Holdsworth headed to CSU

Published 8:12 am Friday, June 11, 2010

WAKEFIELD—Tidewater Academy’s senior pitching star Hayes Holdsworth is heading to Charleston Southern University to play softball.

Holdsworth will be pitching this fall for CSU’s softball team, which completed its 2009 season 30-28-1. The Bucs haven’t won that many games since 1993 and are expected to continue improving under third-year head coach Shane Winkler.

Holdsworth considered other colleges, but none worked out. Then Charleston Southern University, one of South Carolina’s largest accredited independent universities, contacted her.

Holdsworth said she researched the school online and got in touch with the coach. The school’s and coach’s Christian values drew her in. Located in Charleston, the university is affiliated with South Carolina Baptist Convention and enrolls 3,200 students.

As a sixth-grader, Holdsworth began playing junior varsity softball for Tidewater Academy.

“I always wanted to be a pitcher. Dad and I worked a lot of hours,” Holdsworth said of her dedication to the sport.

Holdsworth finished her senior season with a 12-0 pitching record. Tidewater Academy won the Virginia Independent School Division III state championship for a second year in a row. In 2010 the team was 20-2 for the regular season and 11-1 in the Virginia Commonwealth Conference.

Tidewater Academy Coach Brent Lowe said Holdsworth was always a mature player.

“She was probably the mentally toughest kid I ever coached,” Lowe said. “When she had to get the job done she did it. She will be hard to replace.”

Holdsworth credits her success on the field to her dad’s help, coaches’ support and close bonds with teammates.

“The school and the team are both so close-knit; it’s like a family,” she said. “We all have so much confidence in each other.”

After college, Holdsworth said she will most likely quit playing softball competitively. She hopes to have a career in medicine.