No one would describe Marisa Reyes as a chatterbox and she’s fine with that.
The Sierra High School freshman lets her game do the talking and oh, sister, does it speak volumes. In the season opener, Reyes broke the school’s single-game strikeout record against Woodland Park.
Though the Stallions lost 7-4, Reyes had 20 strikeouts against Woodland Park and allowed just three hits in her first game post-middle school.
Reyes followed with 14 strikeouts against The Classical Academy, a 12-3 victory, and another 14 versus Gunnison, a game which the Stallions won 8-5.
Reyes shows dedication outside the lines as she works to refine her pitching via YouTube with former Texas A&M softball pitcher Amanda Scarborough.
“Sometimes I watch videos on how to improve,” Reyes said. “I’ll watch Amanda Scarborough’s pitching videos to try to be more accurate and see what I’m doing wrong. If my pitching is a little off that day, I’ll watch her to see where I can improve.”
In 2020, the Stallions combined softball teams with rival Harrison due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019 when Sierra competed as an individual squad, the Stallions finished 0-19. Through 15 games this season, Sierra boasts a 7-8 record.
While the turnaround illustrates a team effort, Reyes’ arm continues to inspire the team’s successful season.
“It’s been good, I didn’t know if I’d play high school ball this year but I thought about it and I’m glad I did,” Reyes said.
Reyes spoke with the Southeast Express about her first year in high school, future collegiate plans and breaking the school’s strikeout record.
Why did you nearly pass on the high school season?
I’ve play travel ball for Altitude for two years. I’m normally really busy but I haven’t had a lot of travel ball practices, so I’ve been able to play high school ball.
How did you get attached to softball?
I officially started playing when I was 6. I tried a bunch of different sports when I was a little kid and then I just fell in love with playing softball and it stuck with me ever since.
How did you feel before you stepped on that field for the first time as a high schooler?
I was excited. It was an exciting experience but it was also nerve-racking because we were all still getting to know each other. But we’ve all developed in our own way and I’m excited about how we continue to improve.
After you learned that you broke the school strikeout record, what was the feeling then?
I was really proud of what I accomplished. I didn’t think I could accomplish that but I’m so grateful that I did because that was good for us. I pushed myself to do my best. If I was low in my count, I kept telling myself I could do this.
I noticed you’re rockin’ an Oklahoma [Sooners] hoodie. Do you hope to play ball there some day?
I actually went to a James Madison-Oklahoma game and I really like Oklahoma. That’s where I want to go to college to play softball. I really liked the way they did thing on the field and also liked the college. I hope to get there someday.
That is a lot of foresight for a freshman. How did you grow to love it out there?
I’ve been there a few times and I really like the state and their softball team is really good. I’m going to try my hardest to get there.
What is the out-of-school-version of you that we don’t see on the diamond.
I’d have to say I’m kind of quiet sometimes but I like to be around a lot of people. I get to hang out with my younger sisters a lot and I really enjoy that.
You are the oldest of the bunch? What’s that like?
It’s good because I get to help my sisters a lot because one of them plays softball. I do the best that I can to help out there. My favorite part is watching them grow and seeing them develop to like new things.
What do you hope to accomplish or improve in your career at Sierra?
I want to improve my attitude because sometimes when I’m in the circle I’ll get down on myself and I get stressed. So, I hope to improve my attitude when I’m not doing so well. There have been a couple of games so far that I would get stressed and throw a couple of bad pitches.