In her sophomore year, Harlem High School’s Kristin Rawlins got to practice on the Division II Columbus State University softball field when the team played in a tournament in Columbus, Ga.
Next year, Rawlins will get to call that field home after signing her letter of intent to play softball for the Lady Cougars on Wednesday.
“When we were there, I made it a point to tell all the girls I was going to go to Columbus State one day and then it ended up happening,” Rawlins said.
The Lady Bulldogs are losing one of their more versatile players from their 2012 Region 3-AA championship team. As a pitcher she was 11-3 with a .289 ERA, played first base and batted .305. She helped lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 29-9 record and a berth in the state playoffs, while being named 2012 Region 3-AA All-Region, first team All-County and second team All-State.
“She was a great pitcher, but we were so much better with her on defense on first base,” said Lady Bulldogs coach Mike Leverett, who called her the best first baseman he had coached there in four years. “She didn’t pitch much down the stretch because we needed her leadership on first base. Whenever she pitched we had to change positions so much.”
When the Lady Bulldogs went to the state playoffs, they practiced on the Columbus State field once more, the Lady Cougers coach made a point to see Rawlins play and after she attended their softball camp her mind was made up. The university itself helped play a role in her decision about where to go.
“I liked the school, I liked the atmosphere,” Rawlins said.
“I loved their field, I loved the wooden fence. That’s one of my favorite things about the school.”
Rawlins also liked that she would fit in with the way Lady Cougars head coach Brad Huskisson does things.
“More and more I’m around him and I look at him and the way he coaches, he reminds me of Lev (Leverett) in so many ways,” Rawlins said.