Sports Spotlight: Sawyer has grown game, role to help D.H. Conley reach state finals

Vikings senior set to join ECU softball next fall
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 6:49 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - D.H. Conley softball is in the state championship series this weekend. They have an extremely talented team with a half dozen players going to play college ball next year. One of their leaders Anna Sawyer is one of those players. Staying right here in Greenville. We feature her in this week’s Pepsi Sports Spotlight.

“I have been put into softball since I was four. It has been my whole life ever since,” says D.H. Conley Anna Sawyer, “I’ve played travel since I was 7.”

D.H. Conley senior Anna Sawyer has softball in her genes.

“Dad and mom, mom actually played here at Conley,” says Sawyer, “Back when it was slow pitch but yes.”

Following mom to play at D.H. Conley Anna’s become a senior leader for the Vikings.

“Just a tough nosed individual, very determined, but also equally has a very good heart,” says D.H. Conley head coach Wayne Deans, “Very family oriented but I can tell you, just knowing her from her freshman year to now, her senior year she’s definitely a natural leader.”

A piece to one of the best teams in the state. Years of work, and loads of travel, have helped Sawyer become the player she is today.

“I play on one of the best teams in the country Mojo Fisher. All summer long, all fall,” says Anna, “This season I’m actually in Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Colorado, California.”

She and the Vikings earned a spot in the 4A state championship series this weekend.

“I know my freshman year we lost in the Eastern finals and that was such a huge upset and I knew from that point on I was not leaving without a ring,” says Sawyer, “This is an awesome group I have never met a group with so much grit, and so much heart to play. We really play for each other and not for ourselves.”

“This is my fifth trip and for this group of young ladies it will be their first trip,” says Deans, “and it doesn’t matter if it’s your first or your fifth, anytime you get an opportunity it’s a really special moment.”

The next step in the journey with more to come. Anna previously thought she was going to play in college for Duke.

“I started out with the lady Dukes when I first got into wanting to play college softball. And that completely took me to the next level,” says Sawyer, “Lady Dukes is actually very connected with the Duke program. I realized I wanted to start over my commitment process.”

Instead she will be the hometown kid. Representing the hometown ECU Pirates starting next fall.

“I’ve been to a lot of camps, I actually was recruited by Oliver originally,” says Anna, “He (Shane Winkler) decided to stick with me. So I’m actually really excited and it’s been a huge blessing in the long run.”

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