VALDOSTA – Lowndes High softball is sending its ace to the next level.

Senior pitcher Jolee Camp signed a letter of intent with Tallahassee Community College on Wednesday.

"I'm excited for it," Camp said of signing to play college softball. "I'm ready to go. I'm ready to go make new friends, new memories with all them over there. I'm really excited to play college softball. I think it'll be great.

"What convinced me to go (to TCC) was the environment down there. The people, they actually cared. They immediately accept you when you get there – really friendly people down there."

Camp helped lead the Vikettes to a 16-10 record this past season, including an 8-4 mark in Region 1-7A.

"It's bittersweet to see her go, but to see the maturation and the improvements and how hard she's worked to get to this moment," Lowndes head softball coach Stewart Thomas said. "It's very rewarding for her, I know, but for the whole school and program, it's a very rewarding day."

As a senior, Camp posted a 3.199 ERA with 129 strikeouts and only 26 walks in 85 innings pitched.

Not only does Camp's ability shine in the circle, according to Thomas, her competitiveness jumps out as well.

"She can be overpowering when she wants to, but to me, it's the competitiveness. It's the stuff that you can't teach. It's the stuff that you just have," Thomas said. "She has that competitive edge where it doesn't matter who gets in the box, she believes she can get you out. I think that's what we're going to miss the most. I'm glad that she's come through the program and I hope that our younger pitchers have been able to recognize that and been able to learn from her and the competitive edge she brings to the table."

Over her four-year career at Lowndes, Camp posted a 2.51 ERA with 386 strikeouts, 151 earned runs and only 110 walks in 379 career innings.

Camp joins an Eagles team that finished 12-30 under veteran coach Patti Townsend. The Eagles finished the season on a 10-game losing streak and struggled particularly on the road, going 2-12 in road games and 3-9 at neutral sites.

Despite their struggles, Camp's competitive fire and work ethic should be a welcomed addition to the lineup.

"They're very competitive," Camp said of her fit at TCC. "They're always going to fight and I'm always going to fight for what I want to do, what I want to be."

Shane Thomas is the sports editor at the Valdosta Daily Times.

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