Anyone who has followed MHSAA softball in recent years are certainly familiar with Coach Mason Grissom and the Taylorsville Lady Tartars, who won back-to-back 2A State Championships and were only five games shy of a third consecutive title this spring. Furthermore, any of who followed the Lady Tartars during that span of time are certainly familiar with Lauren Stringer, who has been selected as Sports601’s Softball Player of the Year for remarkable achievements on the field in 2018.
Lauren’s senior season was definitely one to remember. She composed a record of 21 wins and only 5 losses as the starting pitcher for Taylorsville. Opposing batters had an abysmal .166 batting average against her, as she threw over nine strikeouts per game with an incredible 1.30 ERA.
But her production was not just limited to the mound. From the batters box, Lauren led the team with a .353 batting average, a team-high 25 RBIs, and two home runs.
In a season filled with memories, there are still a few that stand out more than others. Lauren says her favorite memory comes from the night she pitched both games of a playoff double header against Loyd Star, leading the Lady Tartars to two wins and a spot in the second round.
“We knew without a doubt we were going to play and win two games that night,” said Lauren. “But the thrill of double header games is something you can’t really understand unless you experience it. The exhaustion from pitching 15 innings that night is something i’ll never forget.”
Lauren’s efforts and success over the last four years have not gone unnoticed by scouts. She has received scholarship offers from Jones County Junior College, William Carey University, West Point Military Academy, and the University of South Alabama.
“I’ll be starting this summer at the University of South Alabama,” shared Lauren, “where I will play softball. I plan on studying to become a physical therapist.”
Though it is time for Lauren to move on to the next phase of her journey, she says she’ll never forget the impact her high school softball career has had in her life.
“I’ve been a part of Taylorsville softball since I was in the sixth grade. It’s been seven years of hard work, growth, laughs, tears, wonderful memories, and winning. Playing under Coach Grissom for the past three years has taught me so much about succeeding both in life and in the game. He never let us forget how important it is to be good people and make good decisions, but he also made it clear that losing wasn’t an option and led us to two state championships. I’ll always be grateful for the game of softball and for Taylorsville High School.”
(Article written by Brad Crowe)