SCISA State-wide Player of the Year
by Johnny Weeks | July 5, 2019 1:06 pm
Last Updated: July 5, 2019 at 11:33 am
Throughout her lifetime, Liz Hussey has participated in sports at many levels. Her enjoyment motivates her to excel at any opportunity. Recently, she was selected to be South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) State-wide Player of the year.
Liz began her softball career as the “bat-girl” for her sister, Kristian’s travel ball team, the Mud Slingers. She would hang around with them during practice, pitching and playing with the older girls that she idolized. They welcomed her and made her feel like she was one of the team.
“During one of the tournaments, the coach told me to get my helmet on and grab my bat,” Liz said. “I would also be going in the game to play right field. I wasn’t nervous or scared at all probably because I didn’t know any better but that’s where it all began.”
Liz started playing recreation ball at the Clarendon County Recreation Center. She went on to make All-stars that season. She played Cub and B-Team basketball for LMA from third grade through seventh grade. Liz was also a cheerleader for most of her years at LMA. Liz decided to stop playing basketball so that she could focus on playing softball. She played travel ball for the Lazers in Sumter and the SC X-treme in Charleston, later known as the Carolina Fire.
For years, Liz only participated in local tournaments and then around the age of 14, she began branching out into showcase tournaments. She was a member of the B-Team Softball for LMA in the 7th grade. In 8th grade, she tried out and made the JV team, but played as a varsity player when her team didn’t have a game. While in the 8th grade, her Coach, Maria Rowland, moved her up to varsity just before the state tournament. Due to the level of play, Liz didn’t expect to play at all. But Coach Rowland had other plans. When they arrived at the ball fields in Columbia, Rowland told her to warm up and practice pitching. Being the fact that she was so young, she didn’t think she would actually pitch. The announcer called Liz’s name as the starting pitcher that Friday night against Wilson Hall, and panic set in.
“I had never been nervous before, but as soon as I threw the first pitch I was completely calm,” said Liz. “I realized there wasn’t a reason to be nervous just because I was the youngest one on the field; it didn’t mean I couldn’t hang with them.” The team lost that night in overtime, and lost the next night to eliminate them from the championship series.
Liz enjoyed playing travel ball every summer. In 2015, she was South Carolina ASA Player of the Week. In 9th grade, her team won the state championships, and Liz was selected as HSSR SCISA 3A Co-Player of the Year with Courtney Beatson.
In the last state championship game, Liz was injured, tearing her labrum in her pitching shoulder. Her doctor advised her to let her arm rest for 6 months in order to heal, but to be careful when she resumed playing due to the possibility of damaging her shoulder again.
While in her 10th grade year, Liz was again selected as HSSR SCISA State-wide Player of the Year. The following year, she was playing in a showcase tournament in Virginia Beach and suffered the same injury to her shoulder. Her doctor in SC had to repair the shoulder more extensively using Liz’s stem cells from her hip to accelerate the healing process. The recovery time was a total of 19 months, which prevented any type of softball activity.
Liz pushed herself to endure the physical therapy to recover from her injury. After making a full recovery, Liz decided that she was going to stop playing softball after high school. She did receive offers from various colleges, but her mind was made up. Liz wanted her senior year to be the best of her softball career. Unfortunately, the team didn’t win the state championship that year. But for Liz, it was her personal best season. She had 153 strikeouts in 89 innings with a .708 ERA. Liz was also chosen again as SCISA State-wide player of the year.
“I would like to thank my parents & sister for all the love & support over the years and for being my biggest fans,” said Liz. “I would also like to thank Coach Maria Rowland, Coach Glenda Hodge, Coach Crandall, Coach Dan Harrington, Coach Travis Hudson, Coach Perry Hall, Coach Tony Brown, Coach John Alverson and many others for pushing, encouraging, & teaching me life lessons through the sport we all love & for making me who I am today. Liz said that playing sports has made her to to be competitive and to push herself to be the best that she can be, which also applies to how she lives her life.
“I wouldn’t trade all the summer weekends I spent playing in tournaments instead of being at the lake or on the beach with friends for anything,” said Liz. “I have met some of my best friends through softball who became like family. That is honestly what it is all about.”