Summervilles Sarah Montei is The Post and Couriers softball player of the year
Heather Tucker coaches softball at Summerville High School. But on this day, baseball had her attention.
She was in attendance to watch the Summerville Shockwave 12U travel baseball team that featured a pitcher who had unusually good control, good velocity and poise for a 12-year-old. But what separated this player from the rest is her ponytail. Sarah Montei was on the mound and in control.
“I kept hearing about this 12-year-old,” Tucker said. “I saw this girl playing against all these boys, and she held her own. She was really impressive.”
Montei gave up baseball for softball and enjoyed a five-year career for the Green Wave. She capped her career by earning The Post and Courier’s softball player of the year honors. She headlines the All-Lowcountry softball team.
Montei, who plays centerfield, batted .486 with seven doubles, three triples, six home runs and 27 RBIs. She struck out only four times in 132 plate appearances. Her biggest game came in a Region 8-AAAA showdown against Ashley Ridge. Montei hit a homer in the third inning that tied the game and had a game-winning walk-off hit to give the Wave an extra-inning victory and the championship.
“I think Sarah and her dad had their hearts set on her trying out for the junior varsity baseball team,” Tucker said. “But her mom steered her toward softball. She joined the varsity in the eighth grade and started ever since. She grew physically and developed into a great leader. I expect her to perform at a high level in college.”
Montei, who will play for USC Aiken, played in the North-South all-star games this week, and said it was hard to believe her prep career has come to an end.
“It was lot of fun and a good experience,” she said. “My coaches came up to watch (teammate) Kaitlyn (Clark) and me play. “It was weird not playing for them. That’s when it hit me ... my high school days were numbered.”
Montei’s biggest accomplishment came on the baseball field. In 2007, Montei traveled to Cooperstown, N.Y. after The Women’s Baseball League Sparks invited her to play on its team comprised of girls from across North America. The Sparks competed against a field of 63 boys’ teams.
“Baseball was hard, but softball is just as demanding,” Montei said. “A lot of people don’t realize it, but it is. I know. I played both sports. Softball is physically and mentally demanding.”
Montei is one of six players who repeat as All-Lowcountry selections. The others include Paige Deschaine, Ashley Ridge; Alison Adams, Hanahan; Eran Artigues, Bishop England; Macey Gaitlin, Timberland and Austin Utsey of Pinewood Prep. She played for Colleton County last year.
The rest of the team includes Montei’s teammate Clark, Shelby Rodgers, West Ashley; Nicole Pelligrini, Wando; Danica Newton, Wando; Megan Johnson, Stratford; Aubrey Rabun, Ashley Ridge; Samantha Chubb, Northwood Academy; Ashelyn Jordan, West Ashley and Kinsey Shealy, Berkeley.
Becky Ellison, who led Northwood Academy to the SCISA Class AAA state championship, is the coach of the year.
The Charleston RiverDogs will honor the All-Lowcountry baseball and softball teams on June 25 at Riley Park.
The players will be introduced and presented plaques on the field before the start of the RiverDogs’ game.
There will also be in-game ceremonies recognizing the players and coaches of the year.