BALLSTON SPA — With two seasons of high school softball still to go, junior Ana Gold already knows what’s ahead of her after she wraps up starring at Ballston Spa.
“It’s definitely exciting,” said Gold, who turns 17 years old next weekend. “There’s a bit of relief to it, but I’m just so sure about my decision. I’m so happy.”
Gold committed Sunday to Duke University after visiting the school that weekend with her parents. She received interest and offers from other Division I programs, but didn’t wait long to act on the scholarship offer she received from Duke earlier this month.
“I had been exploring. I wasn’t sure what type of school I wanted to go to, and what I was capable of doing,” said Gold, who started attending college softball camps the summer before her freshman year. “The last few years, I’d branched out, kept doors open and this past summer I went to a Duke softball camp. I fell in love with the coaching staff and what their program is all about. They have so much to offer a student-athlete.”
Gold, a Malta resident, has starred since she was an eighth-grader on Ballston Spa’s varsity softball squad. Gold was a second-team all-state selection in 2018 and 2019, and was a sixth-team all-state pick in 2017.
“It’s definitely been one of my goals to play in a Power 5 conference,” Gold said, “and I wanted to play at the highest academic school possible.”
At Duke, Gold said she is interested in studying health sciences.
A shortstop, Gold — whose father Eric starred in baseball at Schenectady’s Linton High School, while brother Luke is in his freshman year at Boston College where he will play baseball — batted .418 and had an on-base percentage of .515 as a sophomore. That season, Gold hit nine home runs, including three in the postseason.
While Gold stars during the school season with head coach Amanda Fifield’s program, the 16-year-old plays travel softball with the Capital Region-based KP Hurricanes, as well as with national program in Team South Carolina. Gold also participates with Softball Factory, an organization “that provides softball players nationwide with expert instruction, college planning and guidance,” according to its website.
With her college decision made, Gold said she is excited to focus on her final two years at Ballston Spa. In both 2018 and 2019, the Scotties reached the state championship, but ended both years as runner-up.
That status, Gold said, will change in 2020.
“We’re not losing in the state championship three years in a row,” Gold said.