ROCKINGHAM — Allyiah Swiney, a freshman on the Richmond Senior High School softball team, has been named the Official Richmond County Female Athlete of the Week.
One of three freshmen on this year’s roster, Swiney has found her home as the starting center fielder for Richmond and head coach Wendy Wallace. The Lady Raiders are currently riding a three-game winning streak, which started with a doubleheader sweep over Seventy-First High School. Swiney’s monster performance in Game 2 earned her the first recognition of her career.
Birthday: July 2, 2004
Spring Sport: Softball
Position: Center Fielder
Height & Weight: 5-6, 135 pounds
Years on Varsity: 1 Year
Experience: 7 Years
“AROUND THE HORN” WITH ALLYIAH SWINEY
RSHS Academics: With the final nine weeks of her freshman year underway, Swiney is an Honors student at Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy. She’s enrolled in the Health Science cluster, and is taking several courses this semester.
Her classes include Math II Honors with Ms. Kathy Collins, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint with Mr. Joseph Padilla, Weight Training Honors with Coach Jay Jones and World History Honors with Mr. Daniel Webb.
“Microsoft is my favorite because it’s easy and I understand it better than anything else,” Swiney explained. “Mr. Padilla is a good teacher and knows what he’s teaching. The class helps give the finer details that help me with other classes when using our computers.”
Swiney made the A Honor Roll for the third nine weeks and currently has a 3.5 GPA.
Swiney is also a three-sport athlete, participating in junior varsity volleyball in the fall and varsity basketball in the winter. Last spring, she verbally committed to play softball at Duke University.
Future Plans: With the majority of her high school career to go, Swiney is focused on both academics and athletics. In the classroom, she wants to “keep making straight As” and get inducted into the National Honor Society as a junior. She also hopes to “narrow down” to either just softball or softball and basketball by her senior year.
Since she verbally committed to Duke last March for softball, Swiney is considering studying the nursing field. She added that physical therapy is also an option.
“I like working with people and want to help people,” Swiney said. “It’s also very exciting to be committed to Duke. I like the program and the learning environment, and I’m looking forward to continuing playing the sport I love.”
Athlete of the Week Stats: In Wednesday’s trip to the Sandhills Athletic Conference’s last-place team, the first-place Lady Raiders outscored the Lady Falcons 41-0 in two games. Swiney played the first couple of innings in Game 1, drawing two walks and scoring a run, but it was the second game when she had a career night.
The freshman outfielder played a significant part in Richmond’s 22-0 win in five innings, recording a career-high eight RBIs. Making it sweeter were her two grand slam home runs, the first coming in the home half of the first, and the second coming in the fourth. She went 4-for-4 in the game, collecting two singles in her other two at-bats, and scored four runs.
A night later against Piedmont High School, a 7-0 win, Swiney went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and runs scored.
On the season, Swiney is batting .356 (fourth on the team), with 15 hits and 16 RBIs. She’s collected three homers and one double.
Allyiah Swiney at bat during Game 2 against Seventy-First High School.
RAPID FIRE – FAST RESPONSES
1) What was it like hitting not one, but two, grand slams in a game?
“It felt good to hit two, and it surprised me a little bit,” Swiney said. “I wasn’t expecting to do that. The first one I had a 3-0 count and knew (the pitcher) had to put something over the plate. I was looking for something to drive.”
2) What are some personal goals as the regular season winds down and the playoffs warm up?
“I want to get on base and be productive when I need to be for my team,” she explained. “I want to come through in big situations. As a team, we need to be tight on defense all the time, keep hitting the ball hard in the gaps and play as a team.”
3) How do you think you’ve adjusted to the varsity level? What is the most challenging aspect of it?
“I’ve adjusted really well, better than I expected myself to,” Swiney said. “I fit in with the team which is cool since I’m a freshman. I didn’t know how I’d do coming from middle school ball.
“The most challenging adjustment has been playing the outfield and working on my timing,” she concluded. “I don’t know Grayson’s pitches yet, so I’m still learning where I line up and play defense.”