When Kristyna Vaughn concludes her prep career at Evans High School in May, she plans to continue stepping up to the plate in the South Atlantic Conference.
Vaughn, 17, signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play softball at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn.
“I visited a couple of other schools, but I knew after I got (to Tusculum), after I visited the campus, it was where I wanted to be,” Vaughn said. “I loved the campus and I got along really well with the girls.”
In Vaughn, Tusculum is getting a big hitter with a .366 batting average and .482 on-base percentage. She led the Knights in home runs this season with five and knocked in 28 RBI.
But Vaughn said she believes it also was her work as a right fielder that earned her some attention from Tusculum recruiters.
“I think I do a lot of the small things right,” she said.
Once in Tennessee, Vaughn said she hopes to see action on the field right away.
“I don’t know that I’ll get to start as a freshman, but I’m going to try,” she said. “I’m going to go up there, work hard and try to earn that spot.”
Evans softball coach Colette Cassedy said Vaughn’s willingness to do the hard work earned respect from her teammates and made her a leader on a team that made the playoffs this year.
Cassedy credited Vaughn’s hitting and “solid defense” for helping make Evans playoff-worthy.
In addition to playing six years of school ball – four years at Evans and two at Columbia Middle – Vaughn also played six years of travel ball, relying on her parents, Gary and Monica Vaughn, to get her to practices and games.
“I wouldn’t be here it if weren’t for them,” she said of her parents. “They made all of this possible for me.”