Suffolk Sting send two to college

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Virginia Sting Fastpitch softball team has two Suffolk natives who will play at the college level next spring.

The Virginia Sting is a travel softball organization based out of Suffolk. King’s Fork High School’s Lauryn “Peanut” Bailey and Nansemond River High School’s Kelly Lafferty will both be going to college in the fall.

The Sting program has been a part of both girls’ families in some way. Bailey, who’s going to Bluefield College, has been a member of the team for 10 years. Lafferty, who’s going to Allegheny College, has played only one year but has family who have played with the program as well.

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Since the start, Coach Scott Hailey and the rest of the Sting organization have helped athletes total a collective $3.8 million in athletic scholarship money. Hailey admits that being able to get kids into college is most satisfying part of his job.

Lauryn Bailey will be attending Bluefield College in the fall. Her Sting teammate Kelly Lafferty will be attending Allegheny College. (Submitted Photo)

“It’s the most emotional part of my job,” he said. “I take pride in getting kids signed into college and a good start to a future. I take that stuff really serious. At the last tournament, I normally have tears in my eyes, because you become so close with the girls.”

Bailey and Lafferty had strong senior seasons at their respective schools this spring. Bailey helped the Lady Bulldogs reach the 4A East regional semifinals. Lafferty helped Nansemond River reach the 5A state tournament once again.

Bailey is actually the longest-tenured player in the Sting organization and is happy to have been a part of it.

“Sting really cares about girls and getting them into college or the military or whatever their goal is in life,” Bailey said. “They care about both the girls and their families. They are an amazing group of people, and they become a family as soon as you join the team.”

At Bluefield, Bailey will be the fourth player there who has played for the Sting organization.

Lafferty has only played for the Sting for one season, but Hailey has enjoyed coaching her. He joked that he had been trying to get Lafferty to play for the Sting for about five years now and was finally able to. Her sister, Amanda, was a part of the team in previous years.

“Both of these girls are really deserving of everything they are getting,” Hailey said. “They are good players and even better people.”

With two tournaments left for the Sting, their record currently sits at 22-5-1.