BY MIKE BLACKERBY
Lauren Brakovec wore many hats for Class 4A state champion Farragut.
Lady Admirals coach Nick Green said Brakovec’s lofty contributions ran the gamut for Farragut softball.
“Lauren personifies what you would like every one of Farragut’s softball players to be like – academically, personally and athletically,” said Green.
“She’s more than just a great player. Lauren has great character, she’s a great kid and she was a great teammate. I tell everybody that we’ve got a lot of really good people who just happen to be really good at softball.”
And Brakovec – the 5Star Preps Offensive Player of the Year – was just one of many really good softball players who helped the Lady Admirals to a 44-3-1 record and a second-consecutive state championship.
The senior topped Farragut with a .491 batting average.
She also posted team-high numbers for home runs (12), RBIs (61), doubles (15) and slugging percentage (.948).
“She has been a cornerstone at first base for four years,” said Green.
“It’s always nice to know you’ve got a kid out there like Lauren who is out there giving everything they’ve got and will likely have a high level of success,” continued Green.
“You could always count on her to dig the ball out of the dirt at first base and she could absolutely crush the ball.”
Brakovec finished as Farragut’s career home run leader and her senior class wound up with an unheard of 114-14-1 record.
But Brakovec said her softball experience at Farragut was about much more than wins and personal achievements.
“A lot of people think their self worth comes from stats, but I just wanted to make sure it was a healthy and stress-free environment this year where everybody had fun,” said Brakovec.
“My high school career over the last four years was not so much about our win-loss record, it was about such an amazing group of friends. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”
Green said he doesn’t want to think about Brakovec moving on.
She will play in college at Anderson University in South Carolina.
“Having her presence in the line up has been a big deal for us,” said Green.
“She batted in the No. 4 hole all four years for us. We’ll have a hard time replacing her, but it’s just not about the on-field aspect,” continued Green.
“She was a great teammate who would always cheer her teammates on. If you’re around her, you know about Lauren’s perseverance, sense of humor and leadership.”
Brakovec said she has one lasting memory of Farragut softball that she’ll take with her.
A painful shoulder injury plagued her late in the season and relegated her to mostly DP duty.
She played DP the entire state tournament, except for the final inning of the final game – a 4-0 win over Clarksville.
“In the state championship game I did not play well and went 0 for 3,” recounted Brakovec.
“Haley Nichols was playing first base for me and she told me I was coming in for her the last inning. I almost started to cry. It was amazing to play with my teammates one last time even though I could barely throw.”