SPRINGFIELD — With high school softball season right around the corner, coaches are putting the finishing touches on their roster to solidify the best lineup.
When it comes to the Effingham County softball team, outfielder Jaci Coleman has mastered the art of fitting in wherever she is put. She is productive at the top or the bottom of the order.
Coleman finished last season with a .388 batting average, second behind three-time Region 2-AAAAAA Player of the Year Bailee Wilson. She scored 21 runs, had 33 hits and eight RBIs.
Even though Wilson and several other talented players from last year’s team have departed due to graduation, Coleman isn’t putting any pressure on herself to shoulder an additional load.
“I slap and regular hit,” she said. “(The key to success is) being able to balance both and be good at both. Offensively, you go through slumps but I’ve been doing pretty well. We will see how this season goes.
“We lost some seniors last year so we are going to have to move the lineup around and see what works.”
Much of her growth has come with her travel ball team, the Angels — a squad that includes several Lady Rebels. The consistency of battling at the plate is what keeps her fresh.
“It helps because are always seeing live pitching,” Coleman said. “It keeps the intensity up and you aren’t taking long breaks between seasons. You are continuously practicing.”
Effingham County has given her countless memories with girls she has spent her entire life around.
“It is a sisterhood,” she said. “We are very close. I’ve gone to school with the other seniors since pre-K. We are here every single day. We go spend the night at each other’s houses.
“We are very close.”
While the University of South Carolina-Beaufort commit has spent countless hours perfecting her performance at the plate, Coleman noted that she is a team player and believes it takes a collective effort to win.
“I mainly (focus on) team goals,” she said. “I want the team to win the region again and do well in the state playoffs. Individual performances will impact that but most of my goals are team goals”.
There is one personal goal Coleman is determined to achieve.
“I would like to be first-team all-state,” she said. “That just takes a lot of hard work but I would love to be able to do that.”