When asked what her biggest career thrill was on the softball diamond, Waterford's Amber Reed never hesitated with a reply.
"Beating Fort Frye," the 2012 Wildcat graduate said. "That, and going to the district final."
Reed actually had a huge hand and a big swing in defeating the Cadets on May 4 as she slugged a first-inning, two-run homer off ace right-hander Victoria Mimken. The Wildcats, behind the pitching of Laura Hill, then were able to hang on for a 2-1 triumph.
The Waterford win was sweet because it came on Fort Frye's field, and avenged an early-season 8-4 setback on the Wildcat diamond.
Oh, yes, it also kind of spoiled Fort Frye's senior night, but to show what great sports they were, the Cadets also presented Reed with flowers.
"That was so nice, so cool," recalled Reed.
As Waterford's only senior on the roster, Reed enjoyed what turned out to be an All-Ohio spring. Recently, the Wildcat center fielder was named to the Division IV second team.
"When I first learned that I'd made All-Ohio, I was excited and pumped," Reed said.
As Waterford's No. 3 hitter in the batting order, Reed in her senior campaign had a .421 average (27-for-64) with four homers, three doubles and two triples. Her on base percentage (OBP) was .506.
She was also pretty sure-handed on defense in her outfield position.
"Amber was a four-year starter for us," said Waterford head softball coach Doug Baldwin. "She was a solid player and had her best year as a senior."
Waterford as a team finished the spring with a 15-9 overall record. The Wildcats were a sectional champion and a district runner-up.
In a district semifinal at Minford High on May 15, Reed slugged a solo home run in a 5-0 Waterford win over over Whiteoak. The round-tripper was her fourth of the season - and of her career.
Interestingly, Reed's power is all natural as she does not lift weights.
"Amber is very strong and has a quick bat," Baldwin said.
In Reed's last game as a Wildcat, she stroked a double, but the green and white nine bowed out of postseason competition with a 7-1 loss to Portsmouth Notre Dame.
"I left it all out on the field," she said.
Reed suited up one more time when she played in the All-Ohio softball game at the University of Rio Grande on June 3. This Sunday, she will be attending a banquest in Columbus to receive her all-state award.
Reed's softball playing days are essentially over as she's not planning to compete at the college level. Instead, she'll be going to Washington State Community College where her long range goal is to one day become a nurse.
At Waterford, Reed was in the top 12 in her class with a 3.7 GPA.
Currently, she's working at the Harmar Place as an STNA (state tested nursing assistant).
"Amber knows what she wants to do," Baldwin said. "She's a hard worker, good leader, and we're going to miss her. I wish her the very best."
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org