Talented kids: Teen softball player serves up fastballs

Talented kids: Teen softball player serves up fastballs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Marlee Dillinger, 14, pitches well past her age group. 

For five days a week, for at least an hour, Dillinger works on her signature riseball at the Ponte Vedra baseball field. Most kids her age are pitching 49 miles per hour fastballs, but not Dillinger. 

"I'm consistently pitching high 50's and low 60's," Dillinger said. 

You can catch most 8th graders at the mall or the movies, but if you're looking for Dilligner, you might want to check the baseball field with her teammates, the "Florida Stealth." 

Dillinger said she loves playing softball because she loves the feeling when she strikes out an opponent.  

"The look on the girl’s face was all mad and everything and I knew then," said Dilligner about her first strikeout. 

Before the ball even leaves the bat, Dilligner said she can immediately tell whether she has struck somebody out or if the ball will sail over her head. 

"If the ball hits towards the middle it has a nice sound like a ding sound, but if it hits towards the end it has a fade kind of sound," Dillinger said. 

But what exactly keeps a 14-year-old on the baseball field? Dillinger says it all boils down to fun. 

"Sports were meant to be fun and everything," Dillinger said. 

It also helps to have a great support system like her father. Dillinger says he's her number one supporter on and off the field. 

“If he catches it wrong on his fingers he’s like oh my gosh. I hit him on the shins a few times left him bumps and bruises,” Dillinger said.

"Walk off the field when you strike somebody out," Dillinger said with a grin on her face. It's that kind of confidence that sets Dillinger apart from her peers. 

When Dillinger finally heads to high school she has her eyes set on St. Augustine High, but she's not the only one that wants her to go there. Turns out, the coach for their varsity team is looking to recruit the star player. 

"I have to try out for the team, but If I make the team then I will be varsity," said Dillinger.   

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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