Helena’s Barnett commits to UAB

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Helena starting softball pitcher Avery Barnett has committed to play softball for the UAB Blazers, Barnett announced on Oct. 3.

Barnett, a sophomore, helped lead the Lady Huskies to a Class 5A runner-up finish in 2016 as a freshman.

Barnett finished with a record of 22-11 in 2016 that included 166 strikeouts and a 1.65 ERA.

Barnett will graduate in the Spring of 2019 from HHS and then make the 20-minute journey to downtown Birmingham to play collegiate softball for UAB.

“They’re a really great school with lots of options for degrees and I think they’re really on the rise right now. I like the coaches and trust them,” Barnett said in an Oct. 14 phone interview on why she committed to UAB.

Barnett said she started attending a few UAB softball games a few years ago and has enjoyed being around the program.

Barnett began playing at the varsity level beginning in eighth grade and believes last year’s run to the state championship was a great experience.

“I think the best part was really just how we came together as a team at the end of the year and how I pushed through toward the end when they needed me the most,” said Barnett.

The Lady Huskies will move up to Class 6A for the 2017 season but Barnett thinks Helena can make another run at getting back to regionals and possibly make it back to the state tournament.

Helena Lady Huskies head coach Heidi Kouveras, who was named the 2016 Shelby County Softball Coach of the Year, will enter her third season as head coach in 2017 and Barnett said Kouveras has helped her develop as a pitcher and with the recruitment process.

“She has really helped me so much with recruitment to UAB and she has really helped me with calling my pitches,” said Barnett.