Sammi Adams is like Red Auerbach. Winning isn't a thing. It is the only thing.
The Griffith senior has won six sectional championships combined in four years in girls basketball and softball, the most recent coming on Saturday when the Panthers won the Class 3A Clark Sectional title on the diamond.
When Adams was a freshman hoopster, Griffith advanced to the semistate. She then won three more sectionals on the hardwood.
On Tuesday Adams and her Panthers (13-11) will look to win their first regional championship since 2000 when they travel to play Hanover Central (17-9). First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.
"I come from a very competitive family," Adams said. "We compete at everything. I think that's carried over to my sports in high school, too."
When not on a sanctioned field, Adams plays backyard ice hockey with her older brother, Zac, in the winter.
"He checks me into the snow all the time," Adams said with a laugh.
Summer Whiffle Ball games can also be quite intense, with little sister Rachel getting in the mix for a little bragging rights.
Adams will play both sports at Hope College in Holland, Mich.
First-year Panthers coach Don Bence was the program's junior varsity coach for three years, so he's seen Adams man the largest stretch of the outfield all four years.
His words about her defense are strong and true.
"Sammi is the best defensive center fielder I've ever seen," Bence said. "She's one of those kids, if the ball is hit anywhere near her she's gonna get it. And her arm is as accurate as they come."
Heading into the postseason, Adams was hitting .397 with a .493 on-base percentage. The speedy leadoff hitter had six RBIs and scored 19 runs with two doubles and two triples.
Griffith has won the last two meetings against Hanover in the regular season. This year's game, though, was washed away by the weather.
"With her speed at the top of the lineup really sets the tone," Bence said. "When she gets on base good things happen. It's a blessing to have an athlete like her. They don't come around very often.
"She'll run through a brick wall for you."
Griffith had a seven-game winning streak earlier this season with some big wins. Then, a skid started and Bence was out of town for a preplanned cruise.
After the Panthers lost to Wheeler to end the season, there was a big team meeting. Winning the sectional helped the confidence of the entire team.
"The kids got down, they were pressing," Bence said. "It meant a lot when they went up to No. 4 in the area poll. The kids were excited. We want to be the program that everyone gets up to play.
"I told the girls to be aggressive and stop pressing. We played three solid games in the sectional."
One more win and Adams will end her final season like her first one, in a semistate.
"We haven't heard a lot about Hanover Central," Adams said. "We have to go out, play hard and see what happens."