Nixon leads way for Warriors
STEPHENS CITY — Sherando’s offense came to life last week, and Carly Nixon was a huge part of that.
Nixon, the leadoff hitter for Sherando’s softball team, got the team started each game. The Warriors scored 53 runs in three games.
“She’s a table setter. With her skill set, she can put a lot of pressure on the defense,” Sherando coach Clarence Smith said. “She’s so formidable in pretty much every aspect of the game. Whether she’s running down a ball in the gaps on defense, or if she’s putting a bunt down and beating the throws out by a step or two. Or if she’s turning on a ball and hitting on a line to the fence or over the fence. She brings a skill set that’s pretty unique to this area, and something that we’re very fortunate to have.”
Nixon went 12 for 14 at the plate last week, just part of the reason she’s the Northern Virginia Daily’s Athlete of the Week for March 30-April 5.
Nixon went 4 for 4 with four runs scored and three stolen bases in a 14-4 victory over Clarke County to start the week. She followed that up with a 5 for 5 performance in a 29-2 victory over Handley.
The senior capped the week off going 3 for 5 with two triples, three RBIs and two runs scored in a 10-3 win over rival Skyline.
Nixon said the victory over Skyline was the highlight of the young season.
“The Skyline game was probably one of the best softball games we’ve ever played,” Nixon said. “It was just a really hype game and we all did well. … That was the first time I’ve beat them in three years that I’ve played here. That was a really exciting moment. I think I almost cried.”
Nixon said she enjoys being in the leadoff role.
Her ability to do a little bit of everything at the plate makes her a tough out. Smith said in the win over the Hawks that Nixon reached base on a bunt in the first inning, and later in the game hit a line drive to the fence for a two-run triple.
Once she reaches base, Nixon is just as dangerous. Nixon is closing in on the career stolen base career record at Sherando.
“I just try and steal every chance that I get,” Nixon said. “Try and advance so we can get a run in, so another girl can get an RBI.”
Nixon said that she’s worked with James Frisby’s Frisby’s Agility, Speed and Strength Training in Winchester and that’s helped her become faster.
That’s also helped make her an ever better defensive player. Smith said that she’s a weapon on defense in center field, where she has started on varsity for four years, just like she is on offense.
“She’s so natural at tracking the ball in center field. She covers a lot of ground,” Smith said. “She’s one of the fastest girls that I’ve ever had in this program. She takes great routes to the ball. There’s not a lot of detours, so to speak, when the ball goes up in the air. She has a lot of confidence in her glove. After she gets there, she has a tremendous arm.”
Nixon said she’s been playing softball since she was 8. She’s played on several different travel teams and played last summer with the Fauquier Freeze.
Next year she plans to play softball for Potomac State College.
“I went down there and I just fell in love with the place, because it’s kind of in the mountains and really pretty,” Nixon said. “I talked to the coach and he’s really, really nice. I think that I will fit well there.”
Nixon said she’s trying to not think about being a senior this year and just wants to enjoy the year.
Sherando lost its first two games against quality competition, but bounced back with three convincing wins last week.
“This is by far my favorite team,” Nixon said. “We’re all really close. We’ve had some ups and downs, but we’ve come through, and I think that’s made us a better team.
“I definitely want us to win the conference or district title, and I think we’re capable of that.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org