COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Shawn Andaya-Pulliam still holds the season strikeout record at Texas A&M. She racked up 114 wins during her career there, a pretty impressive statistic for someone who didn't plan on playing college ball.
"Someone said, ‘You know, you're pretty talented. You might want to consider going to college and playing sports,’ and I said, ‘Wow, I didn't know I could actually do that.’ It was something I had thought about, but my parents couldn't afford it, so I didn't think I was ever going to go," explained Andaya-Pulliam.
Shawn pitched for the Aggies from 1984 to 1987. The team advanced to the Women's College World Series three times and won the championship her senior year.
"I can't even explain what that was like. We were so proud and so happy. We had reached our goals and a lot of us were getting ready to graduate from college so it just seemed like everything was right where it was supposed to be," said Andaya-Pulliam.
Shawn coached softball for five years after she graduated, then started working with non-profits. For the past three years, she's been with the Voom Foundation.
"Voom Foundation is a humanitarian organization that travels to Africa twice a year. We assemble a medical staff from across America that does cardiac surgery and we go to Nigeria and we actually do open heart surgery on folks that are dying and that have no other option but us," explained Andaya-Pulliam.
Shawn started out as a volunteer, but after going on her first medical mission, she wanted to do more.
"I absolutely love it. It's the most impactful work I will ever do in my life and I am going to keep doing it until I can't do it anymore," said Andaya-Pulliam.
For her, it's about giving others a chance.
"You know, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I was born in a very poor neighborhood and it taught me that opportunities change lives. When I came to Texas A&M, got a scholarship, that opportunity changed my life. So for me, going there and seeing how the poorest of the poor live--I want to help create opportunities for them you know to change their life and to do something better," explained Andaya-Pulliam.
Shawn still lives in the Brazos Valley and gives private pitching lessons.
She also still keeps up with Aggie Athletics. Her husband Al does color commentary for Aggie Men's basketball games.
Shawn also loves watching her sons compete. They both earned scholarships to play basketball in college.