Cowand commits to Pitt

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 8, 2008

WINDSOR – Holley Cowand had some choices.

The Bertie High School senior looked at Chowan University, Barton College and even North Carolina State, but in the end signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Pitt Community College in Greenville to participate in the sport of softball.

“Pitt was more suitable for me,” Cowand said after signing the letter Tuesday morning. “It’s not as big as a four-year college and that is what I was looking for.

“The coaches seem very nice and I’m looking forward to playing for them,” she added.

Pitt Community Head Coach Junior Bailey said he was excited to see Cowand heading to Greenville.

“My assistant coach has been working with Holley for six or eight months,” he said. “We invited her to a clinic recently and we knew after seeing her there we wanted her to come play for us. She was one of our top choices.”

Cowand, who has played third base, second base, outfield and first base during her prep career, will enter Pitt as a utility player, according to Bailey.

“Every kid we bring in is a utility player to begin with because of the difficulty of making the transition to college, but we’re probably looking at Holley playing in the infield,” he said.

While Cowand said she was interested in playing on the infield, she made it clear she didn’t care where Bailey utilized her talents, as long as she was playing.

“I want to play the infield, but I’ll play anywhere they put me with no problem,” she insisted.

The signing was the first of its kind for Bertie High School’s softball program and Head Coach Jackie Copeland couldn’t have been more pleased.

“I am very excited for Holley because this is where she wanted to go,” Copeland said. “Other schools offered more scholarship money, but in her heart, she wanted to go to Greenville to play at Pitt. I told her she should always follow her heart.”

Copeland said she believes Cowand will be a real asset to the Bulldogs’ program.

“I think she can be a special player in those two years,” the coach asserted. “If she lives up to her potential, I think she can be an All-Region X player because she is going to give 110 percent on the field and off the field.”

Both Cowand and Copeland credited those around the student-athlete for her success.

“With the support Holley received from her Bertie High School team and coaching staff and her family, especially her mother Diane, has pushed her and helped her to get to this point,” Copeland said.

“I learned teamwork at Bertie,” Cowand said. “I know that for a team to play well on the field, they need to be like a family off the field.”

Cowand, who was Bertie’s number one seed in tennis, also had opportunities to play that sport in college, but chose to play softball instead.

“I like playing as a team,” Cowand said. “Softball is a team game and it is more competitive and more athletic.”

The Pitt Community College team went 31-19 during Bailey’s first season in 2006, but fell to just nine players and a 13-22 mark last year.

“We’ve increased the talent considerably this season,” Bailey said. “That’s another reason we wanted to pick up Holley is because as the talent has gotten better, you have to bring in better players.”

This year Bailey said the Bulldogs should compete for the Region X title.