LEWISTOWN - Brandi Sherwood, a four-year letter winner in softball in her three years at Indian Valley and her final year at Mifflin County High School, has always been a standout in her sport.
In her final year, as she soon embarks for Bloomsburg University to enter its nursing program, Sherwood received the highest honor for her accomplishments as a high school softball player - she made it onto the Pennsylvania Softball Coaches' Association All-State team.
Jack McCurdy, the Mifflin County softball coach, was not surprised when he found out Sherwood was an all-state selection - at a position she started playing as a senior.
Sentinel file photo
Mifflin County’s Brandi Sherwood gets ready to field a ball against Bald Eagle Area earlier this spring in?Lewistown. Sherwood was selected to the Pennsylvania Softball Coaches Association All-State second team.
"There's no doubt she deserved it," McCurdy said of Sherwood, who was tabbed for the second team, one of three shortstops statewide on the No. 2 squad. "She was clearly the leader of our team as far as the players go."
As McCurdy explained, Sherwood lead the team not by word, but by example.
"She gets the most out of every practice," McCurdy said, explaining that Sherwood's dedication toward achieving excellence set an example for the whole team to follow.
But Sherwood did more than inspire the team by her strong example - her statistics also speak for the impact she made on her team.
With a .371 batting average which included three home runs and nine RBIs, Sherwood was a driving force behind Mifflin County's offense. And once she got on base, she was sure to keep the other team's defense on its toes.
"She's the kind of player who would force the other team to make a mistake," McCurdy said of Sherwood's base running. As McCurdy explained, on what would normally be a single, Sherwood would gun it on the bases, often forcing the opposing players to err in their haste to try to get her out.
But if Sherwood was an offensive asset to her team, she was also a mainstay of the defense at short stop.
McCurdy explained that for Sherwood's first three years at Indian Valley, she played in center field. As a result, McCurdy expected Sherwood would play her last year at Mifflin County from the same position - but when a spot temporarily opened up at short stop, he decided he wanted Sherwood to give the spot a try. It wasn't long until he realized he wanted Sherwood at short stop for the rest of the season.
"Any kind of ball that got hit her way ... I knew she was going to make the play," McCurdy said.
And with Sherwood's fielding percentage of .974, it's no wonder McCurdy never doubted her.
Sherwood will soon be off to college. McCurdy said Sherwood is yet undecided whether or not she will attempt to play ball at the collegiate level. In the meantime, however, Sherwood is currently competing on the High Intensity 18U Class A softball team.
"She's a gifted athlete," McCurdy said. "I'm really pleased she earned (the spot). She definitely deserved it."