It was like a family gathering when Harlem High School’s Lindsey Stokes made official where she would play her college softball.
In front of a throng of family, friends and teammates – past, present and future – assembled in the high school’s media center Thursday night, the Lady Bulldogs third baseman made sure that they would have a chance to see her play collegiately.
Fresh off winning her second-consecutive Region 3-AA Player of the Year award and leading the 32-8 Lady Bulldogs to a runner-up finish at the Georgia High School Association Class AA state softball tournament, Stokes signed her letter of intent to play for Georgia Regents University.
“Georgia Regents was always my first pick,” said Stokes, who verbally committed to the Lady Jaguars before her senior season began. “I did look at a couple of other schools but Georgia Regents was always in my heart.”
Kristen Mills, a current Lady Jaguar, played with Stokes at Harlem and is looking forward to her joining the team next year. “We’ve played a lot of softball together. It’ll be fun to play with her again,” said Mills.
Harlem coach Mike Leverett said the Lady Jaguars are getting a good player.
“She was probably a lifetime .480 hitter and led the team in all categories this year, so you know it’s going to be tough to replace her,” Leverett said of his captain. “She meant a whole lot to this team.”
In her senior season, Stokes batted .457 with five home runs, five triples, 15 doubles and drove in 42 runs while scoring 56 times. Despite the gaudy numbers, Stokes knows that she is going to have to work hard at the next level.
“Well, for the first few years here, I had to fly under the radar because we had some big hitters as seniors, but I think I can do that again,” said Stokes, adding that mental toughness was going to be the key to her continued success. “I’m so used to starting that if I don’t start I just have to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to get my chance and I have to produce.’”