The recent holiday gave the Abell family an extra item to add to their list of things to be thankful for as, just before White County schools dismissed for the Thanksgiving holiday, senior Addison Abell signed her National Letter of Intent to play college softball at Union University.
“We were extremely excited and extremely blessed,” Abell’s mother Kristy said about the family’s reaction to Addison receiving her official letter to play ball next year in Jackson, Tennessee. “She was a little hesitant at first because it’s so far from home, but her sister lives just an hour away, so that kind of helped her feel more at ease. She’s had her official visit and just absolutely loved it. We are all so grateful and excited for this opportunity for Addie. She’s worked hard for this.”
Abell, who is a pitcher and first baseman and admits that she is not very proficient at any other position, followed her older sister’s footsteps and began playing softball at a young age but said it was when she was playing travel ball as an 11-year-old that she knew she wanted to pursue playing at the college level.
“I knew I wanted to play college ball ever since I win in 12, and they started talking about colleges and college coaches,” the now-senior pitcher for the White County Warriorettes said. “I just always looked up to girls playing college ball, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
When Abell realized that what she had been working for and dreaming of for more than seven years was going to become a reality, she said the emotions were overwhelming.
“Oh my – it was like all my hard work that I’ve been working for my whole life finally happened. It was really special for me and my parents,” she said about the moment she received the offer to become a Union University Bulldog. “We’ve put a lot of hard work, sweat, and blood into this, and it just all paid off.”
Warriorette head coach Jerry Roberts said he wasn’t surprised at all and that being a Bulldog is perfect for his starting pitcher.
“Union is getting not only a great player but also a great person as well. Addie is great on and off the field,” he said. “She has always been a bulldog when she steps in that circle. She will always be a true Warriorette for sure.”
As for Abell, she knows that her time on the White County softball field is coming to an end, but she says there is still work to be done before she trades in her maroon and gray for black and red.
“Last year we took White County as far as they’ve ever been, but this year our goal is to take the team to state and go even further,” the Warriorette captain said, and further stated she is looking forward to one more strong season with the girls she has grown up playing beside. “I know we have the girls to do it, and I know that we have the talent. We just have to go for it. This year will be our year.”
While softball is a team sport, and Abell is a team player, she also has some personal goals she would like to reach before she leaves White County and heads off to study kinesiology and all things movement while playing college softball.
“I want to beat last year’s record of strikeouts, and I want to have a better ERA,” she said.
Abell hopes to top the 130 strikeouts she pitched last year and talked about not being satisfied with the work she did in the circle last season.
“I don’t know what exactly my ERA was without looking it up, but I know it wasn’t what I wanted it to be,” she said.
Ever the team player, however, Abell included her teammates in her list of personal goals for the season.
“But mostly I just want to be the best captain I can for my team and push them to be the best they can be, both individually and as a team,” she said. “When I came here freshman year, I did not have the confidence I do now, and I was nowhere near the pitcher I am now. I didn’t give up. I took the criticism I was getting, and I just used it to get better.”
When Abell looks back at the 12-year-old version of herself, she is glad that she dreamed big and happy that she was able to soak in every pitch, but mostly she is grateful for all that White County softball has offered her over the past six years.
“I am happy that I did it here,” she said about reaching her goal of earning a college scholarship through the sport she has loved her entire life. “There’s nowhere else I would have rather been.”
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