Golden inks with Mississippi StatePublished 1:00pm Friday, May 11, 2012
Playing softball in the SEC has been a dream for Olivia Golden.
That dream came true on Thursday afternoon.
She signed her letter of intent to play softball at Mississippi State on a table decorated with a stuffed Bulldog, a pair of cowbells and a MSU pennant and surrounded by family, friends, teammates and coaches.
Golden is looking forward to the chance to compete for playing time with the Lady Bulldogs.
“It’s always been a dream to play in the SEC,” Golden said. “I’m really excited about getting to play at Mississippi State and to play in the SEC.”
Golden said she had received offers from Samford, Jacksonville State, UAB and South Alabama. Early on, she also had some interest from Alabama and Auburn, but she decided to play for first-year head coach and former Alabama pitching coach Vann Stuedeman.
“I just have a lot of respect for coach Vann,” Golden said. “She’s a great coach. Mississippi State has a good program. It just felt like the right fit for me.”
Golden, who hasn’t decided on her college major, has been a three-year starter for the Lady Tigers at shortstop and has helped Hartselle advance to the state tournament in each of those years. She has racked up a number of impressive stats during her career.
According to a press release, she has contributed 30 home runs, 99 RBIs and 75 stolen bases. During her senior season, she has a batting average of .442, a .899 slugging percentage, a .509 on base percentage and 13 home runs.
She has also played travel ball with the Huntsville Sparks, making three consecutive trips to the ASA National Tournament.
Hartselle head softball coach Robin Riley said Golden has been a big part of Hartselle’s success the last three seasons.
“It’s great for our program to have a player sign with a Division I school,” said Riley, who jokingly gave Golden a Roll Tide. “It’s a very good opportunity for her.”