By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– A few short years ago playing 12U softball, a left fielder was going after a fly ball with two outs and runners on base when the unthinkable happened:
The left fielder tripped going after the ball. The runners, scored and forced the five-run mercy rule. The left fielder laid there, on the field, crying when her mom told her to get off the field.
Blanchet Catholic Senior Savannah Barchus, disappointed, got up and tried to shake off what had just happened.
Years later, Barchus was now sitting in the Caviler library on a Wednesday afternoon, signing to pitch at California State University-East Bay in Hayward, California for college. Well removed from that incident on the softball field that day.
You could say it’s her work ethic, her determination, her aggressiveness to pick herself up after situations like that one on the 12U fields has helped the Senior to this point.
“Just like Coach (Tina) Pearson said, she said that’s just something you can’t teach and that’s something within me. That’s just the competitiveness I have and that’s just built from the failures, all the ‘you’re not good enough’s’ and everything,” said Barchus. “That just really pushes you to be better and push that fire that you have inside yourself to always be the best that you can be.
“That’s one thing my coach liked about me, my college coach liked about me, she liked the passion I brought in the circle. Just the emotions that I wore on my sleeve. If I got angry, I showed you that I was angry. If I’m excited about something, I’ll let you know that I’m excited about something.”
It’s her passion on and off the field that helped her be PacWest Conference Pitcher of the Year as a Junior in 2019 and co-Pitcher of the year in 2018 with Scio’s Kelsey Pollard, leading Blanchet to a 26-22 record and two 3A State Playoff appearances the past two years.
She played for Pearson, who is also the Athletic Director at Blanchet, the last two years for soccer. Pearson mentioned how she tried to get the pitcher out her freshman year, and once she saw her athleticism, kicking ability and aggressiveness, knew she had to put Barchus in the field and use that to their advantage.
The Cavs reached the 3A/2A/1A State Quarterfinals this season and the Semi-Finals last season.
Some say it takes a village to make a person. And as she signed to go to the Sunshine State, go to the East Side of the San Francisco Bay Area after this upcoming school year, the support group around Barchus has helped turned that girl on the 12U field into who she is today.
“They made me realize, you have to put in this hard-work and you got to push. My whole life has been softball, so to get to sign this letter is not only for me, but representing all the people that have been behind it,” said Barchus.