Why Cydney Sanders Chose Arizona State
Cydney Sanders is one of the top players in the country this season and she's just in her first year of college softball. The Arizona State true freshman, who was SA's No. 14 recruit in the 2021 class, was a star for the Corona Angels during her club softball days.
Born in Houston before her family moved to San Diego when she was six years old, Sanders has been playing softball since she was five years old. She's currently batting .467 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs for the Sun Devils this season.
Softball America chatted with Sanders about her journey in the game so far, decision to play college ball at Arizona State and plenty more. See the full interview below.
Softball America: Why did you decide to play college softball at Arizona State?
Cydney Sanders: I talked to Coach Ford when I was in 8th grade. We talked every month and she convinced me to come here and visit. I came on a visit in 8th grade and I just loved the campus, the field, the coaching staff and everything. It was like a home away from home, and Coach Ford is like a mom to me. She made me feel comfortable.
SA: How has the adjustment been from playing travel and high school softball to playing for a major D1 program?
CS: Playing for Marty (Tyson) was like playing at the collegiate level, so it didn’t feel like a big change to me because I feel like I have been in that atmosphere before. Maybe the girls have a little bit more spin than in the travel ball community, but other than that, I felt comfortable in this atmosphere. It was kind of hard to adjust (to school) at first, as I had to balance the two and find time for my homework. Adjusting my daily life and finding time to do stuff in the fall was a major adjustment. I’m well-adjusted now because I have online classes that help for a student-athlete.
SA: How did your softball journey begin?
CS: Starting around five years old, I played T-ball and I was in rec ball for a very long time. I didn’t go to travel ball until I was about 12 or 13. I played with Power Surge for about three years and then I moved to Marty Tyson’s team, Corona Angels, where I would play for him for the rest of my travel ball experience.
SA: As you continue your academic and athletic career at Arizona State, what are you most excited for?
CS: I’m excited about the classes that I get to take. I finally decided to choose a major and I chose Psychology. There are some interesting classes here. Softball-wise, I’m excited to be playing against the hardest teams (in college softball).
SA: Throughout your softball journey, who has been your main motivator?
CS: I have two people. I would say my dad because he played in the pros. He played in the minor leagues for about 10 years and coached for four years. He has been the person to teach me everything that I know now, and he’s developed me into the person that I am today. Another person I would say is Marty Tyson because he also helped to prepare me for the collegiate level because he ran his practices at a very high level. He is also a big part of who I am today.
SA: Are there any tips you can give young softball players who are currently going through the recruiting process?
CS: I would say to work on your craft and never take anything for granted. Make sure you’re hustling off the field and all the little things matter. Even if you don’t think a coach is watching, be careful because they just might be looking out. In terms of recruiting, try to be with the bigger teams for travel ball or high school ball so that you can play in the bigger and better tournaments that will help prepare you for the sport at the collegiate level.