SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) – Scottsboro senior pitcher Anna Stuart Dawson had a week to remember last week. She recorded her 300th career strikeout, then the next day added a few more to that total. She struck out 21 batters in a seven-inning game, yes every single out was a strikeout, becoming just the fourth pitcher in state history to accomplish this. For that, she earned Hiley Mazda Key Athlete of the Week.
“It just gets me really excited and makes me really thankful for all of the people that have helped me to get there, my pitching coach Michael Thompson and all of my teammates and my coaches. I just had to focus and not think about it too much, just worry about the next pitch and the next batter and just inning one by one and just worrying about winning the game really, not so much the strikeouts. I was excited and pretty relieved because I knew I was close so I just wanted to finish it but I was excited,” Dawson said.
“She is a role model to these younger generation players because they look at her and they see that she doesn’t cut corners, she’s working hard and great things are coming to her,” Scottsboro head softball coach Kevin Thompson added.
But Dawson is the first to credit her teammates and fellow senior pitcher Alyssa Smart for helping her get to this point.
“We’re just such a great duo and I know that she has my back and I have hers and we’re just the number one supporters of each other. I know they’re always going to be on point and do their best for me and always lay out for any ball that comes to them,” Dawson said.
Still, Dawson said a lot of work went in to the offseason and every day at practice to get her pitches right and endurance up.
“She knows that she’s got to grind to get better. I knew that the sky’s the limit for her because she’s one of the hardest workers on the team and when you work hard, great results come around. She’ll leave practice here and then go to pitching lessons and the endurance that she is building is showing up in the games now. She’s been a monster on the mound this year,” Thompson said.
But as special as these milestones are, Dawson says she has bigger goals for her senior year.
“The main one would just be making it to state because our class has never done that before and it’s just a big goal for our seniors and I think it would be great to go as far as we can and hopefully win state and win the blue map,” Dawson said.
We are always looking for standout student-athletes in the Tennessee Valley to feature! If you have a high-school-aged athlete that you would like to nominate for Hiley Mazda Key Athlete of the week, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.