Bears’ Ward named WDN’s Offensive Player of the Year

Published 4:32 am Saturday, June 14, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
The ol’ dictionary defines success as the realization and obtainment of a worthy ideal or result that your heart is deeply connected to.
Success is often referred to as achievement, accomplishment, attainment, triumph or victory.
In Bear Grass, they have another name for it — Lauren Ward.
No matter what the Bear Grass senior sets her mind to, she always comes out on top.
She was the school’s valedictorian, won the James Harry Wynn Award as Bear Grass’ top athlete, was named the Most Outstanding Academic Female Athlete, was selected as an All-Tideland Conference volleyball player, and was recently named the Tideland Athletic Conference’s Softball Player of the Year.
And the awards just keep rolling in.
Today, Ward has been named the Washington Daily News’ Offensive Player of the Year for her achievements on the softball field this spring.
This season, Ward was the catalyst behind the Bears’ second-place finish in the Tideland Athletic Conference. She was the area’s leading hitter with batting average of .585, almost 100 percentage points better than Jamesville’s Elizabeth Ange in the race for the area’s batting title.
In 15 games this season, the superstitious Ward came through with 32 hits. Before each at-bat, Ward would twirl the bat on her way to the plate. Her lucky twirl was developed after spending several years in the color guard.
Well, the magical twirl certainly worked. While most of Ward’s hits were singles over the head of the second baseman, she did come through with a career-best nine extra base hits, including five triples. She also had a team-best 16 RBIs and 12 runs scored.
Her best performance of the season came in the Bears’ 24-1 win over Mattamuskeet. During that contest, Ward went 4-for-4 with six RBIs and three runs scored.
Besides excelling at the plate, Ward was also a force on the rubber, taking to the circle 10 times for the Bears this season. She finished the 2008 season with a 6-4 record and a sub-1.50 ERA. Her biggest victory of the season came against Atlantic Conference Champion Southside as she pitched 10 scoreless innings in the Bears’ 1-0 win.
This fall, the Bear Grass graduate will head to Pitt Community College to begin her academic studies.
And she’ll certainly be missed. Over the last three years, Ward has been an integral part of a Bears’ squad that has made three consecutive NCHSAA Class 1-A State Championship Softball Tournament. During that time, the Bears were 43-11.