By Ronald Frazier
When Elizabeth Perdue was finishing up her two-sport career at Glenwood High school she had to make a decision between basketball and softball. In both sports, Perdue had won all-state honors and state championships with the Lady Gators but her decision was made.
“Ever since I was a little girl playing catch with my dad in the yard, I loved softball and felt it was something I wanted to do,” said Perdue of her formative years.
Her prowess got her an opportunity to get a scholarship with Columbus State to play softball and she has never looked back. Those days of playing catch with her father, Matt Perdue left an impression.
“Getting a chance to pay close to home with friends and family was also an important part of my decision as well,” she added.
Those things went well as Perdue has started since she was a freshman for three years with the Lady Cougars and in 2018, won several honors in the world of softball.
After a gaudy junior campaign that saw Perdue hit for a team-leading .423 average with 15 doubles, 13 home runs and 68 runs batted in with a slugging percentage of.769, she was named Peach Belt Player of the Year and Division 2 CCA All-American first team as well as All-Region Player of the year.
In addition, the NFCA, which used to sponsor the Division 1 leadoff-Classic in Columbus at South Commons softball complex named Perdue to its second team All-American squad.
“It was an honor that I really appreciated and they honored all those at the banquet at the region tournament,” Perdue reported.
Following a 31-17 regular season, the Lady Cougars in 2018 played three games in the tournament to determine a team that would represent the region in the College Division II World Series. They defeated Flagler College of Florida and Georgia College of Milledgeville to play for the title and lost in that game to North Georgia, which received the World Series bid. That ended the 2018 campaign under Coach Brad Huskisson with a 33-18 record.
“When we lost to them, North Georgia was ranked No. 1 in the country,” said Perdue, ”We had six seniors and felt we had a good year and a shot at going to the world Series and missed out by one game.”
When her softball career began, Perdue was a utility player for the Lady Cougars. In high school she was the shortstop and sometime third base.
“In my freshman year, I played third, utility and outfield but we needed someone at first and I was moved there and now I love it,” said Perdue.
“Coach H (Huskisson) stayed late and worked with me and I enjoy playing first,” she added.
Elizabeth’s parents, Matt and Carol have supported her throughout her journey and now she is going to be a senior for the Lady Cougars.
“We know how hard Elizabeth has worked on and off the field to get where she is now,” Carol Perdue said.
“Next year we will have a young team as we lost several starters and as a senior it will be my job to step up and be a leader. I have a chance also for some CSU individual records as well but helping those new players come along will be a major responsibility if we are to be good again next year,” Perdue pointed out.
Perdue’s coach at CSU, Huskisson says that Perdue “is going to go down as one of the great ones to play for CSU.”
“Let me tell you a story about Elizabeth,” Huskisson said. “When she was a freshman, we butted heads and she said to me, ’Do you expect me to produce every time?’ and I told her, ‘Yes I do,’ and you could see a light bulb go off, that she realized that I believed that she could.”
“Elizabeth wants to win and is competitive just like I am but wants to do it the right way. That’s why she is one of our captains. I have been doing this for 20 years and she is one of the special ones,” Huskisson added.