PHOENIX - Last season was the year of the softball pitcher. Most of the elite pitchers graduated and moved on to the collegiate level, but at Deer Valley Lauren Haeger is ready to shine.
The team is putting their 5A-II title hopes in the hand of Haeger who could have enough star power to win her team a title.
"Having a good pitcher is one of the most crucial things in softball," she said.
For Deer Valley, the senior pitcher might be the key to this team winning state this spring. The superstar with a 70 mile per hour fastball has her sights set on going out on top this season.
It might take Lauren leaving it all out on the field, not only on the mound but also at the plate for the Skyhawks to succeed, but all that pressure is not getting to the ace.
"I don't look at it as pressure, just getting to play softball," she said.
She has earned the confidence of her coach and the Skyhawks are prepared to back up their talented pitcher.
"It's definitely a team game,” he said. “She does a great job on the mound and on top of that is a joy to be around."
Since Lauren was young she has always loved the sport. Her talent was there early on and with her success came great opportunities.
Over the summer she traveled to Colombia to represent the U.S. on the U18 team in the Pan American Championships.
One day Lauren hopes to put on a USA uniform in the Olympics.
She will continue to grow as a player next year at the University of Florida playing in the highly competitive SEC but first she has to take care of the unfinished business at Deer Valley of winning a state title.