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Monday, December 06, 2010The temperature has been below freezing and snow flurries are filling the air. That means it is time for some “hot stove’ talk about softball, baseball, golf and tennis over the next two weeks.
Coach Kristin Ryman and assistant coach Lexi Myers have brought in four players in the 2011-2012 recruiting class.
Three have played infield positions in their careers _ middle infielder/third baseman Jordan Abell, third baseman/first baseman Gracey Aguirre and outfielder/second baseman Brianne Welch.
They are joined by left-handed pitcher Shanna Wilson.
Abell, 5-foot-1, played for Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro. She was an All-Regional Selection by the Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches Association and was also named All-Midstate. In 2010 she was First Team All-District 7-AAA. In 2009 she was on the second team.
In AAU she played for the 18U Firebirds Gold, the USFA World Series Champions in 2008. In 2010 she was AFA National Championship MVP. She was also ranked No. 4 nationally in runs scored in season with 78 in 2010.
“Jordan was our first commitment in this class,” Ryman said. “She is a true utility player who can fill multiple needs for us in the infield.
“She plays with an aggressive mentality and offensively is a table-setter. Her work ethic has allowed her to get better and better. We know she will continue to improve at this level.”
Ryman thinks that Abell could have an immediate impact on the team.
“She has a fighter mentality and is used to winning,” Ryman said. “Defensively and offensively she will compete right away for us.
“Off the field she gets it done academically. She will fit in with her outgoing and fun-loving personality.”
Aguirre, 5-6, was an All-District third baseman in 2008 and an All-District utility player in 2009 for Deer Park High School in Houston, Tex. She was her team’s MVP in 2008 and was the Offensive Player of the Year in 2009.
“Gracey is another steady infielder who we believe can have an immediate impact,” Ryman said. “She has great instincts both defensively and on the base paths. She will be a very valuable player for us.
“Offensively, she is a strong hitter and will be able to drive in runs for us. She has played at a high level of travel ball in Texas. She is that player who doesn’t say too much. But goes about her business and get her job done.”
Aguirre has also been successful in the classroom.
“Gracey is a good student who values her education,” Ryman said. “She wanted to be here at Lipscomb from the moment she walked on campus. We expect big things from her in the future.”
Welch, 5-5, has received numerous awards for her play for Cherokee High School in Canton, Ga. She was an All-State selection in 2009. She has twice been named All-Region and has been on the All-District team three times.
Brianne is the epitome of a student-athlete,” Ryman said. “She is an All-State infielder who will finish her career in the top of her class.
“Although she is a great infielder, Brianne is a true utility player. We anticipate her playing more in the outfield at Lipscomb. She possesses great speed, gets outstanding reads on the ball and is an all-around strong athlete.”
In 2009 she batted .398 with a .656 slugging percentage. She broke the school record for runs batted in with 31. She also hit six triples, breaking another school mark.
“The first time I saw her play outfield she ran through the fence to catch a ball,” Ryman said. “She truly plays all out and is fearless in the outfield.
“Offensively, she is consistent and finds ways to get on base. She can also drive in runs and is extremely reliable in any part of the order. Perhaps the best part about Brianne is the quality of her character. She has a great work ethic and will make our program better.”
Wilson, 5-10, from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, is a member of the Canadian National Team. Her team won the 2010 World Cup Junior Women’s National Team Silver medal.
“We are excited about the future of our program with Shanna joining our pitching staff,” Ryman said. “She is a lefty and is experienced and mature on the mound.
“She was highly recruited and has pitched at the highest level for the past two seasons as a member of the Canadian Junior National Team.”
She was one of 17 athletes chosen to compete in the 2010 Pan Am Qualifier in Bogota, Columbia. She has also competed with the 2010 Senior National Team in the Canada vs. USA tour.
“She knows how to win and she understands how to pitch _ two things we believe are vital to success at this level,” Ryman said. “She has a lot of speed and movement and is going to continue to get better and better.
“Not only does she add another lefty to our pitching staff, but she has the mentality of a leader and is a tireless worker. She is the type of kid who wants the ball in pressure situations and will help take our pitching staff to yet another level.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.