Lakeside High School senior Kristen Lee killed two birds with one stone last week.
Actually, Lee sealed two deals with a few strokes of a pen when she signed a dual-scholarship to attend Gordon College this fall.
Lee signed an athletic scholarship to play softball for the junior college squad, and she also received Gordon College's David Bishop Scholarship for academic excellence.
"School always come first, but I love playing softball," Lee said after the signing ceremony Friday at Lakeside.
Lee's long-term goal of studying to become a dental hygienist wasn't exactly an afterthought, although she seemed to be a bit more excited about achieving her dream of playing college softball.
Kristen Lee gets a hug from her dad, James Lee. Kristen signed a scholarship deal to play softball at Gordon College next year.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"I'm just glad it's finally set in stone," Lee said. "It's been one of my goals since I started playing tee-ball at five, and I've finally accomplished it."
In addition to honing her skills as a member of fastpitch travel teams Prowlers and Grease Lightning, Lee played four years of varsity softball at Lakeside.
While the right-hander anchored third base and left field as a senior, Lee displayed amazing versatility throughout her career with the Lady Panthers.
"She played everywhere. I don't think there was a position she didn't play during the four years she was here," Lakeside softball coach Jay Matthews said.
For the Highlanders, though, Lee will have a very defined role.
"I'm signing Kristen as one of our outfielders for next season. She can easily come in and start for us," Gordon College coach Ally Carter said. "She has a very strong arm and gets a good jump on the ball, and I think her bat's going to come around."
Lee also considered a scholarship offer to play at Coastal Georgia College, but after visiting the Gordon College campus in Barnesville, Ga. last fall, her decision was sealed.
"I love their athletic complex, and they have some great people there," she said. "Knowing there are girls on the team there welcoming you, it should be an easy transition."
Coach Carter was thinking along those same lines.
"I brought her down for a tryout and she fit in so well. I was very impressed with Kristen. I pretty much knew she was somebody I wanted on our team."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.