LEESBURG -- Nobody doubts Lindsay Tompkins any more.
Not now, not after her brilliant career at Lee County, the kind of career no one who follows the Lady Trojans' softball program will forget.
Not after Tompkins won 44 games on the mound and hit the ball like she had something against it. Not now, especially not Tuesday, the day Tompkins signed a letter-of-intent, accepting a softball scholarship with Thomas University.
"The thing I remember are the girls on the team,'' Tompkins said Tuesday, moments after she signed. "I played with a great group of girls. I really enjoyed playing with them. And I'll remember my junior year, and being able to win the player of the year award and helping get us to the Elite 8 after I was doubted.''
Tompkins heard the rumblings and the doubters two years ago, but she put together a magnificent season, won The Herald's Player of the Year in softball in 2009 and pushed Lee County to the elite eight at state.
"I was replacing the starting pitcher,'' Tompkins said of outgoing star Brittny Dennison -- another Herald Player of the Year. "And there were people who doubted me.''
Tompkins went 26-6 as a junior, and was one of Lee County's top hitters this past season, batting .347 with 14 RBI, nine doubles, one triple and a .424 on-base percentage.
"She put this team on her back,'' said Lee County coach Lynn Avery, who had one of the youngest teams in Georgia. "We started six sophomores and she took us to the first round of the playoffs. She's a leader on and off the field. She will be sorely missed.''
Tompkins went 18-11 on the mound this past season, but as Thomas University coach Bill Wilson pointed out Tuesday that "A lot of those games were real close.''
Simply said, Tompkins is better than her record.
"She's a good player, but she is a lot more,'' Wilson said. "She's a great student, a great person. She'll battle with you all day long.''
Wilson followed Tompkins' traveling team, which won the USFA World Series in Panama City, Fla., last summer.
"I've known coach Wilson since I was in 10th grade,'' said Tompkins, who will major in biology. "I've wanted to go there. It's close so I can still come home when I want to, and it's a good program.''
The program will probably be even better when Tompkins gets there.
Don't doubt that.