The Union Recorder

Local Sports

October 4, 2013

UR ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Raley picks up second Athlete of the Week

MILLEDGEVILLE — It’s been a breakout season for Georgia Military Prep School pitcher Dixie Raley.

Her recent performance earned her Athlete of the Week for the second time this year based on her strong pitching against First Presbyterian Day School last week and against Perry on Monday.

The junior struck out 14 batters in the Lady Bulldogs’ 5-1 win over FPD and snagged 19 strikeouts in the 4-0 victory over Perry.

“In the past few games, I’ve really known that my defense is behind me and they’ve really helped me, and so knowing they’re behind me I can focus on throwing strikes,” Raley said. “I know if they hit the ball that my defense is behind me because my job isn’t to strike everybody out, it’s to let them put it in play and let my defense work.”

With a strong defense behind her, Raley said she feels comfortable on the mound, but also credits GMC Prep’s offense for putting points on the scoreboard each game.

“Also, on offense my team scores a lot of runs and that insurance really helps me get into my comfort zone, and it lets you relax,” she said. “That’s what’s really helped me.”

For Raley, much of her success comes in part from her supportive teammates week-in and week-out, as she admits it has not been an individual effort this season.

“It gives me a lot of confidence, because they’re so positive,” she said. “All they do is they encourage me, and knowing that they’re behind me like that, it builds a lot of trust so that I can trust them to be able to make the plays.”

While it seems as if pitchers are on an island by themselves most of the time, the tall junior suggests otherwise.

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