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Gabrielle Jansen / The Outlook Dadeville High School softball player Timirian Tinsley, center, officially signed with a letter of intent to play for Alabama A&M Univeristy next year. "I'm excited to go play at the next level and I'm proud of myself," Tinsley said. "I appreciate all of my family, coaches, friends, teammates and I would not be here without them." At her signing Monday, Tinsley was joined by front row, from left, grandfather Roy Tinsley, brother Tim Tinsley, mother Roxanne Tinsley, father Arthur Tinsley and grandmother Gloria Tinsley; backrow, grandfather Otis Burns, uncle Odreus Burns, DHS softball coach Jordan McGuire, DHS athletic director Rich White, DHS assistant principal Pam Holloway, DHS principal Chris Hand and travel softball coach Roman McLeod.

Injuries have plagued Timirian Tinsley’s softball career at Dadeville, but she hasn’t let a single one stop her. She worked her way through a torn meniscus and a dislocated shoulder to be a standout for the Tigers.

But it was her off-the-field work that really helped make her dreams come true. Tinsley played travel softball to try to get her name out to college coaches and when that didn’t work, she took matters into her own hands.

“I had to start making highlight videos and sending them out,” Tinsley said. “Once I started doing that and once I got one offer, more just started coming in.”

Tinsley had her sights set on Alabama A&M and that’s exactly where she ended up. She officially signed her National Letter of Intent to play softball at A&M, a Division I program in Huntsville. 

Grambling State, Point University and Florida A&M all had interest in Tinsley, but she always knew she wanted to go to Alabama A&M.

“I was really trying to push and make them see me,” Tinsley said. “I did a lot of things to make them start looking at me. Eventually they called me and it just went from there.”

Tinsley has history with Alabama A&M as many of her family graduated from there, and even before she went on an official visit, she knew that’s where she wanted to be.

“The team there is just so welcoming,” Tinsley said. “I haven’t even practiced with them yet and they’re just really cool, very friendly and nice. It just feels right there.” 

Tinsley is a pitcher and plays third base at Dadeville but will mostly take up pitching duties at A&M.

“She’s got a great foundation and technique in her pitching,” Tiger coach Jordan McGuire said. “She’s got some really great pitches in her arsenal and she’s very good not only as a pitcher but she played third for us too and she’s got a really good bat. They’re lucky to have her.”

Tinsley is also coached by Krystle Lawson, of Elite Pitching Academy in Wetumpka, and while she does boast some speed, it’s the movement of her pitches that is Tinsley’s biggest strength.

“Her pitches have a lot of spin so they move a lot,” McGuire said. “She’s got a drop that’s really good and she places well. She has good accuracy which helps out with all her pitches. She’s good at placing the ball where she wants it to go so that helps a lot.” 

McGuire said a focus will be keeping her healthy this season and not overpitching her. Although Tinsley has already signed prior to her senior season beginning, she still knows there’s a lot of room for improvement as the competition level will greatly increase at a Division I program.

She’s also excited to represent Dadeville well at that next level.

“It means a lot considering we’re a small town,” Tinsley said. “You don’t see this often and I’m blessed to be able to have this opportunity to represent my school like this.”

McGuire is hopeful there are many others to follow in Tinsley’s footsteps.

“It shows there’s talent in our area,” McGuire said. “I hope that it helps show (younger girls) even though we’re a small community, you can still go places from here and do big things from here. It’ll hopefully inspire our young athletes to keep working hard at what they want and they can reach goals as well.” 

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.