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Fabulous freshman is October AOM
An awards banquet for the monthly Bryan County Athlete of the Month honors took place Monday at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s. Shown here is (from left) Coach Jodi Reagan, award winner Jena Reddick, Terry Logan of the News and restaurant owner Georgia Goolsby. Goolsby also presented Reddick with an athletic achievement award and an "Athlete of the Month" t-shirt. - photo by Photo by Ross Blair

It is a rarity to have a freshman that walks on to a high school softball diamond for the first time and assert herself as the team’s leading pitcher. Even more of a rarity to have her coaches further be surprised that she is also one of the best hitters on the team. It is another rarity to have a freshman win a Bryan County Co-Athlete of the Month award, but that is what Richmond Hill softball’s Jena Reddick has done in October. She shares October’s honors with BCHS softball player Samantha Howard; an article spotlighting Howard will appear in an upcoming issue.

It might be a rarity, but, when it comes to awards, Reddick needs to get used to it.

Fresh off a post season banquet award of Co-MVP of the team, the following are among Jena’s other accomplishments this season: pitched a perfect game, recorded three shut-outs in seven started games, had 60 strike-outs in 49 innings pitched with only 14 base on balls, and an impressive 1.70 ERA. She finished the season 5-3 but one of the losses came to state powerhouse South Effingham in a close game, and another in the region playoffs. Her stats looking back the other way aren’t too shabby either.

This includes a .364 batting average, second best on the team. Her 21 RBI’s led the team, and she had 19 runs scored including one home run. You might think with these kind of numbers it would be easy for Jena to have a bit of an ego, but you would be wrong.

When asked about her stats this season Reddick wasn’t even sure what her won-loss record was. She did know since the first time she tried pitching in middle school that she had a "knack" for it.

When asked what she likes most about playing the game, Reddick replied, "All my best friends are in softball - that’s what makes me stick with it. It’s fun."

Not too much fun for the opponents that have had to face her though. While Reddick was not one to blow her own horn, her coaches and grandparents were on hand during the awards banquet at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s on Monday to fill in the gaps.

Head coach Jodi Reagan explained that, since Jena was only a freshman, it took them a little while to realize what they had. Her coming on as the dominant pitcher on the team turned out to be a perfect compliment to the rest of the pitching staff.

After the freshman eased her way to the top of the rotation, she seemed to hit her peak during a second contest at home against South Effingham that was anything but a cakewalk for Sally Faircloth and the power-hitting Lady Mustangs. Reddick drew praise from both coaches afterward and followed the performance up with a shutout of Liberty County that virtually wrapped up a second place in the sub-region for the Lady Cats.

Jena’s grandparents James and Betty Getty have watched her grow to become the current player she is since she was five years old. They have watched her progress on the mound since middle school, and said they couldn’t be prouder of this season and all the accomplishments. When asked if Jena has always been an exceptional athlete, Betty explained that she "tried to buy basketballs and goals for her to play on, but she never went for that, or soccer... she is a softball player."

Coach Reagan summed up Jena’s season by saying that, as long as she is willing to keep working, she is well on her way to super stardom.

Honorable mentions: RHHS football’s Nathan Kilburn, BCHS football’s Justin Bostick, RHHS cross country’s David Cassidy.

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