Hardin signs with ICC
Red Bay High School senior Ashley Hardin fufilled a lifelong dream by recently signing a softball scholarship with Itawamba (Miss.) Community College.
"I've been playing softball since I was in kindergarten, and I've always known that I wanted to play college softball," said Hardin, an All-County centerfielder and shortstop for the Lady Tigers.
"I was excited to sign because it took me a long time to decide between Shelton State and ICC, but I really liked ICC's campus and coach."
After Hardin, a natural righthanded hitter and fielder, injured her right shoulder during her sophomore season, she was advised by orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews to wait two years to play again.
"I hurt my shoulder and had to sit out the last four weeks of the season, and it was so hard to sit and watch," said Hardin.
But Hardin, who also plays on fall and summer travel teams, figured out a way to get back on the field.
"The doctor told her she would have to miss two years, but she went to Brad (Ivy) and asked him to help her hit lefthanded two months before her junior season," said her father, Alan Hardin. "Brad did a great job helping her, and I would recommend Southeastern Athletics to anyone because they go above and beyond their duty for a player."
Hardin is also driven to succeed in school and has a 3.5 GPA that ranks 18th in her senior class. She served as softball team captain as a junior and is a member of SADD, FBLA, FCA, FFA, Spanish Club and English Club.
"We're fortunate to find an athlete like Ashley for our program. She has a tremendous work ethic and the leadership skills we're looking for," said first-year ICC softball coach Chad Case.
"Ashley hurt her (right) shoulder and had to turn around and learn to hit lefthanded. But she's such a strong girl that she made the adjustment well and didn't have a problem hitting lefthanded. It was a no-brainer for us to sign her."