Gambill surprised herself as pitcher
BY JOSH HALEY World Correspondent
Friday, December 21, 2012
12/21/12 at 6:33 AM
Elena Gambill is known around the state as one of the premier shortstops.
So if you told her before the season started she was going to be named the Tulsa World All-Metro Pitcher of the year, you might have gotten a reaction like this.
"I would have thought it was a joke," Gambill said.
The real joke is on anyone who thought Broken Arrow might have a down year with a new pitcher.
The senior finished with nine shutouts and an ERA of 0.68 on her way to compiling a 20-3 record in the circle for the Tigers, who reached the state semifinals.
"I knew I would have the opportunity to pitch this season and I really surprised myself," Gambill said. "I was able to stay relaxed because of how well our defense backed me up."
Gambill pitched just 25 innings as a junior while having a coming-out party at the plate.
After a solid .320 average as a sophomore, Gambill raised her average to .430 as a junior.
"Coach (Randall) King and Coach (Mike) Norton really helped me get stronger and become a better hitter," said Gambill, who hit .452 with three home runs as a senior.
Her most memorable hit came against top-ranked Owasso in the regular season.
"I had the walk-off hit and that meant so much to me because of the rivalry we have," said Gambill.
Missouri State is the fortunate school that will have Gambill's talents next season.
"The biggest thing for me is being close to home," said Gambill. "The coaches there are like parents and they treat you like you're their own."
Despite all of her success on the field, Gambill is grateful for more than just her abilities.
"All of the relationships I've built with my teammates is the best part," Gambill said. "I would encourage all future players to soak it all up before college, always feel blessed and love the game no matter how tough things get."
Elena Gambill went 20-3 this season with a 0.68 ERA. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World