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Kathryn Sandercock Led FSU With Maturity Beyond Her Years

(Photo courtesy of Florida State Softball Twitter)

Every time Florida State's Kathryn Sandercock stepped foot on the field during the 2021 season, the redshirt sophomore was grateful. She had gratitude for playing the game, being with her teammates and the opportunity to grow through adversity with the Seminoles for another season.

“I think that having last season cut short was really hard for everybody in the softball world and I think that it just gives everybody a sense of gratitude to be out here,” Sandercock said before the end of the season. “We are all grateful to be playing the game that we love, and I think that I have grown on the field and off the field a lot.”

In her freshman season at FSU, Sandercock posted a 1.99 ERA with 49 strikeouts. In her shortened sophomore season, she finished with a 2.19 ERA and 35 strikeouts. This season, she took things to the next level, going 27-4 with a 1.25 ERA to lead the Seminoles to the finals of the Women's College World Series.

“You know, Kat is very driven,” Florida State head coach Lonni Alameda said. “She’s always been very driven. She came into my office and asked me, ‘I want to be this kind of pitcher. I want to be a part of the legacy that Meghan King, Jessica Burroughs, Lacey Waldrop, you know the people that have been here that leave this pitching staff better and leave this bullpen better for someone else. How do I do that?’ It’s so awesome to know that someone is hungry to do that and put the work in.”

The McLean, Va. native entered the 2021 season with high expectations. Sandercock was named to Softball America’s Preseason Top 25 Sophomores list and Preseason College Top 100 list with only one complete season under her belt.

However, throughout the regular and postseason, she proved that those expectations weren’t too high for her to reach. After leading the Seminoles to the 2021 Women’s College World’s Series, Sandercock was named an NFCA Second Team All-American, making her the 35th Seminole named an All-American in the program's history.

Sandercock was also named to the All-ACC First Team and the NFCA Southeast Region First Team for her performance on the field in 2021.

Amid all the highs she experienced this year, Sandercock also made sure to respond well when faced with adversity, like when she struggled against Duke in the ACC Tournament.

“I think that every loss comes with a lot of lessons and that I definitely learned from that game.” Sandercock said. “I was really nervous going into it. Since then, I have learned to calm my nerves and I try to not let the moment become bigger than it is.”

Those lessons translated quickly into FSU victories through the Tallahassee Regional and in the Baton Rouge Super Regional against No. 7 LSU. Just two weeks after FSU’s loss in the ACC Tournament, Sandercock pitched a two-hit shutout to grab her 24th win of the season over the Tigers.

“I think in the seventh, there was a no-out single, and she ended up getting to second base, but at that moment, I was just so sure and so confident that we were going to get it done and that we were going to come out of that game,” Sandercock said. “I think that was huge just for the whole team to know that we can scratch those runs and win those close ball games because that is what this time of the year is about.”

From the start of the season to its end, Sandercock showed tremendous improvements and developed a level of maturity to her game that will surely benefit the Seminoles in the years to come.

“Kat is a studier of the game...She understands herself quite well, but then she also takes it to the next level in understanding who she is going against,” Alameda said. “I'm really proud of her and I am so excited that we have a couple more years with her.”

kathryn sandercock photo by jade hewitt_athletes unlimited.jpg

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