SIGNING DAY: PLAS Lady Patriots Amberlyn Baker signs with Wallace College in Dothan
Published 3:00 am Thursday, March 19, 2015
Only a select few high school athletes have the opportunity to make their dreams of playing college ball a reality, but catcher for PLAS softball Amberlyn Baker officially achieved her goal of having the opportunity to play at a higher level.
Baker signed with the Dothan Campus of Wallace College to play softball, and said she hoped to be able to be a role model for the little girls who dream of one day doing the same.
“I know there are little girls like I used to be that look up to college players and I want to be a good role model for those little girls.” Baker said. “If that’s their goal, I want them to do everything they can to get there.”
Softball head coach Allie Park has been able to watch Baker, or AB to much of the athletic department, grow as a player in both softball and volleyball and said she knew there was something special about Baker from the get go.
“It’s really, really special to me because this is the first girl I’ve been able to sign, because I’m a young coach,” Park said. “I love AB me and her have butted heads sometimes, but I love her and she knows that. It’s a really good feeling to see her be able to continue the success that she’s had and keep on doing that.”
Baker is one of two seniors on the PLAS softball team this year, and Park said the catcher to replace Baker behind the plate had large shoes to fill.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do next year,” Park said. “I’m definitely going to have to find a catcher, but replacing somebody like her is going to be hard. She’s someone who works hard and really cares about the game. That’s going to be tough.”
Jason Ford, Baker’s coach with the Elite Lady Sox softball team out of Dothan, was also at her signing Wednesday morning, and said he had enjoyed watching Baker grow into an amazing ball player.
“When I got started with this, that was my goal, to get these girls to the next level,” Ford said. “We’ve won the World Series and state championship, but the biggest thing is getting them to the next level. She’s very good catching defensively, and she can read my mind on a lot of pitches that I want to call that I don’t have to give her a signal.”
But, when all was said and done Tuesday, Baker had one person she truly wanted to thank for their constant support—her mother.
“There are plenty of people in my life who have helped me accomplish my dream of playing college softball,” Baker said. “My mom has been my biggest fan since day one. Whether it is 30 degrees or 105, my mom is at every game possible. I can’t thank her enough for being my No. 1 fan.”