Stratford's Pastre was a shining Knight

Stratford's Caroline Pastre is the All-Lowcountry softball player of the year. She posted a 20-4 record, allowed only seven earned runs and struck out 188 batters in 162 innings.

Caroline Pastre didn't plan on a softball career.

Pastre was only 8 years old when her best friend insisted she join her in recreation league softball.

"I only played because she wanted me to play," Pastre said. "She wouldn't play without me, so I played in the rec league."

Three years later, Pastre's friend quit playing softball. Pastre, meanwhile, was on her way to greatness. She eventually was selected to play on the Stratford varsity team. She made the squad as a sophomore and was a three-time All-Region 7-AAAA selection. She was a two-time region player of the year and a two-time all-state selection.

She concludes her career by being selected as The Post and Courier's softball player of the year.

Pastre had a big senior season. She posted a 20-4 record. She allowed only seven earned runs and struck out 188 batters in 162 innings to lead the Knights to an appearance in the Class AAAA Lower State championship.

She prepared for her senior season by participating in the Queen of Diamonds Showcase South. The event was held at Winthrop in Rock Hill, and is the largest college showcase for high school-age softball players, drawing nearly 2,500 players from 33 states and Canada. The Showcase lets players demonstrate their skills in front of college coaches who may be interested in recruiting them.

She was just as impressive as a junior with a 26-5 record, helping the Knights to a 32-5 record and an appearance in the State Championship Series. The Knights won the first game of the best-of-three series, but Wren rallied to gain the state crown.

Playing in the state championship series was one of Pastre's biggest thrills in her career.

"It was kind of unreal to play for a state championship, Pastre said. "It kind of hit me hard when we lost. You never know how many chances you're going to get."

Pastre, who will play in the North-South all-star games this weekend at USC Aiken, will attend Spartanburg Methodist.

Joining Pastre on the All-Lowcountry team are Erin Schattle, Stratford; Larke Rathbone, Wando; Megan Eysen, Wando; Kimberly Robinson, Colleton County; Leslie Semken, James Island; Jessica Talent, West Ashley; Ashton Jarrett, Hanahan; Katie Seabrook, Hanahan; Shannon Mason, Goose Creek; Erica Kaufman, Berkeley; Ashley Metts, Berkeley; Ashley Mucklevaney, Summerville; Molly Frizelle, Bishop England; Paige Deschaine, Ashley Ridge, and Jessica Tumolo, Academic Magnet.

Rally Reynolds, who took over as Colleton Prep's coach six games into the season, is the coach of the year. He guided the team to a 21-4 record and the SCISA Class AA state championship.

Reach Philip M. Bowman at pbowman@postandcourier.com or 937-5592. Read his blog at www.postandcourier.com/prepblog.