E.A. Sports Today

Snider, Wildcats split DH

JSU signee pitches twice on future field, beats Albertville, falls to No. 1 Southside

White Plains' Anna Snider leaves the Jacksonville State dugout after the Wildcats' games there Monday. The next time she's in that dugout she'll be playing for the Gamecocks.

White Plains’ Anna Snider leaves the Jacksonville State dugout after the Wildcats’ games there Monday. The next time she’s in that dugout she’ll be playing for the Gamecocks.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — The moment Anna Snider stepped into the circle at Jacksonville State Monday night, it was if she’d been there all her life.

Sure, it was a big stage, but she couldn’t have been any more comfortable with her surroundings. And that’s a good thing going forward because for the next four years the field White Plains played on Monday night is going to be the place Snider calls her college home.

The senior right-hander threw every pitch in both games for the Wildcats in their trip to JSU. She took a 7-3 loss to top-ranked (6A) Southside in the opener, but bounced back to beat Albertville in the nightcap 3-2.

“I was telling Coach (Rachel) Ford I felt like I was at home,” Snider said. “It was a cool atmosphere. We had a lot of people here, all the JSU people here. I’ve grown up around it. It’s my new home. It felt like home playing here. It was just fun to be able to play here.”

That welcoming feeling started even before she took the field. No sooner had she gotten through the gate she was greeted by JSU freshman first baseman Leila Chambers. The Gamecocks were just getting back into their dugout after celebrating a walk-off sweep of Southeast Missouri.

“I feel like I’m already part of their family,” Snider said.

JSU softball coach Jana McGinnis hung around to watch the games and saw the signee give up three runs to Southside in the first two innings and 12 hits in the game.

McGinnis knows what kind of player she’s getting. She told Snider during the recruiting process they weren’t signing her as a pitcher but as an athlete and could see her playing any number of places — even as a freshman, especially if she comes in and hits.

“There were two things that really made us want her,” McGinnis said. “No. 1, she wanted to be a Gamecock. Other schools looked her, but it was like, ‘this is my home, this is where I want to play.’

“The second thing was just her work ethic. Rachel said she’s one of her all-time favorite kids to coach. I don’t feel you can go wrong with somebody who works hard like she does and wants to be here. I just think that kind of kid’s going to get better and better.”

Snider has been coming to JSU camps for years. In all that time she has probably learned as much about the program as anyone, but if she needed any more insight all she needed to do was turn to her coach.

Ford is one of JSU’s all-time home run leaders and although she said she stayed in the background when it came time for the serious decision-making she was more than happy to share her experiences with a player she said comes around once in a coach’s lifetime.

“What you can say about Anna is she’s one of the best workers on the team — she is the best worker on the team; she leads by example,” Ford said. “And the reason she’s successful is because of how much work she’s put into the sport.

“The list (of superlatives) goes on and on. Very rarely do you get an athlete like her who has everything. She’s got the whole package.”

If the Wildcats could have delivered a timely hit, Snider might have been a winning pitcher twice.

Carley Wood homered for the Wildcats’ first run, but they left the bases loaded in the third and two runners in scoring position in the fourth. They scored their other two runs on the same wild pitch in the sixth.

Snider got some significant help from her defense — particularly first baseman Lauren Mueller — to keep the second game close. Mueller snagged a liner with bases loaded and turned an unassisted double play in the third and stabbed a hot bouncer with two runners in scoring position to end the fifth. The Wildcats scored tying runs in the bottom of each inning.

Then they took the lead in sixth when Lauren Dodson broke a 2-2 tie by bringing home the go-ahead run with an infield out.

The Wildcats (19-5) hit four doubles in the game — two by Wood — and three came around to score.



Southside 7, White Plains 3

Southside 120 202 0 — 7 12 4
White Plains 010 002 0 — 3 4 0

CLAIRE GRAVES and Morgan Hollaway; ANNA SNIDER and Carley Wood. 2B: Brittany Williams (S), Hunter Ashcraft (S). HR: Carley Wood (WP). WP: Graves. LP: Snider.

White Plains 3, Albertville 2

Albertville 010 010 0 — 2 7 0
White Plains 001 011 x — 3 8 2

MADISON CANTRELL, Carlee Fleming (4) and Kayleigh Powell; ANNA SNIDER and Carley Wood. 2B: Allison Hansford (A), Amber Greenwood (WP), Carley Wood 2 (WP), Anna Rouse (WP). WP: Snider. LP: Cantrell.

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