ENGLEWOOD — Lemon Bay High School softball pitcher Brooke Carvey signed her intent to play softball at Jacksonville State University in Alabama.
Brooke is a standout player for the Manta Rays and the travel ball team Tropic Wave.
“It was a little hard, because it’s 11 hours away from my house,” Brooke said on Tuesday. “I always wanted to go to Alabama and it was such a perfect-sized university. It’s not too big and it’s not too small. I know the coaches will push me. It’s a good team.”
Her father, Shawn Carvey, is a coach for the Tropic Wave softball team. As part of her training regimen, she works with the pitching coach three to four days a week and with a hitting coach three days a week.
The Lemon Bay High School softball team went to regionals over the past year and was undefeated in the district the year prior, Shawn said.
Brooke is credited with some of Tropic Wave’s success.
“We’ve been to California these past few summers for national championships,” Shawn said. “They’ve done very well with the best teams in the country.” Lemon Bay High School softball coach Kim Pinkham credits Brooke for invaluable leadership skills and natural talent she’s brought to the team.
“She came and made the varsity team her freshman year,” Pinkham said. “We’re extremely excited for her. She’s pitched hundreds and thousands of hours and worked so hard. Her family has worked incredibly hard for her. So her ultimate reward is playing Division I softball, which has always been her goal.”
Brooke’s maturation is one aspect coaches on both teams compliment her on. “She’s been a standout starter for the team,” said Mike Morgan, manager of Tropic Wave. “Her pitching is just outstanding. She’s helped make the travel ball team a winner as much as she did the high school team.”
Morgan said Brooke is the complete package with her mastery of pitch variety, stoic demeanor and improved hitting.
“She has a lot of movement (in her pitches),” Morgan said. “Brooke’s got a form of her own. She’s got a real deliberate motion you don’t see in a lot of pitchers. It’s kind of a unique thing. It throws a lot of hitters off as it comes to her. She mixes her balls a lot. She’s got a screwball, curve ball, change-up, drop balls, and fastballs. She’s got all the pitches. It makes you real effective.”
Brooke went from being an occasional hitter to an everyday power hitter.
“She went from an average .250 hitter to a .330/.350, which in travel ball is a lot,” Morgan said.
Brooke also plays first base, but her main focus is on the mound. She grew up watching prosoftball pitcher Jennie Finch, but said her family is her inspiration.
“I would love to be able to coach when I’m older and I’m done,” Brooke said. “I want to stay around sports for a long time. I don’t plan to go to the Olympics or pro ball. I’d rather coach than play after I finish college.”