Ever since she was a little girl, Sarah English wanted to play softball at the collegiate level.
Growing up, she really enjoyed watching her older sister compete, and she couldn’t wait until she was old enough to be on the field herself.
Now, she only has to wait one more school year until she gets the chance to step onto a collegiate field as a student-athlete and softball player for Lynchburg University.
From the minute she stepped onto the campus, she immediately fell in love with the environment.
“I was looking for a college with smaller class sizes,” she said, “and this is exactly what Lynchburg had to offer.”
Throughout her recruiting process, English said Lynchburg head softball coach Dawn Simmons was very consistent with staying in communication with her and coming to watch her play.
“Lynchburg has a great softball program and coaching staff that makes you feel at home,” English said. “Coach Simmons is very open to talk with and encouraging to her players both on and off the field.”
English committed to the Division III Old Dominion Athletic Conference school in July. The Hornets in 2019 assembled a final record of 37-15 and reached the NCAA super-regional round for the second time in program history after defeating two-time defending national champion Virginia Wesleyan to win the regional tournament.
“Lynchburg softball is very competitive in the ODAC conference,” English said. “I’m looking forward to being part of the team.”
English first started playing in the Powhatan Youth Athletic Association at 6 years old, then moved to travel ball when she was 9.
“The competition is what drove me to love the game,” English said. “I enjoy the pressure and the adrenaline rush that comes along with that. Throughout the years of playing ball, I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people from all over and making new friends.”
She’s been a part of three very strong travel teams that won many tournaments on the East Coast. As a member of Powhatan Middle School’s softball team, she was able to pitch in both the 2016 and 2017 Southside Conference championships, which she and her teammates won.
English has helped strengthen her teams with her ability to play multiple positions, and although she was a new player on the Powhatan High School varsity unit her sophomore year, the versatile player contributed to the Indians’ 15-6 record and regional semifinal appearance after the team lost seven starters from its 2018 state runner-up season.
English pitched the majority of the Indians’ 2019 innings and played outfield or first base when not pitching. As a sophomore, she posted an earned run average of 1.77 in the circle.
“Sarah really came through for us her sophomore season,” said Powhatan head softball coach Marie Crump, “and is expected to handle most of the pitching for us this year.”
English was also a central part of Powhatan’s efforts on offense, batting .657. She hit her first career home run in the Indians’ early-season 2019 game versus Hanover, became a consistent extra-base hitter and helped form a powerful 3-4-5 chain in the batting order that also included fellow senior and teammate Kayla Davis and UCONN’s Rileigh De Weese.
Her efforts were honored. English was named to First Team All-Region that season.
“We’re counting on her to continue that strong presence in our lineup this year,” Crump said.
“I have always loved representing Powhatan County,” English said. “I take a lot of pride in being able to be a part of the softball program. Playing for Coach Crump and Coach [Linda] Farmer has been a great experience and I appreciate them believing in me and pushing me to be the best I can possibly be.”
In addition to being able to make a play from wherever she stands – in the field, beside the plate or inside the circle – English feels that her positive attitude both on and off the field will help motivate and encourage her future teammates at Lynchburg to be the best that they can possibly be.