Sports Person of the Week
Meade’s Delivering Big-Time for the Red-Hot Grizzlies
Sophomore southpaw Sophia Meade is having a big season on the mound for the Guilford softball team and is also making key contributions at the plate. (Photo courtesy of Sophia Meade)
After starting the season by splitting its first four games, the Guilford softball team has won nine in a row to bring its record to 11-2 on the year. One of the major reasons behind Guilford’s success is the performance of sophomore sensation Sophia Meade, a left-hander pitcher for the Grizzlies.
Sophia has an earned-run average of just 1.62 in 71 innings pitched this year. Sophia has also struck out 110 batters, putting her in the top 10 among all hurlers in the state.
“We are now on a nine-game winning streak with our current being 11-2, so we were able to get into states. It would be an amazing accomplishment to make it into SCCs, as well,” says Sophia. “Our season thus far has been successful. It has been a total team effort with everyone contributing. Our team is enjoying the success that we see on the field, and we hope this continues.”
On top of her pitching prowess, Sophia is sporting a .300 batting average for Guilford on the season, including a clip of more than .500 in her last eight games. When the Grizzlies played East Lyme on April 27, Sophia singled home the game-winning run to give her team an 8-7 victory in extra innings.
“We had a close game against East Lyme where I hit an RBI single that scored the winning run in the top of the eighth,” Sophia says. “That kept our current nine-game winning streak alive, and it was an awesome moment for the team.”
Sophia immersed herself in softball at a young age, and her experiences in the sport have fueled her motivation to become a great player. Sophia has connected with athletes from around the tri-state area as a result of being involved in travel softball. She appreciates all of the lifelong friendships that she’s formed.
“I am still staying in touch with many of them today,” says Sophia. “During my high school season, it’s inevitable that I end up playing against someone that I’m friends with or have played against throughout my travel career. The last two seasons on the high school team, I have met and maintained friendships with multiple players.”
Head Coach Meghan Wiese says that Sophia is displaying great composure as a sophomore this season. Coach Wiese believes that Sophia’s confidence on the mound bolsters everyone on Guilford’s roster.
“Sophia’s numbers may be impressive, but it’s her composure and determination that impresses the Grizzlies’ coaching staff. You can tell when Sophia is zoned in and will let nothing get in the way of her coming out on top,” Wiese says. “Our catcher Addie Smith does a fantastic job calling pitches with all our pitchers. Sophia and Addie have a bond that allows them to compete on the field, yet be good friends off the field. Sophia continues to work hard and give her best every day. I am excited to see what the future holds for her.”
Sophia credits Wiese for helping her elevate her game to the next level. Sophia has known Coach Wiese since she was in middle school, where Wiese was her physical education teacher for three years.
“As my middle school teacher, she always showed a strong interest in how my travel season was going. We’ve always had a good relationship and, when I started playing softball for Guilford High School, our bond got stronger,” says Sophia. “Coach Wiese, as well as Assistant Coach [Kelliann] Connors, have always been motivational, uplifting, and supportive of me.”
Sophia also attributes much of her success to the vast number of hours that she spends on perfecting her craft. Sophia travels to New York to work with a specialized pitching coach and rarely takes a day off.
“It’s all about practice, practice, practice,” Sophia says. “My dad is my stand-in catcher all year round when I’m working on my pitching mechanics. I’ve always had complete support from my family. Between driving me to practices and tournaments, daily workouts in the yard—they have always been there for me. For me, there is no offseason. I play and practice my skills all year round.”
Aside from softball, Sophia enjoys singing, listening to music, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with her friends and family. Sophia is a member of Voices, a select singing group at Guilford High School, and also takes time to lend a hand to the future wave of softball players in town.
“I’ve achieved honors every quarter,” says Sophia. “And I love volunteering my time to work with Guilford youth softball players, teaching them some foundational softball skills and pitching mechanics.”