Austin Peay fans: avert your eyes.
Lady Wildcat Erin Lackey, who has starred for CHS in both basketball and softball as a guard and shortstop, has officially committed to play on the diamond at Murray State.
“I really liked the family atmosphere there and I felt really welcomed by (head coach Kara Amundson) and (assistant Ashley Gilliand),” Lackey said. “It felt like a second home to me. I really wanted a place that felt like a second home like Murray, and it wasn’t too far away from home so I could come home whenever I wanted to.”
Lackey has played two-plus years at Clarksville and originally suited up with Clarksville Rampage, a travel team in town, before learning that venturing elsewhere could garner more exposure to universities. She eventually joined Illinois Force and the advice she received was correct as offers from Murray State, Valparaiso, Evansville, Bradley and SIU Carbondale came through.
The result came in a college commitment before the start of her senior year.
“It’s definitely reassuring. There’s a lot of pressure taken off,” Lackey said. “There’s still that want to win, I want to be better and want to get (my) teammates seen and you want them to have the same experience that you do and you don’t want that pressure and it’s definitely a relief, but there’s no change in the mentality. There’s still the want to win and the fight to be better.”
Lackey broke out as a sophomore, hitting .459 with 11 extra base hits, walking 14 times with only eight strikeouts.
From playing with several girls at CHS who already – or are going to – play college ball to being coached by several people with next-level connections, including Brian Rush and Joe Warren, Lackey has plenty of people that she is thankful for.
“I’ve learned that, to earn a starting spot and be a successful team, you have to be a family,” she said. “You have to know that each other are going to be there for each other and have to have a really big fight and will to win and put in the work and effort.”
After her junior season was cut short due to COVID-19, Lackey still has a full year left at CHS before becoming a full-time Racer.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity, really. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to get started (and) for new experiences and to start at the new level.”