Before the season started, Andrea Lyon knew she would have to shoulder the bulk of the pitching load for the White Knoll softball team.
Lyon was more than capable of doing that and helped the Timberwolves to the best season in school history and to their first state championship series. The rising junior started 30 of the team’s 32 games, posting a 26-4 record. She had 200 strikeouts in 189 1/3 innings pitched.
Lyon struck out 10 or more in seven games this year. She earned all-state honors and was named The State’s Midlands Softball Player of the Year.
“My coaches said ‘ You’ve got to be ready for this because you’ve got to be pitching a lot,’ and they pushed me into running and getting in better shape for the season,” Lyon said. “I didn’t know I could pitch that much, but I ended up pitching almost every game. My defense was great behind me, and so was my offense.
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“My arm didn’t hurt. Pitchers in softball mainly use their legs anyway.”
Lyon threw a no-hitter against Dutch Fork, but one of her best games came in game two of the title series against Byrnes. She worked her way out of a jam in the bottom of the seventh and onto a 4-3 victory.
“She was bound and determined to be different,” White Knoll coach April Farr said after the game. “You could see she was focused through the whole game. She didn’t get rattled and just went after it. She did a great job.”
Lyon credits her pitching success on the mound to being able to spin the ball on her pitches, something she worked on during the offseason.
Lyon also got it done at the plate. She hit .407 with nine homers and 35 RBIs as part of the home-run heavy Timberwolves’ lineup. White Knoll hit 39 homers this year, including seven in a game against Irmo.
The right-hander thought the Timberwolves had a chance to be special back in preseason scrimmages. And even though White Knoll lost the title game, Lyon said expectations are to get back there next season.
“We have a saying, ‘Row the boat;’ and we set goals on winning region, district and lower state. We made it that far,” Lyon said. “Even though we lost the championship game, I don’t think I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and my team behind my back.
“We have another goal to go back to state next year, and hopefully we can do that.”