Vanessa Anderson

Created: 04/30/2014 6:38 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- "(Vanessa) is the spark plug that makes us go," Bryon softball coach Gary Prantner said.

Vanessa Anderson has been Byron's starting pitcher since she was in seventh grade.

"Every single time that I get out there and play, I just have fun with it," Anderson said.

With such a young team this year, Vanessa has had to rely on a new defense backing her up.

"So many kids have made really good plays where I'm like 'Holy cow.' So I definitely trust them and I think this is one of the better defensive teams we've had," said Anderson.

The Bear shutout Houston last week, tallying 10 runs in support of their pitcher. Vanessa struck out five batters, and allowed just three hits.

"She's started to hit spots and be able to control her change up, keeping the ball down in the zone, which makes her difficult to hit," said Prantner.

"My fastball is doing well and I'm also mixing in my rise ball. I didn't have that last year, so now it really changes the eye level, so as an 0-2 pitch, it's a good one," said Anderson.

Along with a nearly perfect day in the circle, Vanessa went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs.

"I feel that I've been putting much better contact on and I'm seeing the ball really well," said Anderson.
"She's really been trying to work on driving the ball to center field and the opposite field," said Prantner.

Last season, Vanessa hit 15 home runs, setting the state record for the most in one season. This year, she says she is focusing on fine tuning her swing, hoping to set a new record.

"The main focus this year is just to put good contact and get line drives; if the ball is going to go out, it's going to go out," said Anderson.