SOFTBALL COACH ANNOUNCES THE ADDITION OF FIVE TO 2014 SIGNING CLASS
MARTIN, Tenn. – Donley Canary, head softball coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin has announced the signing of five players to softball scholarships. The five players include Alicia Hansen from Miamisburg, Ohio; Jodie Duncan from Munford; Savannah Dodson from Huntingdon; Hanna Jones from Harrisburg, Ill.; and Aeron Smith from Bowling Green, Ky.
“Our class as a whole fills needs that we have in our squad,” said Canary. “We added a quality pitcher and quality catcher, two positions which you can never have enough of. We’ve brought in a pair of middle infielders who can come in and challenge our incumbents, provide depth and fill holes within those positions. In the outfield we have grabbed a quality contributor.”
Hansen is a 5-7 position player that can play several positions including third and outfield. Hansen prepped for head coach Tyler Callahan at Bishop Fenwick. She recently posted an impressive .574 batting average while notching 9 home runs and driving in 38 runs. In addition to her power surge, Hansen tallied 33 stolen bases and five triples in just 25 games. Hansen is closing on the all-time Ohio state home run record with 33 career home runs while posting 112 RBIs and 98 stolen bases.
A Miamisburg, Ohio native, Hansen garnered first team all-state honors an impressive three times, in addition to being named 2013 GGCL Grey North Division Player of the Year. She played club ball for the Cincy Doom Gold.
“Alecia is a strong right handed power hitter that we envision playing left field for us,” said Canary. “She runs well, has tremendous power and has a very bright upside. We felt like we needed to upgrade our hitting from the right side, and she provides very solid production from that side that could increase our power from the corner outfield positions. We see her being able to come in and challenging for playing time as soon as she steps on campus. We feel so fortunate to have a player of such quality chose to join our program.”
Duncan is a 5-5 middle infielder who will see action at second base, shortstop and third base. Duncan prepped at Munford High School under the direction of head coach Glen Goulder. She posted an impressive .430 batting average along with four home runs and 47 RBIs in 36 games played as a junior.
A Munford, native, Duncan has been the recipient of numerous season and postseason accolades. Her accomplishments include being named the Millington Star Softball Star of the Season, 2012 Best of Preps Player of the Year finalist and two-time 13 AAA all-district. She played for club ball for the Tennessee Attack and Team Elite.
“Jodie is a young lady that we have been watching for three years out of the Memphis area,” continued Canary. “She has helped her team to two straight state tournament berths. She’s a left handed hitter with a great swing that can play up the middle. She has good power from the left side and knows how to hit into both gaps with force. We have watched her for several years and we’re very happy to be able to get her to join our program. “
Dodson is a 5-6 utility player who will primarily be used at second base. Dodson prepped at Huntingdon High School where she posted impressive numbers in her junior season, hitting .462 with two home runs and 28 RBIs. Over her illustrious career, Dodson has posted a .463 batting average while hitting three home runs and driving in 74 runs. The speedster had stolen 46 career bases, including 21 last season.
A Huntington native, Dodson was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class A All-State team. She was named 13A all-district and 13A district most valuable player in 2012. Played travel ball for the Mudawgs Pride and American Eagles.
“Savannah is a great athlete that is versatile in multiple sports,” state Canary. “We will probably look at her to play second base but is more than capable of playing the outfield. She has barely scratched the surface of her softball ability and we’re very excited that with her dedication, her upside is extremely high.”
Jones is a 5-9 pitcher from Harrisburg High School where she prepped for head coach Red Stafford. Jones posted a solid season in 2012, wrapping up a record of 18-12. Jones struck out 207 batters, while finishing with an ERA of 1.00 and a batting average of .600, while hitting eight doubles, two triples and one grand slam.
A Harrisburg, Ill. native, Jones has garnered the Randy Jones Pitching Award along with being named a two-time all-conference and all-south member. Played travel ball for the Georgia Impact and 18-gold Midland Magic.
“We see Hannah being a pitcher for us,” Canary said. “She has played for two incredible strong travel club teams with the Georgia Impact and the Midland Magic, seeing plenty of big game experience over the years. We feel very fortunate that she chose to come to UT Martin and team up with former teammate and current Skyhawk Elizabeth Wiegand.”
Smith is a 5-4 utility player from Greenwood High School under the direction of head coach Penny Reece. Smith was an integral part of last season’s nationally ranked Lady Gators team which completed the only undefeated season in Kentucky Fastpitch softball history, winning the state championship and finishing with a 44-0 record. Smith enters her senior season a career .399 hitter with 159 RBIs and 66 extra-base hits, including 10 homers.
A Bowling Green, Ky. native, Smith was named to the 2013 state tournament all-tournament team. Smith was named all-district and all-regional Tournament most valuable player along with a spot on the 3A all-state first team. Played travel ball for the Southern Kentucky Crush.
“Aeron is a catcher which has been a three-year starter at the high school level,” said Canary. “She played on an incredible Louisville Slugger team before switching to the Midland Magic this coming summer. She has played against the best competition in the country, finishing high in the premiere fastpitch tournaments over the past two years. We anticipate her coming in and competing right away.
“Overall we are extremely happy with the quality of players and people we have added to represent our program moving forward,” said Canary.