MHS grad receives all-conference honors

Mihailov bounces back with strong softball season for Texas A&M-Texarkana

Barbara Boxleitner
Mirror correspondent
Sierra Mihailov

Sierra Mihailov was a different softball player this season.

The changes the Midlothian High School graduate made resulted in her being named to the all-Red River Athletic Conference second team.

After struggling offensively during the shortened 2020 season, she hit .328 in 26 games for regular season champion Texas A&M University-Texarkana. She finished with two home runs and 11 runs batted in.

The offensive numbers were a drastic improvement over her production last year, when she hit .161 with one RBI in starting all 13 games. 

Mihailov credited a change in mindset. She kept her approach at the plate simple, not trying to think too much about what she had to do. 

"I quit caring about the outcome. I enjoyed the game more," she said. "I don't like to look at stats at all. I feel the numbers don't actually represent how you play with the effort."

"I'm truly out there to enjoy the game and the ability God has given me," she said.

During March she had a season-high six-game hitting streak, with two multihit efforts, including one in which she homered twice and singled twice in four at-bats and drove in three runs against Our Lady of the Lake. The career highs in hits and RBIs led players from both teams.

The team finished runner-up to University of Houston-Victoria in the conference championship. The Eagles were outscored 10-3 in the two games and managed just two hits in the finale. 

"The pitching we had seen in the regular season," said Mihailov, who received a championship ring for the team's performance this season. "We were just ready to attack. We were too excited." 

She played third base and finished with a .919 fielding percentage in 37 chances. "I was used to playing middle infield, which is focused on range," she said. 

She had to adjust to the hard-hit balls her way. "I played back for my defense," she said, noting that three weeks after the season ended she still sported a bruise from a line drive to the thigh. 

And she had to get used to running up to field bunts so as to throw out hitters. "You have to shut them down early in the game, or they'll bunt," she said. "Let them know you can field the bunt."

This summer she is working to improve her footwork and backhand stops at third base, for she said, "Each year you start fresh. Your position is not promised."

More softball

University of Dallas sophomore Annabel Anderson was named to the all-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference second team. The outfielder from Midlothian High batted .329 in starting all 26 games. She led the team with four home runs and tied for the team lead with 11 RBIs.

Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at jdanddoc@gmail.com.