Aniyah Black is one of the best softball players from the Atlanta, GA area in the Class of 2020.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Black, who attends Dodge County High School, is a dynamic shortstop who is headed to play for Georgia in the SEC.
Black has also played for the Tanel Bandits 360, Georgia Impact Newland and Firecrackers Sewell.
During her outstanding youth softball career, Black has already received plenty of recognition, such as: 2020 Hot 100, Junior All-Star team, first-team all region (2016-2018), first-team all state (2016) and second-team all state (2017 and 2018).
Black is humbled for the opportunities to showcase her skills.
“The recognition of these awards serve as symbols or my hard work,” Black said. “It is eye-opening and humbling.”
No matter the opponent, on each play Black is determined to give it her all.
Black is going all out.
The motor is always at full throttle whenever Black steps between the lines.
“My mindset at my position is to play hard for the person next to me and treat every play like it’s my last,” Black said.
Black has great passion and energy whenever she’s on the diamond. Black tells why she enjoys the game of softball so much.
“I love everything about playing, but I love the fact that nothing else matters when I step in between those white lines most of all,” Black said.
Black has learned many valuable lessons from playing softball that she applies to his everyday life.
The main one is applying perspective to all situations.
“Playing softball has taught me that you get what you put in,” Black said. “If you work hard, it’ll pay off no matter what you have to go through in the process.”
Black recalls her favorite softball memory.
“My favorite memory of playing is beating Bacon County in all-stars for the 2010 state championship because it made me realize my true passion for the game,” Black said.
Jennifer Bellflower has coached Black for three years at Dodge County High School.
Bellflower explains the best parts of Black’s game.
“Aniyah is a very versatile athlete. She has played outfield and middle infield. As an outfielder, Aniyah has great range and reads the ball extremely well off the bat,” Bellflower said.”As far as infield, she has a strong arm with a quick release.”
Black takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Black makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.
“I lead by example with everything I do, from being to practice early to giving my teammates pointers on a pitcher that just struck me out,” Black said. “The best advice I give is just go for it and don’t worry about the outcome, because giving it your all in the moment will leave you with no regrets.”
Bellflower adds that Black is one of those consummate teammates that every squad needs to be successful.
“Aniyah is a born leader,” Bellflower said. “Over the past three years, I’ve seen her leadership skills increase. She is a an example daily to others, a teacher when needed, and an encourager all the time.”
Black is appreciative of having amazing role models that are supportive.
“I’ve learned that being selfless is the best way to be because impact you can make on others and the impact the game can make on you will matter in the long,” Black said. “They have taught me to be genuinely happy for the success of another player as happy as I would be for my own success.”
Bellflower is an advocate of Black’s capabilities.
“As far as best plays, Aniyah had an amazing freshman year,” Bellflower said.”In Columbus, she went 4-4 against the No. 1 ranked team and had several game changing catches in center field.”
In addition to making clutch plays, Black also has a high level of softball IQ as well.
Black has excellent awareness that puts her in position to thrive.
“Black has always been a student of the game. Her knowledge of the game and various situational strategy is outstanding,” Bellflower said. “She uses this IQ to guide her decisions on the field and at the plate.”
Black is on the grind to perfect and hone her craft in any way possible.
“She continuously works to increase her skill level,” Bellflower said. “She plays on a top level travel team, she is also on the high school basketball and track teams, and she uses Crossfit to build stamina/ body strength.”
Bellflower explains why she compares Black to this standout.
“I’d have to compare Aniyah to Andruw Jones, Braves, both athletes make hard plays look easy because of their breaks to the ball,” Bellflower said. “Aniyah like Andruw has a strong throwing arm and great power at the plate.”
Black patterns her style of play after this athlete.
“I look up to Sis Bates, because she’s such a team player and humbled athlete all around,” Black said.
Black is constantly striving for greatness in everything that she does.
“My goals on and off the field are to inspire others to chase their dreams, to encourage people to test their limits and not settle for mediocrity,” Black said. “To be living proof that God’s plans for you will prevail against all odds, and to show heart no matter what I go through.”
Black explains why she committed to Georgia.
“I selected Georgia because it’s always been my childhood dream to play there,” Black said. “The atmosphere is genuinely family oriented and it has always felt like home away from home.”
Black lists math her favorite subject in school.
“Math is my favorite subject in school because it has always came to me naturally,” Black said.
Bellflower outlines the next areas of improvement for Black.
“I’d like to see her hit behind her baserunners more,” Bellflower said. “However when you are hitting them out why change anything?”
Bellflower believes the sky is the limit as long as Black continues to stay hungry.
“She just needs to be Georgia. No one else,” Graham said. “If she keeps the same passion for the game and keeps working hard, I have no doubt she will succeed in the SEC at Georgia.”
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