Batting 1.000

  • Monday, May 5, 2014

Rob Gantt/Gazette Flanked by parents Bunky and Cheri Hines, Hanahan High School catcher Brittany Hines signed a letter of intent to play softball for Columbia College.

Bunky and Cheri Hines batted 1.000.

When their only daughter Brittany, a Hanahan High School catcher, signed a letter of intent last week to further her softball career in college, it made them a sparkling 4 for 4 in that category. All of their proverbial apples fell very close to the tree.

All three sons - Ryan, Bryce and Bret - followed in their father’s footsteps to play baseball at the Citadel and Brittany is headed to Columbia College. Cheri was a cheerleader for the Citadel.

“Brittany has worked hard,” Bunky said. “She stayed right there in the backyard with them playing ball.”

Ryan, now 24, is done with baseball and in graduate school. Bret is a sophomore infielder for the Bulldogs and Bryce is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery after transferring to USC Beaufort.

“It has nothing to do with me,” Bunky said. “They’ve busted their behinds. They’ve put in work nobody sees. That’s how they all got to the levels they’re at right now. All I did was if they asked me something I told them what I saw. I may have tweaked this or tweaked that but I made up my mind when Ryan was born I wasn’t going to force anything on them.”

Love of the game and athletic ability was in the bloodlines. All three brothers were all-state selections for HHS and Brittany could be all-state this spring. Brittany and Bret, the two youngest, spent dozens of hours together in Hanahan’s batting cages.

Brittany has been with the Hanahan varsity softball team since being pulled up from JV for the playoffs in seventh grade. She’s started at catcher since the eighth grade.

Arm strength has been a huge asset.

“She’s a great leader behind the plate,” Lady Hawks coach Katrina Moffett said. “She has a great arm that keeps us in a lot of ball games, either by picking off runners or throwing them out. Her bat has been amazing, hitting in the three hole for us. We’re really going to miss that.”

Hines admits growing up with three brothers and absorbing all the roughhousing that comes with being the only sister helped her along. If the boys played football, she braced herself for it.

“I remember playing with them and one of them running over and tackling me,” she said. “It was rough but they knew I could take it. They’ve had a really big impact on me. I probably wouldn’t be the ball player I am today without them.”

She entered the Class AAA playoffs with a .353 batting average, 24 runs scored, 16 RBIs and a .979 fielding percentage.

While time ticks down on her HHS career, she’s not going through it alone.

Cousins Ashley Oglesby and Sydney Clark, a pair of junior starters, are right there with her.

Clark plays third base and Oglesby right field.

“This is the first year we’ve all been starters,” she said. “One third of our starting lineup is related. I like seeing them there when I look down the line.”

Brittany will soon begin another chapter, though, leaving behind her cousins and the HHS program. The Hines name will no longer be associated with a Hanahan sports team for the first time since 2007.

“I”m excited about playing in college but I’m going to miss high school softball,” Brittany said.

She will be reunited with former HHS standout Ashley Cox at Columbia College. Cox is a sophomore for the Fighting Koalas.

“This shows the other girls with hard work, dedication and commitment that you can make it to the next level if that’s what your dreams are,” Moffett said. “Having girls on the team that have (signed a scholarship) in the past, the other girls are trying to step up, get their grades up and play in college.”

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