Sarah Ham, center, celebrates her 500th varsity strikeout along with her teammates after the home opener loss to Wakulla. [ FCHS Athletic Department ]

Lady Seahawk Ham notches 500th strikeout

During the 2019-20 varsity softball season, the record books show that then seventh-grade pitcher Sarah Ham pitched a single inning.

At the end of the season her stats, if they can be trusted, showed that she had given up two hits, one of them a double, and nine runs, walked three and struck out just one.

If ever a pitcher has blazed past that opening season it is the Franklin County Lady Seahawk junior.

She’s done exactly what a dedicated ballplayer has to do, improve her performance every successive season, whiffing 104 as an eighth grader, and then 168 as a freshman and 224 as a sophomore, all the while steadily lowering her earned run average.

This season, in the opener against Wakulla, the pitching ace secured a pitching milestone by notching her 500th varsity strikeout, putting a stamp on it with a backwards K in the top of the second.

Number 15 finished with nine strikeouts on the night, giving up just four hits and two earned runs against a powerhouse Class 4A school. Ham also went 2 for 3 at the plate, with a double, stole a base and scored a run. 

Defensively, she prevented a laser shot from smacking her in the middle right side of her face with a lightning fast catch. Her emotionless reaction, typical of her calm style, is one reason she has been nicknamed Cyborg.

A disastrous five-unearned-run third inning set the Lady Seahawks back on their heels early, and while they outscored the visitors 3-2 the rest of the way, it still amounted to a 7-3 loss.

Junior third baseman #44 Raegan Dempsey had one-hit and one RBI, while junior first baseman #3 Micahlyn O’Neal batted in two runs on a double, and scored a run, as did seventh grader shortstop #1 Shasta Butler.

Scott Collins’ team, which has no seniors, includes junior outfielder #23 Charity Larkin; two sophomores, #11 catcher Alexis Webb, and #27 outfielder Averie Johnson; and four freshmen, #2 outfielder Jayla Creamer, #7 second baseman Lilah Millender, #14 outfielder Ashton Carey, and #17 outfielder Jaelynn Millender.

To warm up for the regular season, the Lady Seahawks defeated Holmes County 4-1 in a game in Wewa, with Ham adding a bushel full of unofficial strikeouts to her varsity performance.

Collins, and assistants Melanie Collins, Allen Ham, Taylor Stalnaker and Mike Todd, got their first win of the season Monday with a 10-2 defeat of the Lady Wildcats in Altha.

Ham racked up 15 strikeouts and no walks in the game, giving up just one hit, a double, in six innings. Lilah Millender closed out the two-run seventh by giving up two hits and one earned run, striking out one and serving up a pop fly to center field to end the game.

Ham started the game off with a leadoff homer to left field, and finished the night by scoring three runs and driving in a fourth.

Dempsey smashed a grand slam at her second trip to the plate, and finished with five runs batted in. 

Butler went 2 for 4 with two runs batted in and one run scored, while O’Neal had a double and scored a run, and Lilah Millender two hits, one of them a double, and scored a run. Johnson had one hit and scored a run.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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