FRONT ROYAL — Ever since Lexi Clatterbuck was little, she wanted to play softball in college. On Wednesday, she saw her dream come true.

Clatterbuck signed her letter of intent to play softball at the University of Charleston during a ceremony in Skyline’s gymnasium.

“It’s really exciting,” Clatterbuck said. “Just a lot of hard work paid off. I’m really sad to leave high school because I like high school, but I’m excited to start the next chapter of my life.”

Clatterbuck said she first heard about the University of Charleston through her travel softball team. She said her travel coach’s daughter played for that university. Then head coach Kimberly Sites came and ran one of her travel team practices and Clatterbuck said she stayed in touch with her through email.

Clatterbuck said that she visited the campus in July and liked it.

“It’s a really pretty place and I like the coach; I think we’re going to work well together,” Clatterbuck said. “The campus is so pretty. Charleston is a big city, which is what I like. There’s a lot to do there. We walked around in the city a lot and it was real pretty. I like it a lot.”

She said that she received an offer from Sites and the University of Charleston through Zoom in August and Clatterbuck accepted immediately. She said she was also looking at Shepherd University, Lynchburg College and Eastern Mennonite University.

Clatterbuck said she will be used as a utility player, playing mostly in the infield.

During her two seasons at Skyline, Clatterbuck had a strong career, hitting .358 (29-for-81) as a sophomore. She had 12 doubles, one triple, 18 RBIs and 24 runs scored for the Hawks.

As a freshman, Clatterbuck batted .486 (26-for-60) with nine doubles, three triples, a home run, 17 RBIs and 17 runs scored.

“She earned her spot as a freshman,” Ritter said of Clatterbuck. “She comes to practice to practice and you can’t ask for much more than that. From a freshman to now she’s an entirely different kid. She was good when she came in. It is a great opportunity for Lexi. She’s a great kid, she deserves it. She’s a great teammate, great work ethic. If you work hard, this is what you get.”

Clatterbuck led the Hawks to the Class 3 state semifinals in her first two seasons. She will be playing for another strong program at the University of Charleston. Last spring, the Golden Eagles were 14-2 before the season was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the best start to a season in the program’s history and they were ranked 23rd in the final National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II Top 25 poll under Stiles.

“It’s honestly a little intimidating, but I’m really excited for it,” Clatterbuck said of going to a strong program. “I think it will make me better as a player, and all the girls are going to push me to become better.”

Ritter said he has no doubt that Clatterbuck will have success at the Division II level.

“It’s the work ethic,” Ritter said. “She will put the time in to do whatever she’s got to do and that’s a good thing.”

Clatterbuck said that she would like to start next year, but her main goal is just to get better and keep improving.

“I definitely want to make a name for myself down there, because none of them know me,” she said. “I definitely want to put a name out there for myself.”

– Contact Tommy Keeler Jr. at tkeeler@nvdaily.com