DURHAM, N.C. – Another ace from the state of Georgia will call Duke home, as head coach Marissa Young announced the addition of star pitcher Shelby Walters to the 13th-ranked 2018 Blue Devil softball signing class.
“I chose Duke for the challenges that it promises. Whenever anyone asks what school I am going to and I reply with this simple four-lettered word, I am filled with pride and they are astounded,” Walters said. “It is amazing the reputation that this school has, and I want that. I want to make a reputation for the softball program under that four-lettered word.
“Not only does this school promote excellence, it provides a challenge both academically and athletically. When I came on my unofficial visit, I was amazed at the culture and atmosphere that surrounded me and at the end of the day I was brought to tears, knowing this is the school I wanted.”
Walters is the third addition to the 2018 class ranked inside FloSoftball’s Top 100, which stands as the most amongst ACC programs. The 80th-ranked star has put together a tremendous career at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, Tenn., for head coach Susan Crownover, leading her squad to the TSSAA DII-AA State Championship in 2014 and runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2017.
In total, Walters has posted 203 strikeouts and given up 148 hits in nearly 200 innings of work with three perfect games in her two seasons (did not play her sophomore campaign). The ace, who will begin her senior season in 2018, also posted a sub-2.30 ERA in both years.
A 2017 Best of Preps honoree, Walters posted a 1.10 ERA last season, tallying four no-hitters and two perfect games. In over 89 innings of work, Walters struck out 118 opponents, giving up just 46 hits and 14 earned runs in 351 batters faced.
Walters also put up impressive numbers in her freshman campaign, tallying a 2.28 ERA with 85 strikeouts and only 34 runs in 104 innings of action, tacking on a perfect game as well.
On the travel ball scene, Walters has been a stud for the Frost Falcons (2010-15) and Tennessee Fury Platinum (2015-Present). Walters and her Falcons squad posted three top five finishes as ASA Nationals in her time, including a third-place showing in 2011. As a pitcher and first baseman, Walters also paced her squad to four ASA State Championships (2011-13, 2015), the 2013 ASA Hall of Fame Championship, a runner-up finish at the 2011 USFA World Series and a fifth-place showing at Triple Crown Nationals in 2014.
With the Fury Platinum, Walters has helped her team reach a third-place finish at the 2017 Colorado Fireworks (16U) and an appearance at PGF Nationals. Walters elevated her game to another level last summer with the Fury, posting a remarkable 14 shutouts and six no-hitters.
Walters has also been a stud in the classroom, as she is a member of the National Honors Society and has made the Distinguished Honors list every year in high school so far. She is also a member of National Society of High School Honors.
Assisting in the community has also been a major point of interest for Walters, as she has been involved in a number of organizations. Since 2015, Walters has been an active member of Save a Lab, which is a dog fostering service for mothers and puppies. She also spent time her freshman and sophomore years taking part in Glenwood Learning Adventure Days, which is English tutoring at local elementary schools, and was a member of Connect Leadership in 2016.
Favorite Softball Memory?
“My favorite softball memory would be winning 10U Tennessee state title against Fury 99’. This felt like my greatest victory because it was such a great game that came down to the final strikeout. It was a great win because we were the young underdogs and no one expected us to come through and beat them.”
How Did You Get Started Playing Softball?
“I believe that I was destined to play softball from the minute I was born, because that was what my family was all about. My mom played in high school and was a state champion and my dad played baseball as well. Not to say that I was pushed towards this sport, but I would definitely say that it was meant to be. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Who Has Made The Biggest Impact On Your Life?
“I would say that my parents have made the biggest impact on my life because they have always been there for me when I needed them the most. They have never missed many games even though I know it would have been very easy to and I know it put a strain on them both taking me to all the places that I needed to go. Without them I would definitely not be the person or player that I am today. They have shaped me and I am thankful that they were as supportive as they were.”
Goals Upon Graduation?
“Upon graduation, I aspire to attend medical school where I will study and specialize in sports orthopedics. From there I will either join a practice or I would like to join a professional sports team and be the team physician.”
“I enjoy biking, reading, puzzles, games, being with my friends, family and dogs, and watching TV series.”
“My favorite athlete is Megan Langenfeld (UCLA softball player, US Women’s National Team, 2011 World Cup of Softball champion).”
If You Could Play Any Other Sport In College You Would Pick?
“I would pick either basketball or football. Basketball is just so much fun! I know technically that I couldn’t play football, but I would love it if I could. I love watching it and sometimes just want to play.”
Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?
“The best advice I’ve ever received was to just relax. All my coaches have always told me that I get too uptight when I’m on the mound and that I just need to ‘trust my stuff.’”
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