Newton dominated Lowcountry

Softball player of the Year Danica Newton from Wando photographed Wednesday May 29, 2013. (Grace Beahm/

Grace Beahm

The high school softball season is over, but Danica Newton is only beginning.

She is a member of the Lady Lightning Prospects and is playing in a showcase tournament in Columbia this weekend. She travels to Aiken on Tuesday to participate in the North-South All-Star games. Next weekend it is more of the same with another showcase tournament.

She’ll spend her summer on tour and then enroll at Erskine College where she will continue her softball career.

“These two weeks will be tough,” said Newton, who completed an outstanding senior season at Wando High School. “I love softball, so I will keep on pitching. It looks good on a resume. It keeps you busy and out of trouble.”

And pitch she does. The senior right-hander had another solid season with 25 victories for the Warriors. She had a minuscule 0.62 ERA and struck out 271 batters. She ends her career with 59 career victories and 589 strikeouts. She also concludes it as The Post and Courier’s softball player of the year and heads up the All-Lowcountry team.

The Charleston RiverDogs will honor the All-Lowcountry softball and baseball teams June 27 at Riley Park.

The players will be introduced and presented plaques on the field before the start of the RiverDogs’ game against the Hickory Crawdads. There also will be in-game ceremonies recognizing the players and coaches of the year.

Wando coach Steve Legette said Newton’s success is part talent, part hard work.

“She is a great leader, and her work ethic is through the roof,” the veteran coach said. “She would practice for two hours and then go to pitching lessons. She wasn’t very vocal, but she led by example. The younger players gravitated toward her. She’s a leader and is respected.”

Newton said one of the keys to being a successful pitcher is believing in the players who provide defense.

“And, if you get behind and things don’t go your way, you can’t get an attitude,” she said. “You have to come back.”

Legette concurs.

“She has a short memory,” he said. “If things don’t go her way, she blocks it out, forgets about it and focuses on what’s at hand. She doesn’t look back.”

Wando was the top-ranked team in the Lowcountry for most of the season until it lost to Summerville in the Lower State playoffs. The Green Wave advanced to the Class AAAA state title series but lost to Boiling Springs.

Wando finished with a 25-5 record, and the Green Wave compiled a 23-9 mark.

Colleton Prep also had a big year with a 27-5 record to win its fifth SCISA Class A state title since 2002.

Al three teams are represented on the All-Lowcountry team.

Wando’s selections include Newton and Kayla Bannister.

Summerville’s selections include Taylor Wuerfel and Sarah Windham.

Kendall Jumper of Colleton Prep led the Warhawks to the SCISA state title and is All-Lowcountry.

Stratford had two players earn All-Lowcountry: Megan Johnson and Kali Rae Rose.

Hanahan has two players on the team: Kayla Dyson and Alison Adams.

Rounding out the All-Lowcountry team are Aubrey Rabun, Ashley Ridge; Eran Artgiues, Bishop England; Austin Utsey, Pinewood Prep; Kaitlyn Kerley, Fort Dorchester; Tayler Barcomb, Dorchester Academy; and Whitney Williams, West Ashley.

Heather Tucker of Summerville is coach of the year.