Tiffany Howard is moving in to her dorm at Auburn University today, but before leaving the former Bryan County High School great had one more thing to do for her alma mater.
Howard threw out the first pitch at a Thursday scrimmage between the No. 3-ranked Lady Redskins and Tattnall County High School.
She also received the kind of recognition that few players get when a banner was unveiled featuring her name and jersey number.
The No. 1 Howard wore from 2008 to 2011 was officially retired during a basketball game last winter, but now the banner will hang at Lady Redskins Field to commemorate her softball career.
"It’s one of those things that needed to be done," BCHS softball coach Al Butler said. "You seldom get an athlete of her stature come in as she did and give you four hard years of her life, break several state records and be a state player of the year for two consecutive years. It feels good to honor a kid who put so much heart, time and effort into it."
Howard, who tends to deflect attention to others, admitted being nervous before throwing out the first pitch despite having pitched on the same mound for four years. But she called the honor "awesome."
"It’s been in the back of my mind that something like this might happen, but to have it happen is really cool," she said.
Howard, who led the Lady Redkins to three Final Eight appearances or better, has her name all over the BCHS fast-pitch record book. Among her accomplishments: Howard owns 36 of 49 individual records at BCHS. In many cases, she not only owns the record, but also the second, third and fourth or fifth best marks as well.
Howard also holds several state records. She’s first and second for the most hits in a season in Class A with 80 and 73, respectively, is first in career hits with 243 and has the Class A single-season stolen base mark of 69.
She was twice named the Class A Player of the Year while also earning All-Region 3A and All-State honors and a host of other accolades — including being twice named the Bryan County News top athlete.