Sarah Couch is not doing what most freshmen should be doing in her inaugural season as a softball player for the Georgia College and State University Lady Bobcats. She’s only second in the Peach Belt Conference in on-base-percentage at .533, third in batting average at .437, and has 15 out of 16 stolen base attempts that puts her in sixth place. If that’s not enough, she was also named the freshman-of-the-week this past week for her on-field performances in four games against USC Aiken and Lander. Oh yeah, did we mention her starting role as a right fielder who covers more ground than kudzu in the South?
In the recent game we attended, she had five chances in the field in the opener against USC Aiken making difficult plays look routine. She took one dying quail off her shoelaces, made another running catch to her right that most would have chased to the outfield fence, rifled a throw from right centerfield to second that left no doubt about attempting to run on her, and made a lunging catch behind second base when miscommunication set in between the two players. No wonder she left the field smiling after that one. In fact, she left the whole week smiling when she capped it all off with the Freshman-of-the-week award.
The Lady Bobcats celebrated NFCA Strikeout Cancer Day by winning their first game of the USC doubleheader 9-1 in run-rule fashion after scoring eight unanswered runs in a 1-1 game, and won the second game 9-2. On Saturday GCSU split a pair with Conference opponent Lander to put their record at 27-11 overall and 8-2 in the PBC. They are currently in second place behind North Georgia who is at 11-1 in conference play.
In that first game, Couch went 1-2 after beating out a routine grounder to second using her amazing speed from the left side of the plate. She also had two walks and a stolen base. The only out she made was on a shot to left field that almost burned USC Aiken’s outfielder. In the nightcap she went 2-4 with two RBI’s. Sunday’s games solidified her award when she had two RBI’s off a double in the second game. The team lost the opener 6-3, but came back in the second game with a 10-3 win.
In summary, Couch got hits in all four games including going 2-3 in the second outing against USC Aiken and 3-5 in the second game vs. Lander. She hit .500 in the four conference games that included one double and five RBI’s. She also drove in five runs in those two games, stole two bases, and had no errors from her right field position.
On her bio page at http://www.gcbobcats.com/sports/sball/2017-18/bios/couch_sarah_01d0 it reminds us all of how instrumental she was in the success of not only the softball program, but also in basketball where she was a member of the State Champion Lady Dogs in 2015. Here are a few of those highlights.
Played under coach Jason McBay and Doug Connelly
Lettered in softball and basketball
All-Region First Team 2014, 2015, and 2016, All-State First Team 2015 and 2016, Region Player of the Year 2016, GADC Senior All-State All-Star, GACA Senior All-State All-Star
Daughter of Robin and Andy Couch
Chose Georgia College because of the softball program and its proximity to home
Biggest sports thrill was winning state in basketball in 2015
Pregame ritual is saying The Lord’s Prayer
Motto to live by: “Be the best that you can be.”
Those of us who know her well would agree with every word some of her coaches had to say about this young lady. Former softball coach and athletic director at MCHS had these words, “It comes as no surprise to see Sarah achieving at the college level. She is an incredible athlete and has God given ability, but she also sets very high expectations of herself and is extremely intelligent. That combination is a recipe for success. For example, when Sarah first made the move to hitting from the left side of the plate, I gave her a video to watch on slap hitting. She came back the next day and had not only watched the video but had clearly digested the information and was athletic enough to execute the technical aspects of the new skill. Some people could do one of those things, but she possesses the mental and physical ability to put it all together and perform.”
Jason McBay chimed in on his star centerfielder from two years ago saying, “Sarah Couch is a coach’s player. You never had to worry about her getting into trouble, making bad grades, or letting her boyfriend affect the way she played. She was the tone-setter batting lead-off and patrolling centerfield where doubles and triples went to die. Sarah is also a huge testament to overcoming obstacles and setbacks. Going through those setbacks in high school helped make Sarah resilient and relentless at proving her value. She is also a testament to a player trusting her coaching staff against all odds. From what I hear, Sarah was a great right-handed hitter, but her career flourished once she bought into slapping and using her speed as a weapon. Sarah is having an unbelievable freshman year at Georgia College. Her success doesn’t surprise me because she has an incessant drive to be the best at everything she does. A good a player as Sarah is, she is an even better person. Her pure heart shines through every relationship and everything she does. What an honor to be selected as Peach Belt freshman-of-the-week. I can’t wait to see what all God has in store for her the rest of this year and in her future. Congratulations to Sarah and her entire family.”