Home Mailbag: UVA Softball loses out on top recruit, the sister of star pitcher Eden Bigham

Mailbag: UVA Softball loses out on top recruit, the sister of star pitcher Eden Bigham

Chris Graham
joanna hardin uva softball
Photo: UVA Athletics

I see where UVA’s star pitcher’s sister committed to play softball at Liberty University. She is a first-team all-state first baseman and a home-run hitter.

If UVA doesn’t change, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Eden go to JMU. She likes their coaches, and it would be easy for her parents to come see her play.

– KT

The star pitcher referenced here is Eden Bigham, who went 13-6 with a 2.52 ERA as a freshman in 2023, with 115 Ks in 111 innings, with eight complete games and two saves in 29 appearances, 20 of them starts.

Her sister is Nahla Bigham, a junior catcher/first baseman at Rustburg High School who committed to Liberty on Sept. 9.

I don’t know that it’s as big a deal that Nahla Bigham is headed to Liberty as KT seems to think.

Her mother, Katie Phillips Bigham, is a Liberty Hall of Famer, who still holds school records in wins (62), shutouts (23) and ERA (1.59).

Lynchburg is a 15-minute drive from Rustburg, so, there’s that.

And then, Liberty has a better softball program – the Flames were 40-22 in 2023, 44-18 in 2022, 44-15 in 2021.

Obviously, Liberty isn’t in the same league academically, but top high-school athletes don’t always make their decisions about college based on academics.

It’s not a good look on UVA Softball coach Joanna Hardin that she missed out on a top recruit whose sister is her star pitcher, but I’d offer that there could be other issues at play here.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].

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