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It was a summer of opportunity
Goolsby played softball for target audience of collegiate coaches
Lady Cat Melanie Goolsby makes a play at the plate. Goolsby has been very active this summer with her travel softball team. Her playing caught the attention of several college softball coaches. - photo by Terry Logan

Richmond Hill High School softball player Melanie Goolsby has stayed busy all summer with her travel softball team, the Jacksonville Streamline.

Goolsby has played with the Florida-based team for many years, but the focus of the team this year was a bit different. Instead of the usual lineup of tournament play, the Streamline played mostly showcases in order the attention of collegiate coaches for the now senior-heavy team. Two of her teammates have already been signed.

The Streamline participated in showcases from all over Florida to Alabama to Tennessee throughout the course of the summer. The only time Goolsby slowed down was a three-week period as she recovered from having her appendix removed. As soon as she was physically able, it was off to another showcase.

Goolsby said this strategy has led to scholarship discussions with numerous college coaches, and she has already made arrangements to visit four campuses in the coming months.

On top of this, Goolsby just received word that she beat out 2,500 applicants to become one of 250 softball player from across the country to attend the elite Queen of Diamonds showcase later this month in South Carolina.

The event is widely considered as the most prominent softball showcase event in the U.S. Over 200 college coaches will be in the stands for the event.

Goolsby is the only one from the state of Georgia that made the cut.

"The athlete that makes the Queen of Diamonds cut is a very special player," QoD Director Kirt Whiteside said. "College coaches from around the country have reviewed players and secured player profile information of athletes that have been selected to the Queen of Diamonds or will attend this event in person to review these future collegiate stars. This event is like one stop shopping for those coaches looking to maximize their recruiting efforts."

Also this summer, Goolsby placed second in the World Fastpitch Connection (WFC) World Series event in Savannah last month with the 18U Diamond Girls.

They placed second in their division.

The Diamond Girls team was put together by Effingham-based Coach Carl Johnson just for the WFC tournament. It consisted of South Effingham softball players and featured Georgia Southern star pitcher Megan Smith.

Goolsby crossed paths with another famous softball pitcher this summer. In a showcase game with the Streamline, she squared off against Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajun pitcher Ashley Brignac, one of the stars of the most recent College World Series. Brignac was pitching for the 18U Louisiana Voodoo travel team.

"I got to meet her and talked to her about college and recruiting," Goolsby said. "That was an awesome experience."

"She’s worked really hard this summer and I think it will open a lot of doors for her," her father Doug Goolsby said. "She’s concentrating now on having a good senior year at Richmond Hill High hopefully be prepared to step it up to the next level after that."

RHHS practice begins Monday morning. Goolsby said she has no idea what to expect for her senior year of high school softball. After all, the team is faced with a brand new region lineup and a brand new coach.

Goolsby said she is optimistic because last year’s young Lady Cat team did so well, but she will miss departing head coach Jodi Reagan.

"Coach Reagan helped me out a lot," Goolsby said. "But I still talk to her all the time. All things considered, I think the team will do really well this year."

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