North Forsyth junior Sara King looked like she was in another element Monday night, sitting down the final nine batters from the mound to help the Lady Raiders to a statement victory over West Forsyth.
She dominated like a top prospect, and it might have been because she officially announced her intentions to play softball at a Division I school when her career at North is over.
On Sunday night, King committed to Morehead State University in Kentucky, fulfilling, to this point, a dream of becoming a college softball player.
“It has always been my dream to play D-I softball, but I didn’t actually think I would get there,” King said.
King’s rise to the status of a D-I play was rapid. As recently as July, King had only received recruiting attention from Shorter University, Piedmont College and Covenant College, three Georgia schools that compete in lower divisions in the NCAA.
Then, just a few weeks before the school year began, King competed at nationals in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Premier Fastpitch Reed 16 club, coached by Larry Reed. There, King made an impression on Morehead State head coach David Williams.
With a D-I offer on the table, King’s future plans changed. She said she spent the last month trying to block out the positive anxiety of having an offer from a top-level program while focusing on the fall season with her teammates.
“I was really just trying to get better and be more dominant because there’s always room to improve,” King said.
King attributes improvement over the last year, alone, to her upswing in the proverbial softball stock market. She began playing for Reed’s Premier Fastpitch team last year, receiving detailed pitching instruction on a regular basis from Barbara Reed, Larry’s wife.
“(Barbara) has been at it a long time and really knew what college coaches were looking for,” King said. “When I tried out and made the team, that’s when I really started becoming a better softball player, and that’s when recruiting got serious.”
King, at 5-foot-10, throws close to 60 miles per hour from the mound and also has kept a batting average over .400 while with her club team. This season she has helped the Lady Raiders, as their top pitcher, to a 15-5 record, including a 9-3 mark in region play.
In two years she will join a Morehead State team that went 22-24 a season ago and 11-11 in the Ohio Valley Conference.