Cherokee County Herald - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

“Peo­ple fol­low her lead­er­ship be­cause they know how hard she works out­side of prac­tice and that she’s a com­mit­ted player. She’s com­mit­ted to her team. When you do those types of things, it shows in your play, other peo­ple no­tice and good things like this hap­pen. I’m very proud for her.”

Wil­liams had sev­eral of­fers of late, but she said the at­mos­phere Coastal Alabama of­fers felt like home to her.

“It’s a small cam­pus, which I like,” she said. “I’m re­ally ex­cited to see what’s in store for me. I’m just ex­cited to be back on the field. I just knew when I played my last high school game that it couldn’t be the end for me. I love this sport too much to put it down al­ready.”

Smith said Coastal Alabama coach Mon­ica Meadows re­cently con­tacted her about Wil­liams on a coach­ing net­work­ing site called Field Level. She specif­i­cally re­quested Wil­liams’ pro­file, which Smith did.

“From that point, Coach Meadows had con­tacted Kayleigh about com­ing to Coastal Alabama, and I think she ended up watch­ing her play at one of these tour­na­ments she was play­ing summer ball for,” Smith said. “She asked her to come on a visit and made her an of­fer.”

It was an of­fer that Wil­liams felt was too good to pass up.

“She said I would be a pitcher and I would work as a pitcher, but she said that doesn’t just limit me to just pitch­ing,” Wil­liams said. “She said she gives her pitch­ers a chance to hit if I can make it into the top 10 (of the lineup). I re­ally want to hit. I guess it just de­pends on how it goes at prac­tice.

“I’m ex­cited to go, and I know Coach Meadows is ex­cited to have me. She ex­pressed that to me when I first told her I com­mit­ted there.”

Al­though she’s proud to see Wil­liams mov­ing on to the next level, Smith said she’s go­ing to miss her pres­ence at Pied­mont.

“She’s been one of those play­ers where it doesn’t mat­ter what role she’s play­ing. It’s just been re­ally nice to have that solid play out of her for the past six years,” Smith said. “My first year here as an as­sis­tant coach she was al­ready pitch­ing for the var­sity when she was in eighth grade. It was just one of those things that was like ‘Wow, this is go­ing to be a re­ally good player for us for a re­ally long time.’ I’ve just so en­joyed watch­ing her grow and de­velop into the player she is.”

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