Lee County softball star Brandi Blount, front row, second from right, is joined Friday after signing with Valdosta State by, front row, from left, brother Chandler Blount; mother Wendy Blount and father George Blount, as well as, back row, from left, Lee assistant coach Dwyane Suggs, Lee County coach Lynn Avery and travel ball coach Greg Richter. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LEESBURG — Brandi Blount had a whole list of colleges ready to add her to their softball program.
The Lee County softball star’s dream list, however, was considerably shorter.
“I watched Valdosta State win the (Division II) national championship last season, and I was hoping I would be asked to go there,” said Blount, a senior.
Blount didn’t have to wait long for her dream to come true.
Early in the season while taking hitting lessons in Valdosta, VSU coach Thomas Macera approached Blount and asked her if she would be interested in joining the Lady Blazers’ powerhouse softball team.
“I pretty much just started jumping up and down, and was like, ‘Of course,’ ” Blount said.
And on Friday, Blount made it official.
Lee County’s top player signed her national letter-of-intent in the Lee County High School media center and accepted a partial scholarship to play softball in Valdosta.
“I am very proud for her,” Lee County softball coach Lynn Avery said. “She works hard and loves the game, and she is a student of the game. We probably won’t know what she meant to our team until next year when she’s gone. She is a good leader, and she just really enjoyed playing the game.”
Blount led Lee at the plate her senior year with a .302 batting average and 17 RBI — both team-highs. The third baseman-turned-shortstop batted lead-off for most of the season, scored 22 runs and stole six bases. She also finished the season with a .929 fielding percentage.
Blount, a three-year starter at Lee County, said her speed on the base paths can help her make an immediate impact on a VSU team that finished 58-5 last season thanks to the leadership of another former Lee County star, Sam Posey.
Posey, the 2007 Herald Player of the Year, hit a walk-off, solo home run in the bottom of the 11th inning in the national tournament to keep VSU alive, and Blount said it’s players like Posey who give her hope she can be successful at Valdosta State.
“I look up to people like her,” said Blount, who also garnered interest from Georgia Southwestern, Darton State College, Columbus State and Kennesaw State. “She had a successful softball career, and I look up to her. She gives me some hope.”
Avery is confident her star hitter will shine at VSU.
“I think she will go down there and do a really good job,” Avery said. “I think she can help them out right off the bat because she can work and is dedicated. She wants to be better, and she just loves the game. When you have that much heart, you can always do better.”
Blount, a nursing major, was a First Team All-Region player the last two seasons and a Second Team All-Region infielder as a sophomore.