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AJ’s Ballard signs to play at St. Andrews University

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Lady Vols softball star

By Robert Howey

 

   

KERSHAW – Andrew Jackson High School star third baseman Kori Ballard said St. Andrews University is a building program and she wants to be a part of it.

Ballard, a member of the AJ varsity since her seventh grade year at AJ Middle School, will head to the Laurinburg, N.C. school next fall.

“I look forward to going there,” said Ballard. “It reminds me a lot of Kershaw. It’s small and that’s what I was looking for.

“They seem to know each other there,” she said. “I like the coaches, too. They were up front with me and didn’t try to hide anything.”

Ballard, a two-time all-region player off the defending region champion Lady Vols, is coming off a banner junior campaign.

She hit .561 for the AJ girls with a school record 44 runs batted in, six home runs, 22 doubles and seven triples.

In 65 chances at third base, she made only seven errors.

Ballard earned the Best Offensive Award for the second straight season last spring along with Class AA all-state honors. She was also the Region IV-AA Player of the Year.

“St. Andrews is getting an outstanding player,” AJ coach Steve Middleton said. “She will provide them a strong bat and solid glove.

“Kori has had a fine career at Andrew Jackson and I look for that to continue with her college career,” Mddleton said. “She is the type player who can step in and make an impact off the bat.”

Ballard, who plans to major in early childhood education, also thanked her travel ball coach Mike Holcomb of the Carolina Gators where she played two seasons.

“I appreciate coach Holcomb,” she said. “He played a key role in helping me get the scholarship.”

St. Andrews is a member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference, a NAIA Division II school.