GUYTON — Soft-spoken Alex Brown had an extraordinarily noisy softball career at South Effingham High School.
A four-time all-region performer and the 2020 Region 2-AAAAAA Player of the Year, Brown was rewarded for her exploits Nov. 18 as the shortstop signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of North Carolina next fall.
“It was great to see her leadership role,” Lady Mustangs head coach Jessica Evans said. “As it took place, she was a very quiet leader in the beginning but, as she and I talked, I figured out that she is just trying to figure you out. That’s her thing.
“She figures you out and then she steps in in times and moments that she needed to.”
Brown’s statistics speak loudly about her abilities. She posted a .432 career batting average for the Lady Mustangs, socking 173 hits and tallying 58 RBI. Her fielding percentage topped .900.
“She has some of the quickest hands that I’ve ever seen on an athlete in the infield,” Evans said.
Brown led the Lady Mustangs to three region titles and two Elite Eight appearances, including 2020 — her lone season under Evans’ tutelage.
“I know her teammates, as far as her role on our field, are really going to miss her,” Evans said. “It’s going to be a hole for us.”
Brown has been hitting line drives and fielding grounders for longer than she can remember. She has seen pictures of herself playing with baseballs and softballs with her parents when she was a baby.
“I’ve heard the stories and everything,” she said, mentioning that observers were impressed with her hand-eye coordination.
Her skills were further enhanced by playing with her older brother, K.C. He played baseball at South Effingham, South Georgia College and Georgia College.
Brown played basketball in middle school and has starred on South Effingham’s track team as a sprinter and high jumper. Softball is clearly her favorite sport, however. She decided at 15 that she wanted to compete at the collegiate level.
“There’s nothing like softball,” Brown said. “I’ve been around it my whole life. I’ve grown up around it.”
Brown enjoys the challenges the sport presents in the field, at the plate and on the base paths.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” she said. “It’s so cliche but it’s game of failure and so — whenever I fail, I hate failing, right? — whenever you succeed it’s such a special thing in the game of softball.
“Whenever you get a hit, it’s so amazing that it’s going to be like a rush of adrenaline in that moment and what I look for, what I play for, and I think everybody else does, too.
Brown is looking forward to playing for the Tar Heels and head coach Donna Papa, a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame. North Carolina has 14 NCAA Tournament appearances under Papa’s direction.
“Whenever she said she wanted me, it kind of hit me,” Brown said. “From the very first moment that I stepped on the campus — I remember my first camp there — I just felt like I was at home. I loved the campus, I love the coaching staff and it is a great school academically as well.
“It had everything I was looking for and I can’t wait to get up there. I am so excited.”