Friday, November 14, 2008

Reports: softball signs two pitchers

Various media outlets are reporting the early signing of two pitchers for the JSU softball team.
The Gamecocks reportedly picked up Wewahitchka, Fla., pitcher Samantha Rich, arguably the most dominant player in Northwest Florida the past two years, according to the News Herald of Panama City. And they signed Ider's Hilary Phillips, the Times-Journal of Dekalb County reported.
Rich picked JSU from a lengthy list of suitors that included UCF, Florida State, LSU, Virginia Tech, Michigan, Illinois, South Carolina and Tulsa, the newspaper said.
Rich told the paper the recruiting process "has been crazy" and the decision was "one of the hardest ... I've ever had to make."
According to the paper, Rich is 56-6 with the Lady Gators, including 20-2 last year. She also has hit over .400 with more than 100 RBIs and a growing school-record 26 home runs.
Her team has reached the state Final Four in each of her three seasons, losing in the semifinals her freshman year before breaking through with consecutive titles. Wewahitchka has the smallest enrollment in Class 2A.
"She's going to bring a lot to their program immediately, in the (pitching) circle and with the bat," Wewahitchka coach Coy Adkins told the paper. "...I think if she stays healthy she can be a contender not only for (OVC) Freshman of the Year but Player of the Year ... She's got such a reputation now that a lot of teams are beat before they get on the field against her."

Phillips holds the state record for career wins with a mark of 149-27. With 2,155 career strikeouts, she closing in on that record, too. She finished 30-0 with 341 strikeouts and a 0.27 earned run average last spring while leading Ider to its second Class 2A state championship in three years. As the team's leadoff batter, she hit .438 with 53 runs, 21 RBIs and more walks than strikeouts (13 to 11) in 142 at-bats.
"I think she'll fit in right there with the type of players they have," Ider coach David Hughes told the paper. I think she’ll go and be a great contributor for them in a lot of different ways."

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