Tiffany Dodson, a former weightlifter in high school, has a tight grip on a rotation spot on the Miami Dade College softball team.
Dodson, a freshman, leads the team in wins (2) and strikeouts (22). The lefthander also has a 4.03 earned run average and a .375 batting average for the Lady Sharks who are struggling to find their rhythm this season at 5-13.
“She’s got good size to pitch and hit the ball,” said head coach Gina De Agüero. “I saw her in travel ball during the summer in a tournament and was able to follow up with her. It ended up working out really great for the both of us.”
Dodson was introduced to softball at a young age. When she was in elementary school, she heard about tryouts and convinced her parents to let her play.
“I asked my parents if I could tryout and they asked if this was something I wanted to do,” Dodson said. “Growing up and getting more involved, I grew to love the sport.”
The sport was also a way for Dodson to bond with her father.
“What made me keep going was actually my dad. Me and him really grew in the sport,” Dodson said. “That was our time we spent together getting closer.”
At Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda, Florida, Dodson was a dual sport athlete, juggling her time between competitive weightlifting and softball. Weightlifting helped Dodson build muscle strength for softball and kept her in shape. She enjoyed weightlifting, but softball was her main priority.
“[Weightlifting] wasn’t as big as softball was for me,” Dodson said. “Softball was like my main sport. [Weightlifting] was just something for me to do in the off-season.”
Dodson has already established her identity on a young Lady Sharks softball team that features 17 first year players.
“She’s one of our strongest players,” said Dodson’s teammate and close friend Cassandra Torres. “Tiffany is focused. Everything is about softball and school for her.”
Despite her strong start, Dodson is focused on continuing to improve her game.
“I really want to work on my running. It’s gotten a lot better since I’ve gotten here but I need to work on my endurance,” Dodson said. “Everyday after practice we run either long distance for time or sprint jogging.”
De Agüero said Dodson has the potential to lift the Lady Sharks play on the field.
“She works hard. No matter what you’re going to tell her to do, she pushes herself,” De Agüero said. “She is very tough on herself, but if we can get consistent and keep the confidence it will play a huge role in our game and everything will sort of fall into place.”
The Lady Sharks’ next game will be on the road versus Seminole State College Of Florida on March 2 at 3 p.m.