Athlete of the Week April 10th: Nikki Kovalsky of Venice High

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VENICE, Fla. - The Venice High Indians have had a decade of pitching dominance in softball, and this week's ABC 7 Athlete of the Week is keeping up the tradition.

In the past 8 years, the Indians softball team has been the most successful in team history, led by pitchers like Stephanie Sullivan, Felicia Taylor, Mel Dubinsky, and the Heathers -- Boyts and Laird. Now Nikki Kovalsky is right there with them.

“It’s an extraordinary feeling. I had a lot of shoes to fill in following the other senior pitchers," says Nikki.

"She's been very competitive this year. She is working all of her pitches this year. She has a lot of pitches in her repertoire. She is a leader for us," says Indians coach Larry Sandberg.

Nikki has fueled her pitching fire with the help of those who have come before; and has used some tutelage as well. "Excellent coaching, and I watched my role models growing up as a pitcher," says Nikki.

The Indians have clinched the best record in their district, and are mentioned in the State 6a softball rankings. Kovalsky has 16 of their 18 wins on the mound, and she is hitting over .400 at the plate.

“She definitely makes the team better with her pitching skills, and her hitting. She has become a really good hitter the last couple of years. She has a lot of power. She takes every at-bat serious. She takes every pitch serious," says Sandberg.

Congratulations to Nikki Kovalsky of the Venice High School Softball Team. She is our ABC 7 Athlete of the Week.