Anna Butler wants to be like her mother. For those who have been following the Nassau County softball scene for quite some time, there are plenty of stories about Kathy Delgais Butler, one of the—if not, the— best pitchers in county history.
When the elder Butler took to the circle, she was virtually untouchable. Throughout her Wantagh High School career, she struck out an astonishing 780 batters. Now, Anna has her sights on the trophy with her mother’s name on it.
“She’s an assistant coach now,” Butler said. “She’s always by my side. She helps with my pitches and helps get me through the season.”
The goal for this Seaford High School junior is to win the Kathy Delgais-Butler Award, given to the Nassau County Pitcher of the Year. The daughter of the prize’s namesake believes she can indeed get the job done in her senior year come 2020.
“There’s never a dull moment,” Butler said of her Seaford team. “I know that I’m under a lot of pressure, but the team behind me always has my back.”
Thus far into her high school career, Butler, a right-handed pitcher, has been doing a great impression of her mother.
Butler’s pitching repertoire includes a fastball, changeup, a drop and a curveball. She relies on her curveball, tricking hitters to fetch outside when they’re at the plate. And when she thinks a hitter has a shot at touching the ball on the outside, she’ll jam them on the inside.
“I know the batters from previous games or from travel experiences,” she said.
Offensively, Butler said she struggles against lefty pitchers. Though she’s gotten better over the course of her young career, she wants to focus on pitching.
Most of all, she wants to win the award named after her mother. To do it, she has some work ahead of her.
“I need to work hard on getting my pitch speed up,” Butler said.
This summer, she’ll be visiting universities across the country as she prepares to make a decision on her future.
“I have showcases every weekend in July, so I need to make some decisions this summer,” she said.