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Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2019
Sabrina Folz more of a diamond girl than her sister
by Randy Pascal

Not all athletic families share the same love of sport.

Local female baseball sensation Sabrina Folz enjoyed her second straight opportunity to compete at nationals this past summer, taking part in the 2018 Baseball Canada 16U Girls Invitational Championships in Bedford, Nova Scotia. The younger sister to touted Sudbury Laurels' competitor, Kayla Folz, the grade ten student at St Charles College figured out quickly she wanted to travel a road of her own.

“I actually was a gymnast for a few years, but I didn't want to be just like my sister, so we went off to find a different sport,” explained Sabrina. “I liked gymnastics, but it wasn't like I looked forward to it every day. I did a little soccer, swam for a little bit, but fell in in love with baseball at seven or eight years old.”

At that age, it's clearly a vastly different game that the one the fans in Nova Scotia would have gathered to witness this past summer. “I first started off playing around the infield, but as I got older, I realized that I had really good tracking skills on balls that are hit in the air, so I play outfield now, mostly centerfield, and I love pitching.”

A member of the Sudbury Minor Baseball Association almost from the outset, Folz cracked the lineup of the Sudbury Voyageurs rep team in 2017, a circumstance that allowed her to face a number of teams from southern Ontario. It was at one of those outings that parents from the opposing team mentioned to her father the option of competing with an Ontario based team at nationals.

A few phone calls and a walk-on tryout later, Folz would be selected to suit up with the host squad, Team Vaughan. “My most memorable moment from last year (2017) was that I got to pitch against Team Québec,” she recalled. “We only won two games at nationals, but one of them was against Team Québec, and their only loss was against us.”

“I was the starter and got to throw one hundred pitches that game, which was the max.” With nationals shifting to the Maritimes this past summer, Folz would be forced to vie for a spot on Team Ontario, despite missing the first few tryouts, rehabbing a sore arm. Win a spot she would, creating yet another stream of wonderful memories.

“I haven't been out of Ontario much before, except when we were traveling for Kayla,” she said. “It was really nice. There were deer just roaming around the park and we had to scare them off so they wouldn't get hit by any balls. And we went to Peggy's Cove, as a team. I just loved it.”

Looking ahead, there are certainly some stars to shoot for. “My biggest goal is probably making Team Canada,” said Folz. “I know that's kind of far-fetched, but I'm hoping if I really try hard, I can make it.”

“For pitching, I have to improve on my curveball and changeup. They have to be more accurate, and I have to be able to hit the corners of the plate. In the outfield, I am pretty even with everyone else. But I have to learn to dive, to lay it out there like Kevin Pillar."

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