Marty Wilcox steps to the plate for Team USA in Prague

Marty+Wilcox+steps+to+the+plate+for+Team+USA+in+Prague

Eileen Martin/Guilfordian

“Marty’s bat is definitely a valuable asset to our softball team,“ said sophomore softball player Calli Pastor. “We can always depend on Marty to get that needed RBI.”

At nine years old, junior softball player Marty Wilcox started training in her family’s homemade batting cage in their barn.

“Her swing was so ugly I immediately thought there was no way she can be a ball player,” said father and childhood coach John Wilcox ‘83, in an email interview. “She certainly proved me wrong.”

From June 2–11, Wilcox was invited to represent the U.S. in the Jourds Softball Tournament and an Austrian invitational in Prague.

“I get to wear USA,” said Wilcox. “It’s so cool.”

According to the press release by USA Athletes International, is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing amateur athletes the opportunity to participate in International Olympic style events throughout the world.

Sarah Cutright ’13, now a Graduate Assistant Softball Coach at Indiana Technical Institute of Technology, was able to travel to Australia last summer to compete with the same program.

“It was absolutely unbelievable to play at the international level and to play wearing USA on our shirts,” said Cutright.

Also, the organization allows them to broaden their educational experience.

Darrell Phipps ‘00, Office Manager of USA Athletes International, extended the invitation to Wilcox back in the fall based on her athletic skill and her leadership qualities to represent the U.S., Guilford College, and Charleston, W.Va. — her hometown — in a positive manner.

“I never thought I would have this opportunity,” Wilcox said. “Out of nowhere Phipps asked me, and I was like yes.”

Opportunities to play softball for the U.S. are few since softball was taken out of the Summer Olympic games in 2008.

In baseball, there are opportunities to play professionally in the States. Softball player’s only professional option is to play overseas.

Wilcox’s team will play against the Australian national team and an Austrian club team, amongst others.

“Marty is an excellent example of the type of athletic ambassador USAAI seeks to bring into international competition,” said Phipps.

Over the years, Wilcox stood out to John, who has coached hundreds of kids in softball and baseball.

“What separated her early from the other players was her strong work ethic, drive and sheer determination,” said John.

“I never had to ask her if she wanted to practice, she was always asking me if I would practice her.”

Wilcox’s self-motivated discipline continues to impress those around her.

“You give her 100 ground balls, she wants 150,” said head softball coach Dennis Shores. “If she gets 10 throws, she wants 20. If she has 58 swings, she wants 100.”

Wilcox strives for excellence in every aspect, whether she is fielding pop flies or training during the off-season.

“There really isn’t anything I could throw at her that she would struggle with,” said Carly Hess, head strength and conditioning coach and assistant volleyball coach. “These workouts are a cakewalk if you make them that way.

“They’re a nightmare if you’re giving your all.”

Wilcox and the rest of the softball team give it their all in the gym and on the field.

“We’ve really picked it up with our workouts,” said Wilcox. “We’re a lot more serious. We just really want it now.”

As the softball team continues to strive for excellence, Wilcox looks to life after Guilford.

She said that she definitely wants to pursue a career in a sports related field.

As a business major with minors in human resources and sports management, Wilcox plans to stay close to softball.

“I’m going to get a masters,” said Wilcox. “That’s when i’m going to figure my life out.”

While Wilcox continues to weigh her post-graduation options, but she is focused on the present: Guilford’s softball season.

“She certainly brings energy and entertainment that is much needed on this team,” said Pastor. “None of us can hold back … excitement and intensity when Wilcox is fired up.”