Sarah Daw steps onto the mound each game, T.F. North's battered, bruised, but determined veteran pitcher.
Despite being battered, bruised and worn out, the Meteors’ senior workhorse powers along.
It’s become the norm for Daw, a senior and the Meteors' only starting pitcher for the last two seasons. When T.F. North takes the field, Daw takes the circle.
In 2012, the 17-year-old labored through every game of T.F. North’s tough season as the defense and bats behind her struggled to find consistency.
“Of course it gets frustrating,” Daw said. “Some days, I just have to go out and play for me, and enjoy the game like I know I do. I have to go out there and play and hope my defense is strong.”
A nagging bone bruise on her throwing arm, attributed to her pitching motion, has hindered Daw’s stamina in the later innings of games. Couple that with an injury suffered from a line drive to her pitching hand and it has been a tough go.
“It’s definitely hard to push through, but I know that my team relies on me,” Daw said. “That’s enough incentive for me to get back out there each day.”
Despite her resiliency, the lack of consistent leadership has helped neither Daw’s cause nor T.F. North as a whole in 2013. First-year coach Kara Zents is the Meteor's third coach in three years. Zents admitted going through a similar situation herself as a player for Calumet College in Whiting, Ind.
“I can relate to my girls, I know what this situation is like,” Zents said, "but in a situation like this, as players, they also need to step up and be leaders themselves. As they say, if you want it done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself.”
And Zents knows there has been no shortage of effort from Daw.
“You can see it in her face that she’s getting frustrated at times,” Zents said, "but she’s doing a good job of handling the adversity.
“Sarah is doing her best to carry the team for us.”
And for Daw, being that sense of continuity for her teammates has made the load that much easier to bear.
“I haven’t given up on my team, and I haven’t given up on the game,” Daw said. “There’s always something new to learn, and no game is ever played the same.
“I just know that I have to keep giving it my all for my coaches and this team from now until it’s all over.”