Opposing softball teams didn’t like to see Dexter’s Samantha Sutton – whether toeing the rubber in the circle or holding a stick in the batter’s box. She was what best can be described as a game-changer and she helped changed many games by delivering them into the win column for her hometown team.
The Dreadnaughts won 27 games (only nine losses) this past season and were one of the best teams in the state – they came within three outs of sweeping two of the top teams in the state before falling 2-1 to Hartland in the District final.
Sutton was one of three Dreadnaughts (along with Kylee Niswonger and Livvy Mellifont) to be named to the All-SEC First Team. She also was named to the All-State Team and for good reason. In the circle, the senior posted an amazing 1.75 earned-run average and simply dominated opposing batters. At the plate, she batted .570 and showed impressive power with 12 home runs.
Sutton, who played the outfield when she wasn’t pitching, was proud of her team’s accomplishments in 2021.
“We had an incredible season,” she said. “We had a very successful season, and while we didn’t make it out of Districts, we beat No. 1 Howell and led No. 3 Hartland until the seventh inning. I personally had a good year on the mound, but I couldn’t have been successful without my field behind me. Their solid defense is what ultimately won games. It was a group effort; we all worked together to win.”
And their great success followed a year of great disappointment after the pandemic cancelled what appeared to be a promising season in 2020 for Dexter.
“It was very difficult not playing last year,” Sutton says. “Much like this year, we were looking forward to having a great season, and having it canceled due to Covid was devastating.”
Sutton, 18, pitched and played the outfield as a freshman and sophomore for the Dreadnaughts. “We weren’t nearly as successful as this year,” she says. “I believe that having seven seniors this year is what made us so solid in the field and at the plate.”
Samantha, the daughter of Jason and Wendy Sutton, first started playing softball when her parents signed her up for little league at a young age. She liked it right away and her interest in softball only increased the more she played.
“Softball is very different from other sports; it requires a lot of mental toughness, as it’s a game of failure,” she says. “While I’ve always been good at the physical game, learning to master the mental game has given me a lot of confidence, and it made me love softball even more than before.”
Despite her love of the game and her high level of play, she is giving up the sport for another sport in college. Sutton will attend the University of Michigan in the fall and join the Wolverines rowing team. She plans on studying biology.