Pitching a perfect game is one way to prove your dominance, and that's exactly what Pearland (Texas) softball star Samantha Show did during the Class 5A softball playoffs against North Shore (Galena Park) in April.
The right-handed pitcher struck out 12 batters in five innings as she helped the Lady Oilers claim a 15-0 win. Show’s skills were integral to Pearland’s 36-4 season, during which the sophomore struck out 357 batters, allowed only 47 hits and 61 walks in 183 innings pitched.
The Texas A&M commit has been perfecting her craft since she was 4, and her dedication to the sport is just one reason she's the focus of this week's Ultimate Athlete profile.
For the next eight months, we’re spotlighting individuals deemed Ultimate Athlete-worthy as part of an ongoing, interactive discussion about what sport supersedes the rest. Check in each week for athlete profiles, smack talk, training videos and more, culminating with the crowning of the Ultimate Athlete.
Show, the Texas Gatorade Softball Player of the Year, explains why she loves softball and why her sport is the best.
Recall your earliest memory at the plate. What did you make of the sport?
Show: I started playing tee-ball when I was 4. I remember playing third base and playing in the chalk and my coach yelling at me. I loved the game. I’d cry if practice was ever canceled because I wanted to play so bad.
Reflect on how your approach to the game has shifted.
Show: Softball became part of my life. When I have weekends off, I don’t know what to do. All my friends play. Over time, I’ve noticed myself grow from playing the sport — it’s taught me so much about life.
What have you learned from playing softball that you’ve applied off the field?
Show: Not to take anything for granted. Anything can be taken away in a second. Last year, I was playing third base and a girl slid into my ankle and took me out. I was wearing ankle braces at the time, but if I wasn’t, I probably would have torn ligaments in my ankle. Who knows [how quickly] I would have recovered.
Defend your sport. Tell us what makes softball the sport to play.
Show: It’s fast-paced — the game can change in a split second. It’s crazy how you can be winning, but then at the bottom of the seventh inning, the other team comes back and wins.
It’s a sport that anyone can play. It doesn’t matter your height or weight. Any girl can get the hang of it. You don’t necessarily have to be the most athletic person, but if you love the game, have heart and [understand] the mental side of it, you can play.
Compare how you train for softball with the other sports you played growing up.
Show: Training for basketball is a little more intense because there’s a lot more running, but I think softball is a way more intense game than basketball will ever be. Especially as a pitcher, I have to be mentally in it for every pitch, every inning, every game.
What’s about softball training is necessarily intense to support the game’s fast pace?
Show: It’s a very explosive sport. Since I’m a pitcher, I have to use my legs a lot. I like squatting. I like pushing myself to get stronger — it makes me feel good. It makes my drive harder, which makes me throw harder and then it’s harder for opponents to hit.