, some athletes don’t think they will get the chance to play their first season. Marcano is in her first season for Flagler softball and is pitching the first games.
“I honestly didn’t think I would play at all because I was a freshman. I’ve heard stories that freshman don’t get to play their first year. So that’s what I was kind of expecting, so then I thought if I get my moment to shine then I want to show them that I can do it,” said Marcano.
With Marcano only in her first season, Overton believes she could be a big asset to the team in the next coming three years.
“I surely think so and I hope so. As long as she stays healthy and looks after herself,” said Overton.
With the hopes of making it to the conference tournament on the horizon for the team, Marcano hopes to help the team.
“I go and do what I have to do and work hard,” said Marcano.