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Lee County softball star Knight excited about future with GSW

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY - Hayley Knight's knack for game-winning hits with Lee County's softball team happened more than once.

Not only did she hit a two-run single in a 6-4 win against Columbus late in this year's season, she also had a game-winner last season against Northside-Warner Robins.

On Wednesday morning, the outfielder made it known that she hopes to make more game-winning hits closer to home after signing a letter-of-intent with Georgia Southwestern.

"I really liked that it's close to home and I've heard it's a really good school," Knight said. "I'm a special education major and they have a really good special-education program."

Knight's career at Lee County was an impressive one, being named to last season's second-team All-State squad and likely will be on that list against when this year's will be named in December. She was a four-year starter, leadoff hitter and maintained a batting average above .300 for Lee County, which has reached the past three GHSA Class AAAA Elite Eights.

A three-time All-Region player and Herald All-Area Team member last season, Knight batted .369 this year with eight doubles, 13 stolen bases and 16 RBI. Her fielding percentage was also perfect.

"(Georgia Southwestern) liked my speed and liked my quick hands and they just liked my ability to hustle," Knight said.

Lee County coach Lynn Avery said Knight will be missed.

"She was one of the best outfielders in the state," Avery said. "She can definitely make an impact at Georgia Southwestern."

GSW coach Eddie Ward agrees.

"I think she'll make an immediate impact," he said. "She brings a strong bat, an above-average arm and covers the outfield well. We look forward to having her on the team."

Last season, GSW went 13-37, but are still rather new to the NCAA Division II scene as a member of the Peach Belt Conference.

"I like the fact that they want to build a strong program," Knight said. "That's what the name of the game is, to try and get better and do whatever you can to get better."