By Steve Ramirez
Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr once said that the one thing that separates the good player from the champion is what that individual does at the brink of elimination. South Hills High School softball player Sydney La Follette fits the “champion” definition perfectly. She’s played her best during the CIF-Southern Section playoffs, and is a big reason why the Huskies will play for the Division 3 title Friday when they take on top seed Oaks Christian at 7:30 p.m. at Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park in Irvine.
La Follette, who’s one of the top hitters in the area, has been on fire in the postseason, batting .643 with eight RBIs and three home runs. She has six homers for the season.
“It’s interesting you ask that,” said South Hills coach Scott Fisch when apprised of La Follette’s postseason numbers. “I asked her that last week, and she told me that it’s not a matter that can she do it, but now she has to do it.
“It’s an interesting frame of mind, but she is certainly coming through in the playoffs.”
La Follette has also been solid in the circle, yielding seven runs in four playoff wins. For the season, she’s 17-6 with a 3.50 ERA.
“At the beginning of the year she tried to be too perfect,” Fisch said. “I told her, `Look behind you. You have a great defense to support you, and look at the hitters. Any pitcher in the Valley would take this offense.’ She finally settled in and is having fun.”
La Follette and the rest of the Huskies face a daunting task Friday against Oaks Christian, which has given up just one run in the postseason.
South Hills counters with an offense that’s scored 36 runs in four playoff games, including a 16-1 blitz of No. 2 Bishop Amat in the semifinals Tuesday.