The Midland Valley softball player walked 24 times this season. But when she made contact, she made some noise.
Hong, a senior, hit .419 with three home runs and 23 RBI as the Mustangs finished as the Class AAA Lower State runner-up. Her effort during the long postseason run made her The Augusta Chronicle All-Area South Carolina Softball Player of the Year.
“It was hard, because I wanted to hit. But if you’re going to put me on base, you have to get the next three people out after me,” Hong said. “I stayed patient. (But) I was ready to hit that ball. I figured that would be the only pitch they would pitch to me, so I went after it.”
Hong’s hitting prowess started in seventh grade, when she turned heads by crushing a home run off the scoreboard. Since then, she’s played just about everywhere for Midland Valley. This season, she spent most of her time at first and third base.
She expects to play one of those two positions next season at USC Salkehatchie.
“Wherever you put me, I’ll play,” Hong said. “I just want to be on the field.”
Midland Valley won five games in the state playoffs, with Hong a major player.
The Mustangs opened postseason play in District VIII by scoring eight runs.
Later, in the Lower State round, Midland Valley scored 13 runs against Darlington and then nine against Gilbert in an elimination game.
“Everybody behind me, they either hit me in or moved me to the next bag, and we ended up scoring,” Hong said. “It was real fun. We pulled through and went as far as we did.”