By Brackin Lambert
Grace Hetrick can’t recall a time when softball was not part of her life.
Softball became an important aspect of her life from an early age — her father played baseball at Winthrop University, so growing up, the game that she had been brought up to love quickly became one of her passions.
After one season of recreational softball, Hetrick joined the team at Robert Smalls Middle School. After just one season with the Generals, she moved up to play with the Dolphins’ junior varsity team during eighth and ninth grade before making the jump to varsity her sophomore year.
The 2019 season was one to remember for Battery Creek. A 2-1 victory over Union County gave the Dolphins their first state championship in softball and the feeling from the then-junior was indescribable.
Hetrick primarily played second base during her career, but a move to third to replace graduated star Emily Crosby this season proved to be a fun and new experience for the senior, albeit a short-lived one.
“My biggest obstacle was getting used to the reaction time,” Hetrick said. “Playing second, I would play further back, but at third I’m right in the line of fire. It’s all based on instincts and being able to read the ball off the bat. I found that really helped me because I’ve struggled with over thinking. But with having to have a quick reaction time it taught me to trust my instincts.”
With only three games played this season prior to the suspension of the season, it’s hard to say whether or not the Dolphins will have a chance to defend their state championship this year, and the feeling that it could be over is a tough one.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Hetrick said. “Working from the bottom, starting with JV and finally getting to the year where all my hard work will pay off, then having it end so suddenly, it’s really hard. Especially since I don’t plan on playing in college it’s possible I’ve played my last softball game.”
While her time as a high school softball player may have come to an end, it is the unforgettable memories she has made with her teammates that will be the lasting memory of her time with Battery Creek.