HASTINGS – The outcome of baseball and hockey games often hinges on the play of the pitcher and the goaltender.
Carly Jackson excels in both pressure-packed positions. As part of Baseball Nova Scotia 2012 Bantam Girl’s team, Jackson was recently named Major Female Player of the Year.
“It was an honour to be able to receive an award like that,” said the 15-year-old Hastings native. “It felt pretty amazing.”
Jackson grew up playing in Amherst Little League and is the only female player to ever win the leagues MVP award.
“Amherst Little League played a huge role in my development,” said Jackson. “It introduced me to baseball and I absolutely loved it.
“If I hadn’t played in little league I probably wouldn’t be playing baseball now.”
Since finishing little league two years ago she has played for the Amherst Bantam Reds Sox, which is an all boys team.
The BNS Bantam Girl’s team was the first all girls team she ever played with.
“It was nice not being the only girl for once. I met a lot of new friends from across the province. It was a great way to meet new people.”
Jackson played third base, shortstop and pitched for the BNS Girl’s team. She was also the only player from Cumberland County on the team.
“Most our practices were in Halifax, so we were up there two or three times a week,” she said. “And when it came to playing games, we came to Amherst for the Bantam A tournament, and we traveled to games in Yarmouth and Bridgewater and everywhere in between.”
In the winter she plays goaltender for two boys hockey teams.
“I affiliate for the Major Midget Pictou East team in Pictou, and I play Midget AA here in Amherst.”
Asked what position, pitcher or goaltender, is more pressure-packed, Jackson said, “It depends on the situation. If it’s a big game you’re going feel pressure, but both positions are pretty intense and require the same kind of mindset.”
Jackson can’t decide what position she likes to play more.
“I don’t know. I love both of them.”
Jackson is in Grade 10 at Amherst Regional High School and said her long-term goal is to have sports help pay her way through university.
“I’d like to go into engineering or sports medicine,” she said.
Until then she will continue to play baseball and hockey, and says she’s a big sports fan.
“I watch sports a lot,” she said. “I enjoy watching hockey more but I enjoy watching baseball as well.
“My favourite baseball player is Brett Lawrie (Blue Jays third baseman), and my favourite hockey player is Jaroslav Halák (St. Louis Blues goaltender),” said Jackson. “He’s a solid goaltender and he played really well in the playoffs for Montreal a couple years back (2009-2010).”