FORT PAYNE — At Elaine Puckett’s house, there’s a photo of her tossing a ball around in the yard when she was 2 or 3 years old.
She was playing T-ball by age 5. Beyond that, she settled into softball and found a love for the sport she’s never lost.
“I’ve always been playing and I haven’t really taken a break from playing softball since I was eight or so,” the Plainview senior told The Times-Journal during a phone interview Monday afternoon. “I played travel ball, never stopped and never really wanted to stop either.”
Last week, Puckett signed a national letter of intent to continue playing the sport she loves at Southern Union State Community College in Wadley.
Puckett said she plans to study becoming an ultrasound technician at the school.
“College is very expensive and this is a way for my parents and me to not have to pay for all of it,” she said. “It makes me happy that I get to do this, because it’s a big opportunity and only so many people get this opportunity.”
In her visit to Southern Union last winter, Puckett toured the campus and committed to the school as a junior. Last week, she followed through on her commitment by signing her letter of intent.
“I got to meet the coaches and everything,” Puckett said. “I feel like they know what they’re doing. Their head coach played at Southern Union and that’s neat to me; she obviously enjoyed the school and had a lot of fun because she came back.”
Puckett said once Southern Union came into focus as a destination to continue her education and softball career, she was content.
Plainview softball coach Jeff Brooks said Puckett has the ability to play multiple positions on the softball field and is capable of hitting for power and average.
“She is a multi-sport athlete and has developed the discipline needed to balance playing multiple sports,” Brooks said. “Puckett works hard to accomplish her goals and to be successful.”