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High school softball: East Hall's Macy Banks thrives under the spotlight of pressure-packed pitching situations
Right-hander doesn't flinch with the game on the line
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East Hall's Macy Banks pitches during a game against Coahulla Creek at East Hall Park on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. - photo by Austin Steele

There’s no position on the softball diamond that fits East Hall’s Macy Banks quite like pitcher. 

Banks enjoys the spotlight. She likes to feel the pressure of having to finish of a one-run game in the seventh inning, every eye on her as she takes control of the team in an effort to finish off games. 

“I’ve always kind of been the person who’s just like ‘Hey, we’re going to do this. We’re going to win this game,’” she said. “I think me being a pitcher really exhibits my personality. If I had to pick a position that would fit my personality, it would definitely be pitching.”

So far, it’s been a match made in heaven for the Lady Vikings. 

Banks has been East Hall’s ace pitcher since she joined the team as a freshman, and she’s never disappointed. 

Banks contributed three years of stellar pitching to the program, and is in the midst of her best season as a Lady Viking, leading the team to a 11-3 mark so far on the year, going 10-2 as a starter. 

“It’s definitely great to have her, especially in fast pitch softball,” East Hall coach Anuel Burce said. “Everybody knows that if you’ve got a good pitcher, you’ve got a good chance to win.”

Banks began pitching when she was around 8 years old, and by the time she joined the Lady Viking softball team, she was ready to contribute immediately. 

Banks said pitching at the high school level made her nervous at first, but as the years passed by, she just got better and better.

“As I’ve gotten older and gotten more experience, more games, playing more, pitching more, playing against girls older than me, tougher competition, I guess I’ve gotten tougher as the years have gone on,” she said. “I enjoy being in the spotlight, game on the line situation. To me, when I do my best is when the pressure is on.”

This past week, Banks backed those words up.

On Wednesday and Thursday, she pitched a pair of complete-game victories over Madison County and Dawson County, striking out 20 batters over 14 innings played and only giving up one run and four total hits. Offensively, she batted 6 for 8, and most importantly, East Hall won both games. 

“Just having her overall is definitely a big help, and definitely puts us at ease as coaches and as a team knowing that she’s going to give us a chance to win day in and day out,” Burce said.

As Banks goes through this season, she has her eyes set on a couple of goals. She wants to reach 500 total strikeouts in her career, and bat .350 for her senior year. 

So far she’s at right around 400 Ks, and her batting average is over .500. 

But more important than any personal goals, Banks said she just wants to keep winning games with the teammates she’s been playing with for four years now. As she prepares to take the next step and pitch for Georgia State next season, Banks is playing to take the team she’s grown up with as far as she possibly can. 

“I’m really using this year to progress and learn and get better, because this will be my last year where I’ll get a lot of pitching time to really grow and progress and really just give it my all,” Banks said. ”I’ve been playing with these girls since I was little, and I’m really just soaking it all in and enjoying every moment and just trying to get better as the season goes along.”

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