PETTICOAT JUNCTION — It came down to the end of the school year, but Silver Bluff catcher Laini Frye said it was the right timing to choose her college softball team.
Frye declared her intention to play at Georgia Regents University next year during an announcement at Silver Bluff on Thursday.
Frye said her initial goal was to play farther from home, but as the year was ending, a visit to Georgia Regents coach Melissa Mullins convinced her to stay in the area.
“I was scared, because it was getting to the end of the year and I didn’t know where I was going,” she said. “I think it was the right timing. I think it’s the right place for me to go.
“I think it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a great experience for me, to better myself as a player and as a person.”
Frye said she went through a tryout at Georgia Regents a couple weeks ago, displaying her catching skills in front of the coaching staff. She also was able to get a better understanding of the program.
“I really like how coach Mullins carries herself and carries the team,” she said. “She says they’re really close knit, and I like that coming from a small school. We’ve always been like a family. I really look for that in other places.”
Frye said she was moved to catcher from the left side of the infield for her 10th grade season at the instruction of Silver Bluff coach Eric Hofstetter. She said she was hesitant at first, but she grasped it quickly and, according to Hofstetter, became one of the better catchers in the area and program’s history.
“She has a great arm, and she really wasn’t afraid of the position,” Hofstetter said. “She fit the bill. She’s definitely a leader.”
Frye, who played varsity for six years, recorded a .331 career batting average for the Lady Bulldogs. She totaled 35 doubles, nine triples and 13 home runs from the right side.
Hofstetter added Frye is one of the school’s top students academically, and on the field she was a team leader. She took younger players under her wing and taught them the specifics of the game.
“She’s going to be missed,” Hofstetter said. “Not only is she a good athlete, she’s good in school. She’s dedicated to school, dedicated to the sport, and our softball team and our school will miss her.”