Sarah Chow has returned from four years as one of the leaders for the Utah State Aggies’ softball team. She will be spending time coaching young softball players and hopes to eye a spot on the Canadian National team.

View Royal athlete returns home

Softball player finds confidence in sport at college level

Prior to college, she would have laughed.

If anyone would have told Sarah Chow, she’d be batting left, starting in the outfield, hitting over a .400 average and setting team records, the then 18-year-old recruit heading to Utah State on a softball scholarship, wouldn’t have believed you. Turns out, she’d be wrong.

“I started out as a pitcher,” the View Royal resident said. “It’s crazy to see the freshmen I walked in as and the senior I walked out as. I never thought I would break records at all.”

From the age of four, the West Shore resident played ball, some of it with the Victoria Devils before the scholarship took her to the college town of Logan to work on a degree in family life studies and an opportunity to play for the Aggies.

Right out of high school graduation, her whole life changed, not only as a softball player, but as a person.

“The hardest thing was being away from my family, I was living on my own and cooking on my own… It was a culture shock as well,” she said. “It’s crazy because down there, they have super competitive softball… It was pretty eye opening to see the different calibre of play. You really have to fight for your spot to play and keep your scholarship.”

Amid those trials, the entire Aggies softball program faced its own challenges, the result of over a decade of consecutive losing seasons. Chow’s first season in Utah State saw the team finish with 11 victories and 43 losses. It wasn’t until a new coach, Steven Johnson arrived, that the program began to turn around.

“When she was a freshman they started the season 0-20 they did not have a history of doing well, so it took time. It took time to learn how to win, win close games,” Johnson said.

Over the next season, Johnson flipped Chow around to the opposite side of the batters box, putting her that much closer to first base and taking advantage of her speed. He also dropped her into the outfield to utilize her range running down fly balls. Her next two years ended with setting team records for most triples in a game, most triples in a season, longest game hitting streak, longest game reached base streak, most assists in a game as a short stop, and tying the mark for most hits in a game.

By the time Chow was aging out of the program as a senior, a group of students, coaches and staff that started out as strangers from different cities helped turn in a winning season.

“This was the first winning season in 20 years and the seniors were a big part of that. From day one they decided they wanted to leave a legacy,” Johnson said. “(They) did a lot to build this program that helped us win a lot more. She was a big part of that being a part of the senior class and leading by example.”

Following a rewarding four-year stint in the United States, Chow returned to the West Shore and continues here journey saying she will be coaching the up-and-coming generation of softball players as they progress through some of the opportunities she benefitted from.

She hopes to pass on some of the lessons she learned in Utah, including one her coach left with her after graduation.

“My coach said all he wanted me to leave college with was confidence, he always saw so much potential, he saw what I didn’t see in myself. When I left he gave me a huge hug and said he can’t believe how much I changed as a person,” Chow said. “I hopefully can give back to help the people who helped me and give back to girls who want to get to the next level as well.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Saanich councillor slams McKenzie Interchange Project

Coun. Judy Brownoff said the project will only create more greenhouses gases and traffic

PHOTOS: Check out the bells and whistles added to Westhills Stadium

Rick Stiebel/News Staff Clusters of tradespeople buzzing around busy with last-minute preparations… Continue reading

40 BC authors collaborate on new book celebrating the islands of the Salish Sea

Ivan Watson Special to the News Marion Cumming’s hilltop property near McNeil… Continue reading

Fairfield plan ‘counterintuitive’ to affordability aims, says working group member

Plan for Victoria neighbourhood heads to public hearing Sept. 12

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

VIDEO: Come along for the ride on Tour de Victoria

Reporter captures video footage of his Tour de Victoria ride

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

RCMP originally planned to arrest Meng Wanzhou on plane, defence lawyers say

The allegations have not been proven in court. Meng was arrested Dec. 1 at Vancouver airport at the behest of the U.S.

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Ethics commissioner ready to testify on Trudeau, SNC-Lavalin: NDP critic

A new poll suggests the report hasn’t so far hurt the Liberals’ chances of re-election this fall

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

Prices showed strength in other areas, including an 18.9 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Most Read