Best High School Athlete: Otherworldly and untouchable
Each weekend, the story goes, young Amanda Williams threw a thousand underhand pitches to her father Steve in their Oakley backyard. "She had talent, but it didn't bowl you over," Rich Balswick, her pitching coach, recalled in the Chronicle earlier this year. "But she definitely had a drive, and she could spin a ball like no other girl I've ever coached." The statistical line for the seventeen-year-old senior arrives from another planet and makes Rich Harden look like a spaghetti arm in comparison. Williams' all-time record: 74-8. 55 shutouts. 1,045 strikeouts. Her ERA for the past three seasons: 0.55, 0.24, and 0.40. Her family estimates that Williams has allowed ten walks -- in her lifetime. Her 63 mph fastball will haunt college players next season when she attends the University of Arizona, a seven-time NCAA champion. They'll also find religion in her 48 mph changeup, a nasty curve, and her signature strike-out pitch, the riseball. "She has a chance to be one of the best pitchers in the world," Balswick told the Chron. He's half correct -- this world, and the one Williams comes from, too.