JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 16, 2011) – The ETSU softball team has announced the signing of five student-athletes for the 2012-13 season, according to head Buccaneer softball coach Brad Irwin on Wednesday.
Madison Boyd (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Sam Carpenter (Forest City, N.C.), Bethany Cowart (Ringgold, Ga.), Emilie Hensley (Morristown, Tenn.), and Katy Jordan (Loganville, Ga.) have all signed their national letter of intent to play softball for the Blue and Gold starting next fall.
“We are really proud of this class,” said Irwin. “We think this class will be a major step in building our program. This class meets many of our needs, which includes pitching and power. We can hardly wait to get these young ladies on campus. The four high school players in this signing class also played for a high level travel ball team.”
Boyd, a 5-foot-7 outfielder from Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, brings a winning attitude to Johnson City as she played on the Bruisers’ 2009 and 2010 state championship teams. Boyd is a left-handed hitter who hit .420 as a junior with 11 doubles, three triples, four steals, 24 RBI and 24 runs scored. As a junior, Boyd was named All-State and Second Team Best of Preps. Outside of playing at Girls Preparatory School, Boyd played her travel ball for the Fury Fastpitch, based out of Chattanooga.
“Madison is a tremendous athlete and we’re very proud to have her join our program,” said Irwin. “She really handles the bat well from the left side, and she can hit for power as well as power slap. Madison uses the entire field, which makes it difficult on opposing team’s defense. Defensively, Madison is an outfielder who gets a great jump on the ball and has a strong arm. She comes from a great family and is a wonderful young lady who also excels in the classroom.”
Carpenter, a multi-sport athlete from Chase High School, looks give coach Irwin and the Bucs some depth at the middle infield slots. The Forest City, N.C. native has lettered and received all-conference accolades in both softball and volleyball for the Trojans. In 2011, Carpenter put up impressive numbers on the diamond as she posted a .529 batting average with 26 runs scored and drove in 19. In addition, she also registered a .914 slugging percentage and a .535 on-base percentage en route to being named South Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Year. The Trojans leadoff hitter chose ETSU over Charlotte when it came down to deciding on a school. During the summer, Carpenter played travel ball for the Lady Lightning, which is based out of North Carolina.
“Sam comes from an outstanding family and she is a fierce competitor,” Irwin said. “She’s never going to be the biggest girl out there, but she makes up for it with her tremendous skills, desire, and effort. Sam is a versatile player, but she’s a true middle infielder; however, she can hold her own at a corner or in the outfield as well. Offensively, she has good pop for her size and the sky is the limit for her hitting.”
Cowart, who hails from Grace Baptist Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn. where she has lettered in both softball and basketball, is a 5-foot-7 outfielder. The Ringgold, Ga. native has compiled quite the resume during her first three seasons as a Golden Eagle. Cowart has combined to hit over .400 (123-301) with 19 doubles, six triples, 44 stolen bases, 96 runs scored, and 69 RBI throughout this timeframe. Cowart’s stellar play has helped guide Grace Baptist to back-to-back runner-up finishes at the State Championship in 2010 and 2011. Along with Boyd, Carpenter also played her club ball with the Fury Fastpitch.
“I feel like Bethany’s best softball is definitely ahead of her,” added Irwin. “She runs well, too, and can go get it in the outfield. She's a gap-to-gap line-drive hitter and will be a big part of what we're trying to do offensively here.”
Hensley is a 6-foot-1 right-handed catcher/first baseman who hails from Morristown East High School. The Morristown, Tenn. native helped guide the Lady Hurricanes to a conference championship in 2010. As a sophomore, Hensley hit .382 with five home runs and 37 RBI and was named All-Northeast Tennessee. In 2011, Hensley hit .420, with 15 doubles, five home runs, 35 RBI, while also picking off 12 runners from behind the plate. The catcher/first baseman is a multi-sport athlete as she was named all-conference in softball, volleyball, and basketball. Hensley played her travel ball with the Fury Fastpitch Gold.
“Emilie is a multi-sport athlete who will catch as well as play first base,” added Irwin. “She has great size and power, and we’re excited about the offensive potential she brings to our program.”
Jordan, the lone pitcher in this signing class, will transfer to ETSU after spending the last two seasons at Darton College in Albany, Ga. The right-handed hurler went 23-4 with a 0.72 ERA (19 ER/184.0 IP) for the Cavaliers in 2011. Jordan struck out 259 batters and issued only 23 walks. The Loganville, Ga. native recorded 10 or more strikeouts in 14 of her 29 appearances – including a season-high 15 punch outs in Darton’s 6-0 win over Andrew College in the season-opener. Jordan also led Darton to the 2011 NJCAA National Championship Tournament.
“We are really excited to add a pitcher of Katy’s caliber to our Buccaneer program,” said Irwin. “Katy was highly recruited out of high school, but decided to attend junior college where she will graduate in the spring. She’s a complete pitcher who throws the ball hard and we expect her to make an immediate impact.”
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.