Softball has been an intricate part of April Heard's life, and the 18-year-old will continue playing the sport when she starts college in the fall.
On June 9, the Lakeside High School graduate signed to play at Aiken Technical College.
"I just enjoy going out there and playing," said Heard, who played second base at Lakeside. "I just love the game, and I love going out there with my teammates and having fun."
Heard said she started playing T-ball as a child and has been a part of the Evans Dominators travel team for the past three years. She has played travel ball since she was a seventh-grader.
The passion Heard has for the game comes from years of hard work and dedication.
"She is a very hard-working young lady," said Sherrie Wiegers, Lakeside's former softball coach. "She will always give you 110 percent."
Throughout her four years playing softball at Lakeside, Heard played a variety of positions in the infield before manning second base. She also played goalie on Lakeside's lacrosse team for the past two years.
Heard said her most memorable experience playing softball as a Panther came when she was a sophomore. The team, she said, was close to making the state playoffs. The game had gone into extra innings, but Lakeside failed to score with a runner on third and two outs.
"It's really fun to get that close," she said. "It was hard work to get there, but it was fun."
When it came to choosing schools, Heard said a pitcher with the Dominators signed with Aiken Tech last year and enjoys playing there.
"I'm extremely proud of April," Wiegers said. "She will be a very big asset to that program."
Heard said she's looking forward to playing "high-level softball" and forming friendships with her future teammates.
"I'm not really ready to go off to a big place yet, and Aiken Tech just seemed like the perfect fit for me," said Heard, adding that she may want to transfer to a Division I or Division II college in the future.
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