After Tuesday's game between Evans and Greenbrier, I asked Knights coach Colette Cassedy if I could speak with Savanna.
"You mean Savanah Coon?" she asked, referring to the Wolfpack's standout senior pitcher, who had just earned a 3-2 win over Evans.
"No, I was hoping to talk to Savanna Gladue," I replied.
I spoke with the Knights' third baseman, and only later thought about the exchange between Cassedy and me.
For the longtime coach to assume I meant Coon is not a slight to Gladue. That's because the two are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Coon, it could be argued, is the face of Greenbrier's program this season. She is the star pitcher who also has hit plenty of home runs. She had, in fact, just won the game minutes before I asked the question, finishing with 12 strikeouts.
And Cassedy was correct in thinking that I would want to speak with Greenbrier's star; I had already done so.
Gladue, on the other hand, is unassuming. She's a sophomore, and she's shorter than most of her teammates. She's not going to be mistaken for a power hitter.
But she sure can play.
Gladue is the type of player you love to have on your team. She's also the type of player you hate to see in the opposing dugout.
Take, for example, longtime Greenbrier coach Garrett Black. I mentioned Gladue, and he said that every time he looked up, it seemed like she was up to bat again.
I'm guessing he simply remembered her at-bats a little better because he didn't like to see her at the plate.
It's evident after a short time watching her how hard -- and smart -- she plays.
She runs out everything at full speed from the batter's box. She'll bunt to get on base when the situation calls for it. She plays exceptional defense at third base, considered one of the toughest positions to play.
She also serves as Evans' leadoff hitter and does a great job of getting on base, something she did twice on Tuesday with a pair of singles.
Gladue reminds me of a former World Series Most Valuable Player in Major League Baseball.
David Eckstein earned the honor in 2006 with the St. Louis Cardinals. His nickname is "X Factor" because, simply put, he helps a team win games.
Like Eckstein, Gladue isn't flashy. She isn't going to be a team's home run hitter. But she hustles and plays smart and knows how to win.
Normally, players such as these blend in and don't get the credit they deserve. However, if you take a good look during a game, these players and their hard work might just stick out.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.