• 63°

Lowery signs with Wesleyan

LANDIS — South Rowan pitcher Logan Lowery is headed to North Carolina Wesleyan, three hours and nearly 200 miles away, and that’s a little scary.

Still, compared to what Lowery went through in late March, the adjustment to college softball shouldn’t be scary at all. It should fall into the piece-of-cake category.

On March 26, Lowery was struck in the face, close to her left eye, by a line drive an instant after delivering a pitch in South’s SPC game at Northwest Cabarrus.

“It was the third inning, and I remember throwing that pitch, but I never even saw it coming back at me,” Lowery said. “The ball hit me and I went down. I never lost consciousness. I just remember lying on the ground crying and screaming.”

The impact of the line drive fractured two bones in Lowery’s face, but it was something of a miracle that she wasn’t more seriously injured.

“My face was swollen way out there for quite a while,” Lowery said with a smile. “But I was really lucky. The doctor told me if my face had been turned just a little bit I would have been in surgery a long, long time.”

A 5-foot-4 bundle of energy — well, 5-foot-4 and a half — Lowery not only was back on her feet in time for the prom, she missed only three softball games.

She returned against Cox Mill on April 8, 13 days after her injury. She not only drove in three runs to lead a South win, she got back into the circle for three innings like nothing had happened.

“I’ve just always loved to pitch,” Lowery said. “Even when I was playing T-ball, I ran out there and stood on the pitcher’s mound.”

Lowery is a good athlete. Her coaches marvel at the splits she performs and the leaping ability she shows at first base when teammate Samantha Kennerly is in the circle. She drove in 14 runs as a senior.

South coaches believe she can help N.C. Wesleyan, a D-III college that competes in USA South with schools such as Averett and Methodist, at first base as well as in the circle.

Lowery committed to N.C. Wesleyan back in the fall after visiting. NCW can’t offer athletic scholarships, but it recruits good athletes who also are good students and puts together nancial packages that make college affordable.

Lowery’s connection with N.C. Wesleyan came through South assistant principal Barry West, the head coach at N.C. Wesleyan more than 20 years ago. The fellow who followed West, John Brackett, is still the head coach there and has a good, stable program.

“Logan needs to pick up a few more miles an hour on her fastball, but she can do that,” West said. “Velocity comes from the legs, and she’s going to work on her leg strength this summer. She can compete for a starting position right off.”

Lowery made the All-SPC team this season, partly because of her courage and partly because of her statistics.

Her 5-7 record didn’t tell the full story.

She had a 2.85 ERA. struck out 106 batters in 88 1/3 innings and fanned 10 or more hitters five times. She struck out 13 twice and allowed only two homers — to all-conference players Cat Whitley (West Rowan) and Kaleigh Troutman (East Rowan).

When South (10-10) was battling for a playoff spot on the last day of the regular season, Lowery shook off a homer by Troutman, struck out 10 and pitched a complete game to beat East.

Lowery got it done in the circle with a combination of speed and trickery.

“I throw 11 different pitches and I’ll throw all of them in a game,” she said.

Among the more exotic pitches freshman catcher Rileigh Ward called for Lowery were a screwball, a knuckle curve and a drop curve. South coach Hunter Fuller said the drop curve is Lowery’s bread and butter.

“That’s her best pitch — it’s an automatic groundball,” he said.

Lowery credits two ladies for much of her success. South P.E. teacher Jan Dowling for the strength and conditioning work she’s done with Lowery, and former South coach Tiffany Carter for pitching instructions and inspiration.

“Coach Carter is the one that convinced me that even though I was small to be a pitcher I could do it,” Lowery said. “She told me that size couldn’t keep me from being a college pitcher.”

Lowery said she was offered a chance to play at D-II schools, but N.C. Wesleyan made the best offer and gives her the best chance to succeed on the field.

“I really want to play, not sit on a bench,” Lowery said. “If I’m pitching, it’s going to take my mind off being so far from home.”

West said Lowery made a fine transition from hard-headed freshman to senior leader.

Her teammates feel the same way, and they surrounded her at a signing party last week.

“We could depend on as a competitor and as a teammate,” South junior Beth Ann Martin said. “We all looked up to her.”

Comments

Comments closed.

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras