In her four years at Longwood, Sydney Backstrom has established herself as one of the top pitchers in the Big South. She currently leads the conference in opposing batting average, innings pitched, wins, and is second in strikeouts. She has been the latest in a long line of exceptional pitchers to come through the Longwood softball program, and currently has her team in third place in the Big South.
Backstrom had this to say about the season she’s been having. “I’m definitely impressed, but at the same time, I know that I have worked hard enough to be able to have numbers like this. I’m just happy that I’m putting my work into action so that I can achieve things like this.” While her stats have been impressive, Backstrom said that she tries not to focus too much on them. “I just go out there and try to throw hard.”
Backstrom spoke on how her efforts have helped the team along this season. “I think that I bring a competitive attitude that the team feeds off of some time. I try my best to slow the other team down to make things easier for our offense so that when we’re not having the greatest day hitting, we can still win the game with a small amount of runs.”
Backstrom’s coach, Dr. Megan Brown, has good pitching pedigree as an all-American in her own playing days and having worked for several esteemed coaches, and Backstrom said that she has learned a lot from her. “I think she has definitely helped me with the mental game. I am not thinking as much as I used to, I’m just going out there and throwing. She has helped me throw with more aggression and helped me get the ball to drop faster.” Backstrom went on to say that she thinks the team can win the Big South this season if she keeps it up.
Brown went on to talk about how having a pitcher like Backstrom has helped her in her first year at Longwood. “I think Sydney would make any coach’s job easier. Any time you have great women on and off the field, it makes your job easier as a coach.” Brown also said that she is not surprised by the season that Backstrom is having. “Knowing the work ethic and talent that she has, she’s meeting expectations. She works very hard and she is reaping the benefits of all the work that she has put in.”
Brown spoke on how she has used her pitching background to help Backstrom and the other pitchers. “We have a system that we use with all of our pitchers. When the come in, we work on their mechanics and make sure they are efficient. We teach them to use their pitches in the best sequencing. It’s what I’ve been utilizing at the different places that I have been at.” Brown said that Backstrom is “reaping the harvest that she planted back in the fall,” and believes that she can do anything that she sets her mind to.