COVINGTON -- What a softball season it was Eastside's Amanda Hawkins. Not only did she earn a scholarship at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, she also earned Region 4-AAA Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Hawkins led the team in five offensive statistics. She paced the Lady Eagles in batting average (.406), doubles (17), home runs (7), RBIs (30) and walks (27). She also finished with a triple this season.
Even though she got Offensive Player of the Year last season as well, getting it as a senior made it more special.
"Getting it senior year is a lot more special because this is my last time playing school ball. To end with that accomplishment was pretty great," Hawkins said. "I felt I did better last year with the home runs. But this year I feel like we faced harder pitching, plus we lost Kenya Shakoor last year. Being a senior, I felt like I had a lot of pressure on me because I had to lead the team being one of the oldest."
While there is no doubt about Hawkins' softball ability, the last thing she wants to do is brag about it. That is why she kept her offer from North Georgia College hidden for so long. She had talked to the Saints coaches in the summer when they saw playing at the college as a member of the Georgia Elite. But it wasn't until after the Eastside's softball season that she let her secret out.
"I'm not the type of athlete that likes to blurt out my accomplishments because I like to stay humble about it. But I am excited. People had heard through the grapevine but I didn't want to say it to everyone like that," Hawkins said.
Hawkins has a goal of being the starting catcher as a freshman next year. It's a lofty goal considering that there are currently four catchers on the Saints roster. Of the four, one will be a senior and the other three being sophomores next year. But that will not deter Hawkins from reaching her goal. She feels that being properly prepared will go a long way.
She is making arrangements to get ready with 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. practices from after Christmas break until the summer. Helping her reach her goal is Georgia Elite coach Dan Caldwell.
"He's one of the most well known coaches in the state. A lot of his players start in college. He doesn't just practice his girls to get better in softball, he practices them in order to get them to start in college," Hawkins said.
"I'm excited and ready to get this on the road. I'm ready to graduate, get into college and finally get started my collegiate softball."