Thomas Heyward Academy senior softball players Selice Daley and Sydney Glassberg are more than excited for the 2016 softball season after the Rebels have dropped two straight SCISAA Class 2-A state championship finals.
“I’m not going anywhere without a state championship ring,” Daley, the Rebels’ ace said. “Third time is a charm. If I go one more year without a championship, I might ball.”
But the two Thomas Heyward standouts took time to look ahead even further than next season on Tuesday when they signed letters-of-intent to play in college.
Daley will pitch for four-time defending champion USC Upstate in Spartanburg, while Sydney Glassberg will likely patrol the outfield for the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, Ga.
Glassberg had considered College of Charleston and USC Aiken before choosing Coastal Georgia.
“They had my major, coastal ecology,” she said. “I really like where it’s located. My family and I vacation there.
Glassberg, who has been at Thomas Heyward since 4-year-old kindergarten, said her biggest challenge would be the change from infield to outfield.
“They have a lot of players coming back that play my position,” she said. “I’m going to show up and do my best.”
Daley has been downright dominant at the high school record. Last season, she went 27-5 with a 0.75 ERA and 339 strikeouts. For good measure, she hit a cool .500 with 36 RBIs.
“USC Upstate offered everything I wanted for my major,” Daley said. “They are incredibly competitive in softball. I like that they’re competitive, I’m a very competitive person. Everybody there wanted to be there and wanted to win.
“I knew I wanted to go there as soon as I stepped on campus.”
Daley, who learned a lot about the Spartans while playing travel ball in Spartanburg, said her travel ball coach, Pedy Roberts, deserved a great deal of credit for her ending up at Upstate.
“He’s the one who really put my name out there,” she said. “ ’Come watch her, she’s really good, you’ll like her.’ If it wasn’t for him, I would not be committed right now. I don’t know where I’d be right now.”
Daley said, incredibly, there was a time she didn’t believe she was good enough to play at the next level. But once she did, she knew where she wanted to be.
“There was never any other school that I strongly considered,” Daley said. “I looked at other schools, but I never really considered any other school.”
As for the upcoming season, the Rebels’ duo looks at it as a chance to make up for missed opportunities.
“We probably have the best chance to win state this year,” Glassberg said. It’s really hard to get there and have everything to turn out the way you want it, but I feel like this is the best chance to get there and win.”
“I am more than excited,” Daley said. “I can not express how much anxiety, the amount of adrenaline that pumps through my veins about this (THA) season.”
Thomas Heyward Academy, softball
College: USC Upstate
Noteworthy: In 2015, Daley posted a 0.75 ERA while tallying 27 wins. In 177 innings, she struck out an astonishing 339 batters. She was the IPBG Softball Player of the Year.
Quote: “I think the biggest thing I have to work on is pitch placement. I have a lot of spin on the ball. I’m not a fast pitcher, I never have been. “It starts to spin the right way, but then it moves in different directions. I’m worried that if I miss my spot, it won’t be because it was flat, but because it moves in the wrong direction.”
Thomas Heyward Academy, softball
College: College of Coastal Georgia
Noteworthy: In 2015, she hit .426 with 25 RBIs and 40 runs, helping to set the table for a potent Rebels offense.
Quote: “I’ve played travel ball competitively all my life, so hopefully I’ll be up to speed at the next level.”