Throughout her life, one thing has always been on Addie Lowe’s mind: a dream filled with home runs and fastballs on a college field.
On Wednesday, she made that dream a reality.
Lowe signed with Carson-Newman University for softball, making good on the commitment she has held with the school for a while.
“I’ve always wanted to play college softball,” Lowe said. “That’s always been my dream. I didn’t really care where I went and played; I just wanted to play somewhere after high school.
“I love the campus. I love how it’s a Christian university and that’s what really attracted me to them. I didn’t want to go far from home. I’ve just played a lot of travel ball and I’ve (seen) them at some tournaments.”
It likely wasn’t hard for Carson-Newman to notice Lowe, either.
The senior is a three-time All-County and All-District selection. She was named the 2017 All-County Player of the Year, the 2018 District 5-AA Defensive Player of the Year and the 2019 District 5-AA Offensive Player of the Year.
She also has been nominated for the Knoxville News Sentinel’s PrepXtra Player of the Week award.
Lowe dealt with an injury her junior year, but still finished with 51 RBIs and a .496 batting average, also pitching 31.1 innings and totaling 35 strikeouts. Her three-year stats feature a .506 combined batting average, 17 home runs and 144 RBIs.
“Addie has always known, since I got her as a freshman, that this was going to be her next step, and she has worked … to get here,” Sweetwater head softball coach Sarah Davies said. “She’s overcome adversity … she’s had injuries that have set her back a little bit. She’s come back stronger and better and made adjustments.
“Any program is very lucky to have her. Just the work ethic on this kid is insane. She’s going above and beyond every day in workouts, stronger, faster. She’s a force.”
The Eagles are led by head coach Michael Graves, who was hired after spending time as the interim coach and years as an assistant with the team. Carson-Newman finished with a 29-12 overall record last season.
Lowe has played a big role for a Sweetwater team that notched state tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018, then were eliminated one game short from another berth last season.
Davies has high expectations for the 2020 Lady Wildcats, which will feature Lowe and multiple other key returners looking to take the program back to the state tournament.
“We’ve talked about it since the end of last year when we came up in substate,” Davies said, “that this is our year right here with Addie and Emily (Barnes) on the mound and Kylee (Hicks) coming in. Just the combination, how well they get along, how well they play together.
“This group’s been playing together their whole lives. To have them as seniors, as mature and what good leaders they are, I think this could be our shot this year.”
So while Lowe looks ahead to her future in collegiate softball, she still has business to attend to back in Sweetwater.
“I’m honestly sad (my high school career is) coming to an end,” Lowe said. “I think we could have the best year. I had hoped to make it back to state. Just have to keep practicing everyday and try to get better.”