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To the next level
Eastside's Chambers taking diamond skills to Samford

COVINGTON - Even though Eastside's Bri Chambers only had four offers to play softball at the next level, they were all from major programs.

"I had them from North Carolina State, Samford, University of Louisville and Georgia Tech," she said. "I was excited. I didn't think I'd have that many (Division I) offers. I felt really good. It made me feel wanted, like I was good enough."

Of the four offers, she decided to go with the Samford Bulldogs.

But the decision was not based solely on the game. She is looking toward the future outside of softball.

"It was the best fit for me. I want to do physical therapy, and Samford was the best fit for that," Chambers said. "They have the best fit for sports medicine."

But the Eastside standout knows that her reason for being at Samford is to play softball and to do for them what she has for the Lady Eagles.

She hopes to start making an impact as a freshman next year.

"They said I'll be starting off my freshman year," Chambers said. "I'll be the leadoff and help build the program. They expect me to go in and help them get the program better."

As Eastside's leadoff batter this year, she led the team in hitting with a batting average of .495.

She also had an on-base percentage of .591 while stealing 33 bases in 36 attempts.

Chambers also helped the Lady Eagles make a trip to the Class AAA state tournament, where they finished third.

"I had a pretty good high school career," Chambers said. "I'm proud of myself because I worked hard for it and I guess I went out with a bang my senior year. I'm happy with how I preformed."

Of everything she has done and is leaving behind to go to Birmingham, Ala., what she will miss the most is Heather Wood, the rest of the softball coaches and her teammates.

"I'm going to miss the coaches, I love all the coaches," Chambers said. "It's so laid-back here and I know they're going to push me real hard at Samford. I'm going to miss playing with all my friends. I've been playing with a lot of these girls since I was 8 years old. We're all kind of breaking up.

"My favorite memories are the bus ride home from games, those are the best. Sitting in the back of the bus goofing around, listening to music. Sometimes the coaches would come back there and play games with us. That was the best part. That and being at state, definitely."

When asked for any advice to give next year's team, she said to work hard and don't goof off at practice.

"Go out there and work hard," Chambers said, "you'll be fine."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.