Keenan softball player shines on the diamond despite birth injur - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Keenan softball player shines on the diamond despite birth injury

By Mandy Mitchell - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - DeAna Smalls is a softball player at Keenan High School.

She is also the valedictorian. But believe it or not, that's not what makes her stand out.

Routine grounders are anything but routine for the high school senior. "My first year playing with DeAna, it was kind of different," said teammate RayShanna Maxwell.

"It takes a confident and driven person to do what she does," said teammate Raven Shealy.

It also takes a little creativity. Smalls can only use one of her arms. But she's found a way to not only play softball but to excel. "It was a birth injury," said Smalls, "Left my arm paralyzed from the elbow down."

"It don't phase her," said Coach Betty Gortman, "She wanted to play, so she came out."

She throws with the same hand she holds the glove with. It's not convenient by any means, but it works. "Just something I came up with from the ninth grade on, learning what would work best for me," said Smalls, "The best way to get the ball out and make the play."

When she comes to the plate, she uses one arm with the power of two. "They always be shocked that she can do that," said Maxwell.

"She come out here, she do everything," said Coach Gortman, "She never complains."

It's a lesson in finding a way to succeed by striking out doubt. "It gives other people hope to be more confident in what they do, to pursue their interest no matter what," said Smalls.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • After Craigslist scam, man can't enter his own home

    After Craigslist scam, man can't enter his own home

    Saturday, July 22 2017 8:29 PM EDT2017-07-23 00:29:14 GMT
    Saturday, July 22 2017 8:29 PM EDT2017-07-23 00:29:14 GMT

    The people inside rented the home from a mystery person on Craiglist. As the law stands, because they refuse to leave, Keith Mills now has to go to court to prove he’s the rightful owner.

    More >>

    The people inside rented the home from a mystery person on Craiglist while owner Keith Mills was on vacation.. As the law stands, because the renters refuse to leave, Mills now has to go to court to prove he’s the rightful owner.

    More >>
  • Police: Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

    Police: Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

    Sunday, July 23 2017 1:52 AM EDT2017-07-23 05:52:55 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 1:52 AM EDT2017-07-23 05:52:55 GMT
    Colby Wilde, 29, and Lacey Christenson, 26, face four counts each of child endangerment and felony drug charges. (Source: Utah County Sherriff’s Office/KUTV/CNN)Colby Wilde, 29, and Lacey Christenson, 26, face four counts each of child endangerment and felony drug charges. (Source: Utah County Sherriff’s Office/KUTV/CNN)

    The baby’s mother used heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, and the baby was born addicted to drugs, police say.

    More >>

    The baby’s mother used heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, and the baby was born addicted to drugs, police say.

    More >>
  • Restaurant's policy limits those with kids to one drink

    Restaurant's policy limits those with kids to one drink

    Sunday, July 23 2017 2:50 PM EDT2017-07-23 18:50:46 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 2:50 PM EDT2017-07-23 18:50:46 GMT

    A long-standing rule at Peddlers Bar & Bistro limits anyone dining with children to one alcoholic beverage, in order to hopefully limit the danger children face from drunk drivers.

    More >>

    A long-standing rule at Peddlers Bar & Bistro limits anyone dining with children to one alcoholic beverage, in order to hopefully limit the danger children face from drunk drivers.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly