Southampton’s Matthews commits to N.C. Wesleyan

Published 10:10 am Friday, April 22, 2011


Southampton High School shortstop Carla Matthews has committed to play for North Carolina Wesleyan. -- Don Bridgers | Tidewater News

COURTLAND—With Southampton High School’s softball season half over and the Lady Indians 11-1, it comes as no surprise to head coach Susan Melbye that one of her seniors will get to play in college.

Shortstop Carla Matthews has committed to play at North Carolina Wesleyan, an NCAA Division III school.

“There is no doubt that Carla would go play somewhere,” said Melbye. “She just had to decide where would be a good fit for her.”

Matthews chose N.C. Wesleyan because it’s small.

“I didn’t want to go anywhere big,” she said. “I also liked the atmosphere of the campus, and having the education program was a major point too.”

Matthews likes that N.C. Wesleyan head softball coach John Brackett is really nice and personal.

“He’s not the kind of person who contacts you every three or four months,” said Matthews. “I got a phone call just about every week.”

She has been a four-year starter in softball and a three-year starter in varsity field hockey. She was voted Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman and was one of 300 participants in the Queen of Diamonds Showcase; 300 were chosen from more than 3,000 applicants.

Matthews also excels academically with a 3.7 grade-point average and is ranked 19th in her class of more than 200.

She has been involved in sports most of her life, beginning with T-ball at age 4. Matthews also plays in the outfield for her travel team, which she hopes to do in college.

She wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and pursue a degree in education. But unlike her mother, Laura, a biology teacher at SHS, Matthews will pursue a degree in elementary education.

“She just had to find a school that fit her and her personality and just had to make sure that the school she chose would take her where she wanted to go in life,” Melbye said. “She loves little kids, so she’s going to buckle down and study education, so I am glad that school will provide the next step for her.”

Matthews has enjoyed playing softball at SHS and being coached by Melbye and her travel coach, Bill Wheeler.

Both Matthews and Melbye have hopes for the rest of the season, with Matthews hoping to reach the state tournament, especially after reaching the regional tournament last year for the first time in a long time.

“We would definitely like to beat Powhatan (which is the only team to defeat the Lady Indians this year), but our main goal is just to try and improve every single year, just to take those little steps each year, improve the program and improve what the players are doing; and the record will speak for itself,” Melbye said.