Randy Simpkins, like any good coach who discovers a quality recruiting source, is happy to mine the vein for all it’s worth. So far, Simpkins has struck it rich at Tooele High.
The latest find for the Dixie State women’s softball coach has been sophomore pitcher Mattie Snow. She followed senior pitcher Lauren Folta and senior third baseman Kelsey Mendenhall — who is hitting .370 with a .707 slugging percentage — to Southern Utah. They have helped place the Red Storm in contention for a Division II national championship.
“They’ve always had good kids,” Simpkins said. “They play a lot of softball out there. They’re good kids, good students and excellent teammates.”
Simpkins raved over Snow, who has compiled a 9-4 record with a 2.44 earned-run average. In fact, as the season winds down to its conclusion and the race for the Pacific West Conference championship, the entire Dixie State pitching staff has stepped up its game.
Folta and Snow earned weekly conference honors, combing for a 7-1 record with eight complete games and three shutouts.
“We have high goals,” said Snow, who was coached in high school by her father, Steve, now retired. “We want to be national champions this year. We have so much potential.”
The season may come down to a final weekend series with Grand Canyon, which currently owns a two-game margin over Dixie (23-10, 13-5).
“We feel pretty good,” Simpkins said. “This might be the deepest-hitting team we’ve ever had at Dixie.”
Snow has the potential to join the Red Storm’s wrecking crew of a lineup — she could start at either short or second — but she best serves Dixie State on the mound.
“A lot of things go into making Mattie how good she is,” Simpkins said. “She’s an excellent student. It’s that kind of discipline and dedication that helps translate to the field, where she is one of the hardest-working kids we have. She never has a bad practice or workout.”
This drive to succeed isn’t new.
Snow was the 2010 Wendy’s Heisman High School Winner as well as The Salt Lake Tribune’s 2010 Class 4A MVP.
The 5-foot-6 right-hander helped pitch and hit the Buffaloes to a state title as well as runner-up another season.
Snow, continually refining her rise and drop pitches, finished her senior season with a 0.66 ERA. For good measure, she hit .429.
She also made the honor roll all four years at Tooele.
“I’ve always been like that,” said Snow, who is studying psychology and incorporates her major into her pitching. “I’ve always been competitive and a good worker. My parents taught us to work for what we get in life.”
The Red Storm are working for high honors in 2012. Last season they couldn’t get out of NCAA West Regionals, losing both games to end a promising season at 34-14.
Dixie State has its sights set on being in Louisville, Ky., on May 18 for the start of the national championship tournament.
“We’re really strong right now,” Snow said. “We’re all pitching well and we are on the same page with our catchers. We’re closer this season and I feel like I have the experience to know what to do.”
Former Buffs light up Dixie State
Dixie State sophomore pitcher Mattie Snow has gone 9-4 this season, winning her past three starts. Snow was the 4A MVP at Tooele High School in 2010 as well as an honor roll student. She is one of three former Tooele High students who play softball for Dixie State.