By Lisa Flournoy
Aucilla Christian Academy
With four no-hitters and one perfect game under her belt for the Lady Warriors’ softball team, it’s no surprise Whitney Stevens, a senior at Aucilla Christian Academy, was given a full scholarship to the college of her choice: Eastern Florida State College, formerly known as Brevard Community College.
“I felt this was where the Lord wanted me to go,” said Stevens, who verbally committed to EFSC on October 13, 2013, and signed her letter of intent at ACA on March 11, 2014.
While three other colleges in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee pursued her, they just couldn’t compete with what Stevens was looking for: dedicated coaches, a strong academic program in healthcare and a perfect location, not too far from home, close to her cousins and the beach.
Stevens, daughter of Johnny and Tammy Stevens of Madison, began playing softball at age 10. In 2009, she became a serious travel ball player and traveled as far west as Las Vegas and Utah and as far north as Virginia to play in tournaments with her parents by her side.
“My biggest influences in my life have been my daddy and mama,” said Stevens. “Because without them, I would have never had the chance to be noticed by the college coaches.” So, last August, when the EFSC head coach requested she make an official visit after viewing her video and receiving an excellent recommendation from one of her former summer camp college coaches, her parents loaded up the car for one more trip to watch their daughter play for the EFSC coaching staff. Before returning home, Stevens was offered a full scholarship.
“We are very proud of Whitney in all that she has accomplished in the classroom and on the field,” said her mother. “Whitney gives 100 percent effort in anything she sets her mind to do. She is very spiritual, loves the Lord, and has always been obedient and respectful to us. We just couldn’t ask for a better kid! As we prepare for the big move down south, we are very excited and happy for Whitney, but wish she was 10 years old again walking onto the softball field for the first time.”
Stevens said she is very excited and feels very fortunate and blessed that her dream to play college softball is now a reality.
“EFSC head coach Ed Yanes told me he really needed another outfielder to complete his 2014 roster and that he planned on me pitching as well,” said Stevens whose teammates will include girls she’s played against and with on her travel ball team.
Stevens transferred to ACA her junior year, the same year she was presented ACA’s Pitcher of the Year Award.
“Whitney is a great utility player, but this season she has primarily pitched for us and played outfield,” said ACA head coach Becky Lauth. “As a pitcher, she is 5-0 on the season and pitched a perfect game against a district opponent. She has a 0.00 ERA with 33 strikeouts and has only walked three batters. Currently, her batting average is .296 with three doubles and four RBIs. Whitney has had a very successful career at ACA playing numerous positions for the past two years. Adding her to the roster and on the mound last year helped our team tremendously. She has contributed greatly to our successes as a team and will do well at EFSC.”
Lauth said Yanes is looking forward to gaining Whitney on his team and is positive she will do big things both in the classroom and on the field for their program.
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