Byrd takes next step

Published 11:59 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

Wednesday, Pleasant Home’s Erin Byrd made it official and signed a scholarship to play softball at Faulkner University in Montgomery.

Leading up to her decision, Byrd considered playing at Birmingham-Southern College, but Faulkner appealed to her the most.

“When I went up there and visited Faulkner, I loved (Faulkner coach) Hal Wynn and the assistant coach Gary Gregory,” Byrd said. “Birmingham-Southern just got way too expensive so Faulkner was the good choice and my second choice, but I’m still really happy with the decision that I made and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be pleased going there.”

Byrd said she also, in addition to BSC and Faulkner, considered junior colleges on the Gulf Coast, and in Enterprise and Dothan.

“I wanted to go to a four-year university so I wouldn’t have to transfer from a two-year,” she said.

She said it took some time to really make the decision to go to Faulkner.

“Last summer I kind of talked to (PHS coach Jimmy Reeves) about it and we were back and forth between Birmingham-Southern and Faulkner and not really knowing what to do,” Byrd said. “Then I pretty much was thinking Faulkner after getting the acceptance letter from Birmingham-Southern. It was getting expensive and I didn’t want any loans to pay back. But, once I visited Faulkner, I just loved it.”

Byrd’s last season at PHS is well under way. She said her hitting and catching have been good so far.

“It’s been real good,” she said. “I think I’ve been doing well with the bat. I haven’t struck out that much and that’s what I’ve been trying to strive on this year and that’s not striking out.

“Hitting the ball also, but if you get out when you hit the ball, than that’s OK,” she said. “I’m also striving to do really well in catching because that’s what I will do at Faulkner.”

Byrd will be designated as catcher at Faulkner, but she said she will probably start in either the infield or outfield because there is one girl ahead of her.

As far as this season and what it holds in the near future, Byrd said a team goal is to play each game with flawless defense.

“(Reeves) was talking to us about not losing games we’re supposed to win,” Byrd said. “Like cutting down on all the errors. That’s one of our main goals is to play a solid game. If we get beat by a good team than that’s fine, but if we lose it because of errors then that’s not OK.

“I’m just going to strive to do well at my position and when I’m up at bat. It takes every person on a team to do well and make no errors in a ball game. With softball, you have to have nine players that are amazing. We have nine players right now that can win state if we put everything in it and eliminate errors.”

Another big goal this year for the team is to win the Class 1A state championship in Montgomery.

“I’ve been to state every year since seventh grade and we haven’t won it yet,” Byrd said. “So, winning state as a senior would be great because Pleasant Home hasn’t won state in softball before. We’ve been runner-up a bunch, but we’ve never won state.”

Byrd is the daughter of Tommy and Jennifer Byrd of Andalusia and the older sister to Emily, who is in the eighth grade at PHS.