When Slade Bellomy coached Shelby Waldrop when she was playing youth softball, he thought then he would ultimately see what happened on Thursday.
“Everybody had the idea that she was going to be a pretty good pitcher,” said Bellomy, who is now Skyline High School’s head softball coach, “and that when she was a senior she’d probably be (signing to play in college.”
Waldrop officially signed a letter of intent to play college softball at the University of Alabama-Huntsville on Thursday during a signing ceremony at Skyline High School.
Waldrop was committed to UAH for more than a year before she could officially sign. She also held offers from Auburn-Montgomery, Troy and UAB and received interest from South Carolina.
“I had other schools interested, but I decided to stay close to home,” said Waldrop, who plans to major in Cyber Security Engineering. “I think it’s going to be fun playing for (UAH) coach (Les) Stuedeman. I have a lot of friends that already play there.”
Waldrop was a two-time ASWA Class 5A second-team all-state selection while pitching for Scottsboro High School during her freshman and sophomore seasons. She was also an all-state tournament team selection in 2017 as the Wildcats finished as the Class 5A state-runner-up. Waldrop had a 31-14 record with one save, a 2.46 earned run average and 331 strikeouts in 256 1/3 innings pitched during the 2017 season and went 22-10 with three saves while recording 235 strikeouts over 183 innings and a 2.33 ERA in 2018.
Waldrop, who plays travel softball for the Sparks Elite of Huntsville, had to sit out her junior high school season after her transfer to Skyline last fall. She was expected to make a big impact for the Vikings in the circle during the 2020 season before suffering an arm injury will likely cause her to miss the entire season.
“It was (disappointing),” Waldrop said. “I really wanted to play in my hometown, but I’m still going to support the team.”
Waldrop said the injury should be fully healed before she enrolls at UAH.
“We were really looked forward to her playing with our younger girls, but we’re just hoping for the best for her and it looks like she’ll be ready for UAH next fall,” Bellomy said. “She’s a hard worker and I know she’s going to do a good job at the next level.”
Waldrop looks forward to competing in the college ranks.
“I’m ready for it,” she said. “It’s going to be fun.”