Decker one of two Lincoln players signing with Talladega College
by ERICH HILKERT
LINCOLN—Lincoln catcher Brandy Decker received a pitch from Kierra Groce and in hardly any time at all fired to second base with a perfect throw to gun down one of Munford’s base runners. Next season, she will try to do the same at the college level here in Talladega County, as she formally signed to play softball with Talladega College on Tuesday afternoon at the Lincoln cafeteria.

“I’m really excited,” TC softball head coach CJ Combs said. “We’re losing Tami [Johnson], who was our catcher this year, so Brandy’s going to be a great fit. Brandy’s very quick on her feet. She has a good throw. She’s going to be awesome for us, and she’s a good hitter too. Not only that, but her grades are phenomenal, which is why she’s there to begin with. I’m super excited about her.”

Decker said she has an aggressive approach both behind the plate and while at the plate as a hitter.

“I try to be on my toes and aggressive,” she said. “I always want to throw out somebody, and I always want to do what I can to stop any runners and make the plays and get people out.

“I always try to step up to the plate with confidence and be aggressive and try not to let the pitcher beat me,” she added about her approach at the plate. “I try to beat the pitcher and hit the ball always because I know my teammates are relying on me. I hit whatever I think is good.”

Lincoln head coach Jessica Dorough also praised Decker’s catching abilities behind the plate, as well as her attitude.

“Brandy is a phenomenal catcher and she does everything that you ask,” Dorough said. “She doesn’t really talk back much. She just tries to get better. That’s going to benefit her at the college level.”

Other than throwing out runners trying to steal, Decker makes an effort to develop a relationship with the pitchers she catches so they will play better on the field.

“It’s important to have a relationship with your pitchers because then you know what they can do and then you and your pitchers have that bond and y’all know what to throw and what she can do, if she can throw that pitch in that tight situation,” Decker said.

Decker said this is a goal she has been working towards for a long time. Because of that and because of the hard work she put into softball, she felt like she would eventually get an offer.

“It’s just what I always wanted to do,” Decker said. “I knew I was probably going to get to do it because it’s what I wanted, and I can do anything I set my mind to. It doesn’t feel like that big of a surprise to me. I don’t mean to sound…that’s just what I set my mind to.”

Decker is close with her family, so staying close to home was an important factor in her decision to sign with TC.

“It’s close to home,” she said. “I still get to live at home, which I think it important with me being young. I’ve still got a lot of growing to do, and I think it’s good that I stay at home instead of going straight off somewhere.”

Decker acknowledged all of those who helped her get to this spot.

“I want to thank my cousin Donny Sims for always staying with me and pushing me, Mr. [Randy] Berry [for] every practice we had all summer long, year-round,” Decker said. “I want to thank Ms. Susan Carlisle for putting me at the catcher position in the first place, even though I had never done it before, and I want to thank all my travel ball coaches, and my parents and coach Dorough.”

© 2013