FORT MYERS, Fla. — Baylee Haggard could be one of the most FSW softball workforce’s latest pitchers, however the redshirt sophomore briefly changed into certainly one of their bests this season.
“I never would’ve pictured getting the acknowledgment that I got this year,” stated Haggard.
However, it wasn’t that way back Haggard wasn’t at the box in any respect.
In reality, Haggard concept her days within the pitcher’s circle have been over when the pandemic lower her sophomore season in 2020 brief.
“I did and I had accepted that it ended,” Haggard admits.
Haggard sought after to proceed taking part in, then again, the gives to play at a four-year faculty weren’t the place she wanted them to be monetary.
So, quite than pay to play at a four-year faculty, Haggard returned house to Collier County and joined the training personnel at Palmetto Ridge highschool, her alma mater.
“The next step would be to make other athletes successful and happy in the game,” she stated.
While training at a match in Naples, then again, Haggard bumped into every other Bucs’ head trainer Robert Iamurri.
“She was helping coach her old high school team at Palmetto Ridge and I knew she had another year or two of eligibility. I asked, ‘Why aren’t you playing?’” stated Iamurri.
As it could prove, Iamurri had an be offering that Haggard couldn’t refuse, a possibility to play at FSW.
“I kind of just laughed,” recollects Haggard. “I thought ‘No way, he’s joking.’”
But, Iamurri wasn’t joking. So Haggard joined the Bucs this season and briefly cemented herself as certainly one of their perfect guns.
Haggard went directly to win 24 of the 25 video games she began for the Bucs this season and ended the 12 months with a 1.23 ERA.
That was once excellent sufficient to earn the one-time highschool softball trainer State Pitcher of the Year honors.
“This is an opportunity that I never would have expected but I’m so glad. This has opened so many different doors,” stated Haggard.
Those doorways, in the meantime, nearly unquestionably result in a scholarship at a four-year faculty now.
“I think this year has taught me that it’s okay to bet on yourself,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Haggard and the Bucs wrapped up their district match with a win on Monday, securing their spot on the NJCAA National Tournament in Arizona the place they are going to glance to protect their identify.