Pickett plans to play for UNC
It has been a great three-month stretch for Sun Valley rising junior softball player Brittany Pickett.
After leading her school to the state championship in June, Pickett recently committed to a scholarship offer from the UNC Tar Heels.
Pickett led the Spartans to the 3A state championship in softball for the first time in 17 years with her arm and bat. She helped Sun Valley to a two-game sweep over C.B. Aycock in the championship in front of University of North Carolina head coach Donna Papa.
"She came to those games and was very nice," Pickett said of Papa. "She invited me to their camp and after camp was through she offered me. A few weeks later I was like, 'I want to go there.’"
It was her first scholarship offer.
When Pickett visited Chapel Hill for the camp, she found quick comfort with some of her future teammates.
"Their softball program, I felt very welcomed when I came," Pickett said. "The players that were already on the team helped out. I was pretty comfortable when I got there. I loved being on the campus and I felt like I was already there. The education, I knew I picked a good choice."
Papa watched Pickett take home Most Valuable Player honors after going 3-for-3 with three RBI and two walks at the plate in the decisive game.
In the circle, Pickett gave up five hits and struck out five in the Spartans’ 6-4 clincher.
"I'm pretty sure that was the first time she had seen me play," Pickett said. "I was just going to try to go there to figure out if that's what I wanted. She said that I was definitely her material. She said I could hit the ball and had the ability to do everything. I was able to do most of anything she asked me to I guess."
Pickett was caught off guard by the immediate interest of a major division one program.
Papa is the five-time ACC Coach of the Year and has produced 11 All-Americans.
"I was actually pretty surprised they wanted to offer me," Pickett said. "I was like, Wow I'm going to be playing at a big D-1 school. It kept going through my mind, 'is this really happening?' I'm going to go to the University of North Carolina. I was so excited. I know when I get there it will be a fun experience."
Pickett has grown up a UNC fan.
"I've never liked Duke so I've always rooted for the Tar Heels when they would play,” she said. “I guess now I have to be a bigger one."
With her college decision made, Pickett can focus on high school softball.
"I feel like a whole bunch of weight is off my shoulders," Pickett said. "I'm just going to enjoy my last two years now. I'm going to keep working hard. That is the main goal. I know that I have a big future ahead of me and I need to prepare for it."