The nights are getting colder, the leaves are slowly turning color and the sights of footballs flying through the air on Friday nights has become common, but one Austintown girl is still making waves playing a summer sport.
Fitch senior Amanda Callahan has been wowing local softball fans for years, but what she did on Labor Day weekend amazed a much wider audience. In the recently completed fourth annual Queen of Diamond South Softball Showcase in South Carolina, Callahan collected two game MVP awards and was selected First Team All-Tournament.
The Queen of Diamonds tournament is the largest fastpitch softball tournament in the country and is designed to showcase potential players to college recruiters. More than 2,000 applicants from 30 states and two Canadian provinces attempted to make the tournament with just 264 of those girls getting selected. The criteria for making a roster is based on ability, potential, academics, coaches’ requests, referrals and graduation year. With that many prerequisites, it is easy to tell why making the squad in the first place was a big deal for Callahan.
“Making the team gave me a real sense of accomplishment,” said the senior over her cell phone. “I know that all of my hard work has paid off. (Playing softball so well) brings enjoyment to me.”
Enjoyment was also brought to her teammates when Callahan made an amazing catch in the Sunday game of the tournament to secure a victory. That catch not only sealed a win for Callahan’s team, but also sealed an important second game MVP award for our local athlete.
“That catch in the second game sparked momentum,” said Callahan. “I really wanted that second MVP.”
Besides her accomplishments last weekend, Callahan has also been named to the underclass All-District team this summer and participated in a national tournament in Virginia a couple of months ago. She plays volleyball for Fitch and is a member of the marching band. Callahan is also currently helping her two Falcon coaches, Melody and Steve Ward, coach an under-12 fall softball team. Working with the Wards that closely has given Callahan’s coaches a first-hand view of just how amazing a person she is.
“(Amanda) is off to a good senior year,” said Steve Ward via email. “She is a leader who needs to be recognized. She plays softball year round and has truly showcased her talents.”
Callahan shares that same kind of praise when she talks about her two mentors.
“The coaches at Fitch are amazing,” she says. “I feel a bond with them. We have become very close and they are very supportive.”
Amanda is not only talented on the softball diamond, but she is a champion in the classroom as well. One of the abovementioned factors that played into Callahan’s calling to the QDSS club was academics and she proves everyday how making grades is as easy to her as making sensational catches. Callahan carries a 3.7 grade point average which will make it easier for her when she goes to college.
“I haven’t chosen a college yet,” says Callahan, “but I want to study pre-med and possibly become a cardiologist. School work is very important to me.”
If Amanda Callahan does become a cardiologist some day it will be sort of ironic. This awesome student athlete is already number one in the hearts of so many Fitch softball fans. She may as well start working on those hearts too.