By Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter
Chances are little girls growing up in the Sardis City youth softball program dream of one day being like Kameron Carter.
A five-time varsity letter winner, Carter has a season left to add to her list of accomplishments as one of Sardis High School’s all-time great softball players.
Shorter University in Rome, Ga., will be the next stop in the Sardis slugger’s career, as she signed a scholarship with the Lady Hawks on Nov. 27.
Carter, who is the Lady Lions’ career home run leader, last season batted .408 with eight home runs while helping Sardis reach the regional tournament for the second year in a row.
As a sophomore, Carter batted .384 with 12 homers and 52 RBIs. Her performance helped propel the Lady Lions to their first-ever Etowah County Tournament championship, a runner-up finish in the regional tournament and their first state tournament appearance.
Carter made Class 3A honorable mention all-state as a junior and was a first team all-state selection as a sophomore.
“I went and saw the school, and I really fell in love with it,” Carter said of Shorter. “I loved the coach, and it just felt like home, where I needed to be. Snead [State] and Wallace State offered [a scholarship], and then I had some other visits I was supposed to go to, but I went to Shorter and I just decided I was done. I was looking for a four-year school.”
Shorter won the NAIA national championship in 2012. The Hawks finished 53-11. It was Shorter’s sixth consecutive and last appearance in the NAIA national tournament.
The Hawks have joined NCAA Division II as a member of the Gulf South Conference.
“They just said that if I could hit, I could play,” Carter said. “I don’t care where I play, as long as I’m on the field.”
Carter plays shortstop for the Lady Lions, but said she “loves third base.”
Second-year Sardis head coach Mary Beth Gilliland played college softball at Jacksonville State. She remembers some battles against Shorter, and she believes Carter made an excellent choice.
“They always seemed to have great athletes and a good program,” Gilliland said. “Their coach (Al Thomas) is a really good guy. It’s very exciting. I’m glad for Kameron and the rest of the girls, because they get to see how exciting it is. It’s a good experience for them. They see that it’s possible for someone to sign, and it does give the rest of the girls hope they can get a scholarship somewhere too.”
Gilliland praised Carter for her versatility and her hitting.
“She can play just about anywhere,” Gilliland said. “She can catch and play any infield position. She is definitely a good hitter. She hits with power and she hits with average, so it’s a good combination. And she’s very smart on the basepaths. It’s nice having someone like her running bases.”
Carter credited her father, Joe Carter, with helping develop her hitting skills.
“Me and my Dad have worked on it since I started softball, and it’s just kind of stuck,” she said. He’s been there through it all. He’s the reason I’ve gotten where I am.”
Carter is looking forward to her senior season this spring. Sardis will compete in a Class 4A area with Crossville, Douglas and Guntersville.
“It’s so unreal to believe that it’s (senior year) finally here,” said Carter. “All the glory goes to God, and I just hope to make my family proud.”