NORTH AUGUSTA — Karly Heath is already looking toward next softball season.
If her past three high school seasons are any indication, it’s going to be a memorable one.
Heath left her latest mark on North Augusta’s softball program as a junior this past season, a record-setting campaign that included a scoreless streak and a strong playoff run. For the third year in a row, she’s The Augusta Chronicle’s All-Area Softball Player of the Year.
“One day I’m going to look at her career stats and the jaw is going to drop,” North Augusta coach Gerald Brown said. “I’ve been lucky to coach somebody like her. I might go my whole career and not do that. I’m blessed in that way. She’s one of a kind.”
The South Carolina commit is ranked nationally and only raised her stock after recording a 0.35 ERA this past season. She allowed four earned runs with 30 walks to 145 strikeouts in 15 starts spanning 81 innings.
Heath didn’t allow a single earned run during the regular season.
“I think I did very well,” Heath said. “A lot better than last year. My speed was there, more strikeouts, even more ground balls. My breaking pitches were a lot better than last year. More breaking pitches, more strikeouts. I was very proud of that. Hard work really pays off.”
Heath paired it with a .506 average, 10 doubles, one triple and 11 home runs. She walked 18 times, only struck out six times and stole 17 bases as North Augusta’s leadoff hitter.
North Augusta went 25-3-1, including another Region 4-AAAA title, and reached the Upper State championship game. The Lady Yellow Jackets bowed out to Union County in the semifinals.
“I thought we did very well,” Heath said. “We all grew up together, so that made it better. We played as a team and not individually. I was so proud of us as a team.”
Heath earned another All-State award along with South Carolina Coaches Association of Women’s Sports AAAA Player of the Year. She continues to rack up accolades and hardware during a memorable high school career, but the possibility of a state championship keeps driving her with a year left at North Augusta.
“I’m already ready to play,” she said. “Senior year, we’re going out with a bang.”
Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.