DOBSON — Katlin Anthony was set on attending Appalachian State next year and ditching her softball career when Surry Central’s 2016 campaign came to a close, but things changed in a big way about midway through the Lady Eagles’ season.
Coach Whitney Joyner approached Anthony and asked her if she had an interest in finding a school to play softball next year, and the senior catcher admitted she was still open to the idea.
On Tuesday, Anthony made things official and signed her letter of intent to play softball at Surry Community College next season. Her love for the game broke through all other factors that originally pushed Anthony towards Boone.
“As the season started to come to an end, I just realized I didn’t want to stop playing softball,” Anthony said. “At first, I kind of wanted to get away from home, but then I also wanted to play softball, and playing softball just became more important.”
When Surry Central’s coach got the go-ahead to get Anthony’s recruiting process going, Joyner contacted SCC’s head coach. Blaine Bullington is a fan of recruiting local girls to his Lady Knight squad, and he came out to watch a pair of Anthony’s games without notifying her or her family.
Bullington liked what he saw, and after watching Anthony go 3-3 at the plate against East Wilkes, it was time to extend an offer.
“He finally came up and introduced himself and told me he’s been watching me for a few games now,” Anthony said. “He asked me if I wanted to play at Surry next year.”
“He gave me his card and told me to call him whenever I made a decision. So I called him the next day.”
Anthony hits leadoff for the Lady Eagles this season and sports a .315 batting average. She’s tremendous at putting the ball in play, only striking out three times throughout this season.
However, what Anthony really prides herself on is her duties behind the plate. On a Surry Central team filled with freshmen and sophomores, Anthony has been a steady voice as the starting catcher throughout the year.
She’s got a great arm and limits the opposing team’s baserunning with ease, but that hasn’t stopped Anthony from improving all aspects of her game.
“I’ve been trying to get a lot better at blocking the ball this season,” she said. “That hasn’t been a strong suit in the past for me. I think I’ve done a good job getting better, but it’s also something I think (Bullington) will be able to help me with.”
When she gets to SCC, Anthony already knows she wants to focus her studies on computer information. After her two years with the Knights are over, she plans to transfer to a four-year college to continue her education.
But that’s a story for another day, as Anthony is ready to focus on her softball career for another two years.
“I’ve always wanted to play softball in college,” Anthony said. “But I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to offer or if I would find somewhere to play. I’m just glad I get to do that now.”
Reach Jackson at 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16