A lesson for all teenagers - sometimes it’s O.K. to answer a phone call from an unfamiliar number.
Smackover’s Lindy Bates did just that and was presented an unexpected opportunity. She took advantage on Thursday when she became the second player to sign a softball letter of intent with South Arkansas Community College.
“I’m very excited for this moment. I decided it’s the best thing for me and to continue my softball career,” Bates said.
A starter in leftfield, she batted .421 with 33 RBI. Bates helped the Lady Bucks to a 30-3 record and a trip to the 3A state semifinals.
“Lindy signing there is great for their program because Lindy brings to the table a lot of good things. She knows how it is to win,” said Smackover coach Dennis Steele. “It’s good getting people from good programs that know how to win and what it takes to win. Lindy knows that. Lindy’s a good worker.”
After graduation, Bates said she didn’t think college softball was in her future. She hopes to study to become a teacher.
“I had planned on going to SAU,” she said. “I got this call one day from this Tennessee number and I just happened to answer it. I don’t ever answer random numbers. I was like, ‘let me answer this.’ So I answered it and it was the softball coach asking me to come try out for them. So I went last week and tried out and I decided that’s what I was going to do.”
SouthArk coach Beth Barcroft said she has nine commitments and two signees for the school’s first-year program.
“I’m super excited. She’s the second one we’ve signed at SouthArk. We have some commits but she’s the second one we’ve signed. I’m super excited to have her,” Barcroft said. “She’s a yes ma’am player, meaning if I ask her to do something, she’s right on top of it. I’m looking forward to having kids like her to fill the program and build the culture that I would like to have here at SouthArk.”
Barcroft said she plans to see what Bates can do in the pitching circle for the Stars.
“She hasn’t pitched in a while but I asked her to pitch at tryouts and she actually did pretty good,” the coach said. “I’m going to use her as a pitcher/utility. She’ll do whatever I need her to do.”
Bates said she pitched up until two years ago.
“I’m able to play wherever she needs me,” she said. “I’m just glad to be a part of the new team. I’m ready to start it all off.”