PANAMA CITY BEACH — Sarah Robertson has no shortage of people telling her how talented she is on the softball field.
The National Fastpitch Softball Association is the latest to recognize her ability.
Robertson, a 17-year-old senior-to-be at Arnold, was named to the NFSA’s all-South Region second team encompassing states in the Southeast and up the Atlantic coast from Florida to Virginia.
“I means a heck of a lot,” said Robertson, who has committed to Liberty University to play for U.S. Olympic legend Dot Richardson. “The award comes from the coaches, so that’s pretty cool. At first I never really thought about it, but now that I’ve got this award, it makes me feel like I’m one of the top players in the South. I’m pretty honored.”
Robertson plays catcher and shortstop for the Marlins, and she batted .515 with nine home runs and 42 runs batted in through 24 games. She also competes on the North Florida travel team and will be headed to Colorado next week for a tournament after playing in three tournaments already this summer.
“We just came back from one last night in South Carolina,” she said, noting that the tournament was comprised of four teams, including an under-23 squad filled with college-aged players. “It was pretty cool. It gives you a look at people that are playing in college and have that experience.”
Arnold coach Rick Green said 160 players nationwide were selected to the NFSA’s all-region teams, and only one other player from Florida (Katelyn Kelly from North Fort Myers) was selected to the South squad. Green said Robertson has natural athleticism, but it is her dedication to the sport that has been the driving force behind her development into the area’s premier player.
“She works every day,” Green said. “I was talking to her two days ago when she was doing a drill out here. She told me she takes a broom handle and golf balls and hits them around in the back yard. She works a lot on her own. She’s not sitting around.”
Robertson provided a glimpse into the regimen intended to make her stronger and improve her endurance.
“I do dumbbells on the bench regularly, and I do sit-ups with those,” she said. “I do rubber bands, and I do sprints and mile runs. I do a bunch of push-ups. I’m doing a lot of upper body lately and a lot of lower body with plyometric jumps and squats and snatches and running.
“When I hit a home run I can definitely feel the hard work paying off. When I’m behind the plate catching, I don’t get tired as quickly.”
Robertson said she has been looking forward to her senior year since school ended for the summer. Robertson is an all-state volleyball player, too, and she said she is looking forward to a brief reprieve from her softball pursuits.
“But once I’ve been playing volleyball for a couple months,” she said, “I can’t wait to play softball again, and I get even more excited.”