HARTSELLE, Ala. (BVM) — Following a trip to the Class 6A North regionals, Hartselle High School outfielder Larissa Preuitt was named Gatorade Alabama Softball Player of the Year. The Hartselle senior became the first player from the school to win the prestigious award.
“I was really excited about it,” Preuitt said of the award. I woke up to a bunch of Twitter messages and messages from my high school coach and my dad. So that’s how I found out about it. It was crazy.”
Thank you @Gatorade for my selection as Gatorade Alabama Softball Player of the Year! I’m so blessed for everything God has done in my life. Thank you to my family, coaches, and teammates for helping me get to where I am today!! Go Tigers, Bolts Boom, and Roll Tide!! #GatoradePOY pic.twitter.com/1aVLoYURKg
— Larissa Preuitt (@larissa_preuitt) June 9, 2022
During her memorable season, the 5-foot-7 senior hit .552 with seven home runs and 60 RBIs. She also showed her speed off by stealing 86 bases. The Lady Tigers finished with an overall record of 51-9-1 thanks to Preuitt’s contributions.
In fact, Preuitt has been rounding the bases from a very young age.
“My parents signed me up for tee-ball when I was 4,” Preuitt said. “I’ve been playing ever since, but I’ve always loved it since I was little; that’s all I really did.”
Along with her parents showing the joy softball can give, they would also show her the happiness being an Alabama fan can bring.
“I grew up an Alabama fan, and I’d always go and watch their [softball] games and watch them on TV,” Preuitt said. “I think that’s where my love for the sport came from. Then I just got obsessed with wanting to be [the best] and wanting to work.”
Preuitt continued to use that obsession and put in the work to become the best softball player she could be. That hard work finally paid off in the summer after her sophomore year when Alabama decided to offer her a scholarship.
“I played in a couple of tournaments that were streamed online, and I did really good,” Preuitt said. “Coach Murphy was watching virtually; I think that’s what did it [made Alabama offer me].”
However, Preuitt’s recruitment journey was different than most. She and her fellow recruits had to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic to make their collegiate goals come true.
“I didn’t get to go on visits until after COVID,” Preuitt said. “It was cool [to see the campus]. Alabama has always been my dream school, so it was an easy decision for me.”
— Larissa Preuitt (@larissa_preuitt) September 18, 2020
Although she had an offer from her dream school, Preuitt continued to apply herself to the softball diamond. And by the time she was a senior, she was recognized as the nation’s No. 14 softball prospect in the Class of 2022, according to Extra Inning Softball.
“Larissa has speed, bat control and pop,” Alabama head softball coach Patrick Murphy said about Preuitt. “She will become a true triple threat for us during her career. She will definitely get the green light on the basepaths.”
Alongside the three-time all-state winner in Preuitt, the Alabama softball Class of 2022 will include Abby Duchscherer and Marlie Giles. Giles is the 10th-ranked overall player in the Class of 2022, according to Extra Inning Fastpitch. Duchscherer is ranked as the 41st best player in the Class of 2022 Extra Innings Softball Elite 100 rankings.
“I’m excited to go in there and do that with her [Giles], who is her teammate on her travel ball team],” Preuitt said. “I’ve already met most of the of the girls and love them already.”
Preuitt and her future teammates will hit the ground running on Aug. 13 as offseason workouts begin. And as Preuitt eyes her shot in the crimson and white, she keeps her mind clear and focuses on what she can contribute to the team.
“I don’t have a specific goal,” Preuitt said. “I’m just going to work as hard as I can and be the best I can be.”
It didn’t come easy, but Preuitt will be continuing her outstanding athletic journey. And softball will always hold a special place in her heart.
“It means everything to me,” Preuitt said, talking about softball as a whole. “My life would be completely different without it. It’s brought me some of my closest friends, and it’s helped shape me into the person I am today. It [has] showed me how to have hard work, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it.
Nevertheless, Preuitt is getting to do something others rarely get to do: play the sport they love and play for the team they have been attached to their whole life. And the best part of it is that she’ll be representing Hartselle.
“I loved playing for my hometown,” Preuitt said. “That’s really special for me.”