Amanda Shikoh, a freshman on Sparkman’s junior varsity team in mid-March, became a state tournament star in her Lagoon Park debut Wednesday.
Shikoh totaled nine RBIs in the Senators’ two victories on the opening day of the Class 7A state tournament.
She had two RBIs and scored in a 13-3 first-round win over Theodore and had a two-home run, seven-RBI performance in a 9-2 victory over Enterprise.
“It’s a pretty good day for anybody to have nine RBIs, but especially for a freshman,” Sparkman coach Dale Palmer said. “She had a great day. Runs are usually at a premium down here.”
Shikoh didn’t join the varsity team until a mid-March tournament in Gulf Shores, but she immediately became a starter, Palmer said.
Before Wednesday, she had just two varsity homers, according to Sparkman’s team statistics. She said she thought she had four.
“Home runs just kind of happen,” Shikoh said. “I don’t feel there’s a lot of pressure on me because of how much my teammates help me.”
Shikoh grew up in the middle school program that directly feeds Sparkman and has long yearned to be a Senator.
“I’ve followed Sparkman a lot and watched them even before I got here,” she said. “I knew I always wanted to play for Sparkman and my dad did, too.”
The Senators (39-10) are a three-time defending state champion.
“A lot of times you have kids try to move in, but when you have one that talented who has moved up through the middle program, it’s special,” Palmer said. “When she came up, she made the most of her opportunity, and she almost always has a smile on her face.
“Those are the kinds of kids you like to coach.”
Sparkman plays Baker (47-6-1) at noon today in the 7A winners bracket finals. The championship round begins at 5:30 p.m.
If the Senators finish a sweep, they’ll also set AHSAA fastpitch state tournament history.
Sparkman enters Thursday with a 14-game state tournament winning streak. Pisgah won 15 straight games — and four straight titles — from 2001-04.
“We’ve said all along that we just want to win our last game,” Palmer said. “If you win the last game, you’ll be fine.”