Railey Waddell wanted to keep playing softball, and she was going to make that become a reality, whatever it took.
Waddell is a senior at Callaway High, and she is coming off a stellar season on the softball team.
When her senior season ended, she set out to achieve her goal of playing college softball.
Waddell made contact with various coaches, including Megen Smith at East Georgia State College in Swainsboro.
The two hit it off, and on Tuesday, Waddell signed a letter of intent to play softball at East Georgia.
“My passion for softball gives me that drive, because I want to play really bad,” Waddell said. “I love softball. I didn’t want to just stop my career at high school. I wanted to keep doing it.”
Smith, who was at the signing ceremony, said Waddell’s eagerness and drive made a big impact on her.
“She didn’t just show me talent, she showed me enthusiasm beyond the field,” Smith said. “She put herself out there. She really wanted to come play.”
Waddell played at Callaway for two seasons after transferring from Harris County following her sophomore season.
She hit .321 as a junior, and she boasted a .364 batting average with 10 doubles and 19 RBIs as a senior.
Waddell was also a defensive standout at third base.
Beyond the field, Callaway softball coach Nick Drescher said Waddell fit in well at the school.
“She just dove right into the school community and really became a great addition to Callaway High School,” Drescher said.
Drescher also said when it came time to find a college, that Waddell “took the initiative.”
“She emailed coaches constantly,” Drescher said. “I know she developed a great relationship with East Georgia and coach Smith.”
After contacting Smith, Waddell ended up attending a tryout at East Georgia, and that went well.
“Coach Smith had an open tryout, and I went down there and right after the tryout, she offered me,” Waddell said.
Smith accepted the offer, and the rest is history.