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All-Metro softball player of the year: Purvis' toughness helps carry Sullivan to state

All-Metro softball player of the year: Purvis' toughness helps carry Sullivan to state

From the 2019 All-Metro fall softball series
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For the final month of her senior season, Addison Purvis played through pain.

Pain few knew about and an injury the standout Sullivan pitcher wasn't even fully aware of until after she threw her final pitch.

After tweaking her left knee — or landing leg when she's pitching — Purvis took some time off. She missed six games from Oct. 3 to Oct. 17. Purvis did not return to the batter's box for the Eagles until Oct. 14 and didn't pitch during that span until returning for Sullivan's postseason run.

Little did anyone know, Purvis helped pitch Sullivan to a second-place finish in Class 3 on a torn ACL.

“It just gave out on me and I went down while I was pitching,” Purvis said of the Oct. 3 incident. “I knew I had to (keep pitching in the postseason) because I needed to be out there for my team. I knew I was hurt but I also knew I could get through it at the same time. It’s been a week since surgery and it’s going good. I’m doing therapy and it’s getting better. I can bend it.”

Through all the pain, Purvis, the Post-Dispatch All-Metro softball player of the year, never wavered before or after the injury.

“Addi is one of the strongest people you will ever meet,” Sullivan junior Hanna Johanning said. “You could never tell that she wasn't feeling 100 percent because she was always strong for the team. She has worked extremely hard and had to face extreme obstacles to continue playing and I am so proud of everything she has accomplished and will accomplish. She has earned her place as our leader.”

Purvis, who has signed with Mississippi State to continue her softball career, was on another level all fall — injured or not.

A left-handed hitter, Purvis boasted a .701 average, the second best number in the area. She added a 1.373 slugging percentage, nine doubles, 12 home runs and 46 RBI.

“She’s one of those kids that’s a once-in-a-lifetime player that you get to coach because of her attitude, her values and her skill level," Sullivan coach Ashley Crump said. "She’s a kid you’ll miss, not just because of her skill, but who she is. She babysits my kids and I feel like she’s a part of my family. She was just so much fun to be on the field with. I just couldn’t wait to watch her bat because I would be in awe of some of those at-bats. I knew every time, she would hit the ball hard.”

Even Crump was unaware what the full extent of Purvis' injury was. The Sullivan coach knew Purvis was hurt, just not how bad.

“They got several different opinions and they were thinking kneecap," Crump said. "It was coming in and out and she did some therapy but it continued to bother her. We sat her until the postseason but she threw (from) the district final all the way to state. The mental toughness it took to do that and the physical ability to navigate that is unbelievable.”

Purvis, who had surgery to repair her knee the day before Thanksgiving, carried the load in the pitcher’s circle for the Eagles, who finished with a 25-7 record.

Last season's All-Metro pitcher of the year, Purvis was 13-3 record with a 0.93 earned run average in 97 1/3 innings and struck out 179 batters for an average of 12.8 per seven innings.

“I knew on the mound she would get the job done because she would give me everything she had, whether she’s healthy or hurt,” Crump said. “She is one of those kids you are just going to miss watching. Not just coaching, but watching.

“She started her career as a 14-year-old in the state championship game and she got to end it there. I’ll take second place any day with her in the circle. She’s tough. She got through it. If we would have known (about the final diagnosis), she wouldn’t have played and that would have been devastating. I think she deserved and earned the ability to finish.”

As she heads to Mississippi State, Purvis is confident she can pitch well in the Southeastern Conference and is feeling prepared for it.

After all, if she can help get a team to state on one leg, anything is possible.

“It was nerve-wracking knowing there was something wrong with my knee,” Purvis said. “I knew it wasn’t going away, so I just had to work through it. It’s pretty amazing that I got to go (to state) as many times as I did. I loved every minute of it. We wanted to win for the seniors in our last year and losing was devastating, but everybody did great. We earned this.”




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