Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  SPORTS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives

She's Got What It Takes


Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

WSL softball MVP Mariah Gillow of Delaware Valley

Gillow Named Final WSL MVP

By Rob Potter
CALLICOON — June 23, 2000 -- When Delaware Valley senior pitcher Mariah Gillow was informed by her coach John Meyer that she had been chosen as the Western Sullivan League Most Valuable Player at the recent coaches’ meeting, she wasn’t completely sure that it was true.
The primary reason for that was Meyer jokingly telling Gillow that another player in the league had won the honor. But Meyer quickly told Gillow he was kidding and that the WSL softball coaches had indeed decided that she was the MVP of the 2000 season.
“I didn’t want to get my hopes up,” said Gillow, who knew she had a great season but wasn’t sure who the league coaches would chose as the last-ever WSL softball MVP. “I was surprised to hear about it. Then when they announced it in school I was like ‘Wow, that’s cool.’”
With her talents on the mound, Gillow helped the Lady Eagles achieve a 10-5 overall record and finish the season as the Section IX—Class D runner-up.
She compiled an 8-4 record, struck out 69 batters in 76 innings, walked 30 and recorded a 3.13 earned run average.
“Mariah was the heart and soul of the team,” Meyer said. “She was a real team leader for us. When she’s on the mound, Mariah is very determined and wants to win. Whenever there was a game we had to win, she was the one I wanted to pitch.”
And like all outstanding hurlers, Gillow wanted to be standing on the hill with the ball in her hand.
“I would get a little nervous before games,” she said. “But it all goes away when the batter steps to the plate and the game begins.”
Gillow, who was an honorable mention selection for the 1999 WSL softball team, often helped her own cause at the plate. She batted .450 on the year with 23 RBI. And she smashed four doubles, two triples and a home run.
The consistent performance of Gillow through the season is more admirable when one considers that she had two different catchers on the receiving end of her throws. Only a few games into the season, starting catcher Calley Sander broke her finger and did not return to the line-up.
Lady Eagle left fielder Theresa Bauer then donned the mask and catching equipment. While working with a new battery mate might negatively affect some pitchers, Gillow didn’t miss a beat.
“Theresa and I are best friends and I have been pitching to her since little league,” Gillow explained. “It was sad when we lost Calley because she’s a very good catcher. But Theresa did a great job.”
When asked what game this season was key for Gillow and really demonstrated her talents, both Gillow and Meyer cited the Section IX—Class D semifinal game versus Jeffersonville-Youngsville. In that contest, Gillow and J-Y hurler Kelly Theis kept the opposing batters off balance and didn’t yield a run in the first five innings.
After J-Y scored twice in the top of the sixth and added another run in the top of the seventh for a 3-0 lead, DV rallied in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, two runners on base and the score knotted at 3-3, Gillow stepped to the plate.
She ripped the ball to center field, where it ricocheted off the top of the fielder’s glove for a hit. That gave the Lady Eagles a 4-3 win and a chance to play for the sectional title.
“She was so determined and did not want to lose that game,” Meyer commented. “It was nice that she got the game-winning hit.”
Gillow struck out six J-Y batters and only allowed six hits in the contest, which gave the Lady Eagles a chance to come back in their last at-bat.
“I kept myself focused,” she said. “I didn’t let anything get to me.”
Gillow, who has pitched for the Lady Eagles since her sophomore year, is planning to hurl strikes next season for SUNY-Morrisville. Although she admits it “will be weird playing for somebody else,” in other words a coach other than Meyer.
“He’s an awesome coach,” added Gillow. “He really knows what he’s doing.”
Although the majority of the DV team will return next season, it’s a pretty safe bet that Meyer will miss Gillow’s coolness and control on the mound, her leadership ability and her bat in the lineup.
“I’m really happy she was chosen as the MVP, she really deserved it,” said Meyer. “She led by example and went all out — whether it was practice or a game. In winning the MVP, she’s being rewarded for all of her hard work.”



top of page  |  home  |  archives