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TCHS’ Ryan signs with Gadsden State


Haley Ryan was a key contributor in the circle and at the plate for Tuscaloosa County in her senior season. (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter)


NORTHPORT | Haley Ryan, a 2012 graduate of Tuscaloosa County High School, recently signed a softball scholarship with the Gadsden State Community College Cardinals.

"I’m very excited, and I cannot wait to start playing," Ryan said.

Ryan, who graduated with 3.2 grade-point average, wrapped up the 2012 season with a .274 batting average, four doubles and 12 RBIs. She scored 18 runs in 38 games with just 19 strikeouts and an on-base percentage of .367.

While TCHS didn’t enjoy a winning season in the wake of the departure of former coach Alan Reach, who accepted an assistant coaching job at Mississippi State University last summer, Ryan and her teammates forged ahead.

"It was more of a rebuilding season for us," Ryan said. "We just tried to make the best of it."

Ryan also split time at pitcher, compiling a 7-8-1 record.

She hopes to become an instant fixture in the Gadsden State program, but she thought she might be finished with softball after her senior year.

"I didn’t even plan on playing softball in college," she said.

She got a call from the coaching staff at Gadsden State expressing interest. The staff persuaded her to give her softball career a chance in the junior college ranks.

"I have a big work ethic and I always worked hard for everything that I got," Ryan said. "I can be a big leader as I did in high school and bring (my teammates) up with me."

Ryan said two of her biggest motivators in softball are her father, Scott Ryan, and Reach.

"He would always tell me to put in the extra work," Ryan said of Reach. "My dad played college baseball, and I thought it would be cool if I played college softball as he did."

Ryan will major in accounting.