Softball: Richards’ Sara Tobin the epitome of team player
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org April 23, 2014 8:54PM
Sara Tobin, of Richards | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 25, 2014 3:17PM
It’s kind of ironic, the dreams Sara Tobin had as a little girl about being a softball player.
“I really didn’t have a specific role in mind,” she said. “They were just about being a player with potential, a player who had the potential to make an impact.”
She’s lived those dreams at Richards.
In center field.
At second base.
In the pitching circle.
In the batter’s box.
She’s made an impact in all of those places. That’s pretty impressive night vision.
“She goes above and beyond in everything she does,” Bulldogs coach Julie Folliard said. “Her character is remarkable.
“We walk off the field and she’s the one turning around and checking to make sure nothing is left behind. She’s always the one reviewing signals with somebody. She’s always a step ahead.”
Tobin is following an All-Area junior season in which she hit .416, driving in 19 runs out of the leadoff spot. She stole 10 bases. Defensively, she had a 1.000 fielding percentage in center and at second base.
Through 13 games this season she’s hitting .333, with seven doubles, 13 runs and 11 RBI. In the circle she’s 3-1.
“I think it’s just kind of the way the cards fell this year,” Tobin said of her pitching duties for the Bulldogs (9-4). “Coach has taken some looks at different rotations, and I’m doing what I can in the time I have (in the circle).
“It’s kind of crazy the fact the year is almost over and it’s my last season at Richards. It went by really fast. I don’t feel like a senior.”
The 18-year-old Oak Lawn resident also made an impact for the Bulldogs on the volleyball court as an outside hitter. Tobin also earned honorable mention status on the IHSA All-State Academic Team.
It’s in the academic arena that she’ll pursue her next dream. Tobin is giving up softball to attend Notre Dame to pursue a career in chemistry.
It’s a similar path to that of her sister, Kailie, who was a successful player at Richards but left softball to follow career dreams at Butler.
The softball atmosphere, Sara Tobin said, always was there for the two sisters.
“We only played on the same teams a couple of years,” she said. “But there were a couple of fields close to our house and we would always be there getting groundballs, throwing to each other and pushing each other to do better and challenging each other.
“We were definitely competitive. Everything we did, it was always a contest. I like that. And we’ve gone back and forth on who is better in whatever. It’s been fun.”
For Sara Tobin, not quite over. There’s one last season to finish, and a legacy to leave.
“I hope they remember me as somebody who always kind of pushed them while giving them support. Who expected the best, but was there to pick them up when they were down,” Tobin said. “I hope they remember just that I was that team player.”