Rappahannock’s Carlie Clark has often been seen at home and on the softball field going through a particular motion. At an early age she was seen throwing clothes in the hamper, she was on the mound doing the same motion.
Last Wednesday, all that work paid off as she officially signed her national letter of intent to play at Texas A&M University in Kingsville.
“I’ve been working really hard to earn a softball scholarship and I finally got the chance with the right school that I chose,” said Clark.
The back-to-back pitcher of the year in the Northern Neck said what attracted her to Kingsville is her desire to become a veterinarian. But before she can take any classes or play in games in Texas, her focus is winning her high school softball state championship this upcoming spring.
“My focus point is on the softball season, and making it back to states this year and bringing back the gold,” Clark said. “Come on out and support the Rappahannock Raiders while I’m still here and even when I’m gone.”
Clark said she has been playing for most of her life, not just during the regular season of high school, but on several travel teams in the offseason.
Coach Ellen Gaines said one of Clark’s biggest games was her pitching as a freshman in the Northern Neck District Tournament three seasons ago behind her sister and softball standout Alex Clark.
“She won the district tournament as a freshman, and her sophomore and junior years she has been tremendous both offensively and defensively,” said Gaines. “She has done great for our program.”
“I know she has been working really hard offseason and she’ll be ready day one. We have a strong group coming back we should be that good, if not better,” Gaines said.
The coach said what was key for Clark and her signing to attend Texas A&M in Kingsville was her work ethic.
“If you are going to be the quality of a pitcher, you just can’t pick the ball up during softball season,” Gaines said. “She is just a hardworker.”
She is the daughter to mother Sheri and step-father Michael Carneal, and father Robert Gene Clark Jr.
Clark is a back-to-back pitcher of the year in the Northern Neck District, three-time all-academic, all-district first team and all-region team member. She was also named to the All-State second team her sophomore season and first team in junior season.
Clark, last year’s All-Region A MVP, also improved her ERA after each season with Rappahannock. During her freshman season it started at .97, then to .80 and .57 last year.
Sophomore season: 70-innings pitched – 115K’s, Batting Avg. .327% RBI’s 7
Junior season: 86.1 innings pitched – 158K’s Batting Avg. .414% RBI’s 36