Peach County baseball’s Osborne proves she can hang with the boys

Courtesy of Peach County HS

On game days, Peach County softball player Savannah Osborne laces her cleats, packs her bat bag, puts her hair up in a ponytail and heads to the field. Before she leaves the house, she grabs her baseball glove and a few baseballs.

Softball isn’t her only talent. The senior also plays for the Peach County baseball team.

“It happened so innocently,” said Peach County baseball coach Jeff Bailey. “We all do favors for each other, and the softball team needed help driving to a ball game one day, so I helped them. One of the assistant softball coaches is one of my baseball assistants and they’d been telling me, ‘Now, we have a couple of girls who could play for you.’ So I watched and saw that they could compete on the boys level.”

Osborne, who plays first base for Michael Deese’s Lady Trojans softball team, stood out above the rest and earned a spot on the baseball team shortly afterward.

“I was really not expecting for me to like it so much,” she said of her transition to baseball. “I kind of expected them to be hard on me and not accept me, you know, coming into a sport that they’ve known for so long. The first day I came out here, I was really stressed out because I didn’t think they’d like me and I didn’t know what to think. But when I got out here and they got to know me and my skill set on the baseball field, it showed them that I could stick with them. Now that they know me, they’re really accepting, and they mess around a lot, and it keeps things loose and fun.”

Once she became an established member of the team, Osborne started working her way into the lineup.

“She gets about one at-bat in most games now,” said Bailey. “She hasn’t transitioned to being an every-day player just yet. … She’s working hard.”

The transition to hitting a baseball hasn’t been the easiest, but Osborne is learning. She has hit a few line drives that went directly to the opponent, resulting in outs. But the one solid base hit she has had came after an opposing catcher engaged in a little gamesmanship, which has been a common occurrence, she said.

“You’re a girl, what are you doing here?” or a similar comment, she recalls. She used it as fuel.

And once the ball cracked off the bat, resulting in her first base hit, the only thing she could hear came from her bench.

“When I was running the bases,” she said. “The whole team was just cheering, and it just brings up your spirits. It really helps your confidence level. I was really down on myself because I didn’t get the hit that I was wanting to. Everyone on the other team wanted me to strike out because I am a girl, and I wanted to show them that I can stick with them.”

For Osborne, the ability to move into a male-dominated sport has been motivation to do better in both sports. She is hoping to earn a college scholarship for softball. But the transition to baseball has made her realize that the ingrained gender divide doesn’t apply to everything.

“My transition shows that we can really open up where we, as females, are really allowed to go,” she said. “I’m sure that we can just go into a lot of other places that are [supposed] to be either male or female sports. There shouldn’t be boundaries in what a girl or guy can play. If a girl can play baseball, then we can kind of extend where you think that any gender can go.

“Some of the guys here tell me that some of their muscles are more built up than girls and that we can’t hit or throw as far. I guess some of that is true, but there are some girls who can come out here and do the same thing that baseball players do. I’m sure I am stronger than some of the boys on the team or other teams we play, and that helps out a lot.”

Peach County baseball is 6-12 this season, 2-3 in Region 4-AAA. The Trojans’ season has been highlighted by a pair of blowout victories against Kendrick (14-0, 14-4) on March 8 and a 20-9 thrashing of Warner Robins on March 21.

Tags: , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply