Ashton Lansdell never wanted to take the easy way out because she was a girl. That mentality will be more evident than ever before when the Marietta, GA native joins the Georgia Highlands baseball team for the upcoming season.
"I honestly never had any interest to even try softball."
Lansdell, who has embedded herself on a baseball field since she was four years old, earned a spot to join head coach Dash O'Neill's Charger squad this year. Lansdell will join a team that has won at least 29 games in each of the last three seasons in the competitive Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA).
O'Neill believes Lansdell's presence in successful baseball programs throughout her career will transition well to the college game. "Ashton Lansdell is a talented and skilled baseball player from the Wheeler High School baseball program, which is one of the many places with a rich baseball tradition that we scout for rising players."
When Lansdell's father put a bat in her hands at four years old, the right-hander's ambitions of college baseball took off. Lansdell's baseball path evolved from there, a path that eventually led to a spot on the USA Baseball Women's National Team that participated in the 2018 Women's Baseball World Cup. Playing on the national landscape helped Lansdell attract interest from a number of college baseball coaches, but it was the junior college route that Lansdell saw as the best fit.
"I chose to go the NJCAA route because I thought it would allow me to develop my skills, adapt to the speed of the game, and allow me to better understand college baseball.
"Coach Dash seemed very supportive and accepting of what I was trying to accomplish. One of the most important things he told me was I would just be one of the guys, and he expects the same out of me that he does out of any of the other guys, which is what I want and what I also expect because I just want to play."
While Lansdell will not be on the official game roster this year for the Chargers, she will be a part of the program and continuously practice and train with the team. "This year is basically for me to catch up to the speed of college baseball, take another year and develop my skills for the next level to see if this is the route that I really want to take, which I already know it is."
Lansdell, who intends to major in communications at Georgia Highlands sees a career infused with baseball. "My forever goal is to be in the MLB. I want to play baseball for as long as I can and keep moving to the next level until the top.
"Even after my playing career," Lansdell added, "I would love to work in baseball in some way – coaching, training, managing."
A lifelong advocate for going against the grain, Lansdell's mission to bring a perception change to baseball has added another notation by joining the Chargers' program. "No one can stop you but you. You control your life, your decisions, and your dreams no matter how wild or crazy anyone thinks you are. No one can tell you that you can or cannot do something because everything is possible, but you have to believe in yourself before anyone else does."
As the 2019-20 season approaches, Lansdell will once again find herself where she calls home. "The baseball field is where I have spent more than half my life. I love being there, it's my happy place where I don't have to worry about anything else but baseball."