As the new head coach for the Ouachita softball team, Samantha Hamby understands the expectations placed on her.

Hamby stands in to replace Tim Whitman, who left earlier this year for the North DeSoto open gig, and with that, Hamby will now have to follow a coach that went 200-51 at Ouachita and won two state championships.

“I’m very excited and nervous at the same time,” said the first-year head coach. “It’s big shoes to try to fill, I know. And I will never be able to fill Tim Whitman’s shoes. But I’m going to put my best in to keep this tradition going.”

Hamby understands the tradition better than most, as she’s served as the pitching coach for the last five years at Ouachita. Hamby accepted the job in 2014 after graduating from ULM, where she played softball. Hamby excelled as a pitcher at both ULM and Central Alabama Community College, where she posted a 1.26 ERA and a 21-2 record.

After Whitman left a void at head coach, Hamby thought long and hard about her future and whether she could make the transition to head coach.

“I was at first hesitant,” Hamby said. “The more I thought about it the more excited I got. I went and spoke with (Ouachita’s administration) to see about applying for the job, and I think they waited to see how I was handling the workouts this summer before they offered it to me.”

Hamby said she’s gotten more comfortable with fulfilling the tasks of a head coach just by handling the summer schedule since Whitman’s departure. And with that has come more confidence about future handlings in her new role.

“I’ve gotten more comfortable, and this senior class has really taken charge,” Hamby said. “I’m blessed to do this with them.”

Award-winning sports writer for columns and features since joining the field in 2013. As the first-ever featured columnist of the month at Bleacher Report, Martin cut his teeth with online media before joining the newspaper business in 2014.

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