Coker softball adds eight during signing period

on Tuesday, 20 November 2018. Posted in Local News, Features, Sports

Coker softball adds eight during signing period

Coker College Head Softball Coach Travis McCall announced the signing of Alexis Ortiz, Kayla Oswell, Mackenzie Harmon, Hannah Fisher, Brooklynn Stueness, Jena DeWalt, Bailey Douglas, and Jessica McWhorter for the 2019-20 season.

Alexis Ortiz hails from Port Royal and pitched for the softball team at Battery Creek High School. On the diamond, Ortiz was an SCCAWS All-State selection in 2016 and 2018, All-Region from 2016-18, and the region player of the year following the 2018 season. Ortiz was also a 2015 HSSR All-Rookie selection and team MVP during the 2016 and 2018 seasons. She played travel softball for the Carolina Fire in the fall of 2018, while also playing for Carolina Elite NC from 2016 to the summer of 2018. Ortiz is a member of the National Honors Society, Culinary Club, and Interact Club as well as being named to the honor roll on two occasions. She is the daughter of Eric and April Ackerman and Jeremy Ortiz. Ortiz plans to major in physical education. When asked about Ortiz, McCall said, “We are really excited about adding a person and player like Alexis. In the circle she has dominant stuff and great command of all her pitches. She will add immediate depth to our staff and bring a different dynamic to our pitchers. She’s got a chance to a very special player for us here at Coker!”

MaKenzie Harmon is an outfielder from Max Meadows, Virginia, where she lettered in basketball and softball at Fort Chiswell High School. In softball, Harmon has compiled a .448 batting average and .555 on-base percentage, while scoring 65 runs and 75 stolen bases. She was a three-time Mountain Empire All-Conference selection and also named to the All-Region team. On the basketball court, Harmon was a Mountain Empire All-Conference selection as well as an All-Region selection. Harmon played travel softball for Team NC Gertzman, Carolina Elite, and NRV Diamonds. She was a member of FCA, FCCLA, National Honor Society, Help Save the Next Girl, Be the Change, and the honor roll. Harmon is the daughter of Benny and Tammy Harmon and plans to major in exercise science. She has one sister, Amanda Harmon Wheeler. When asked about Harmon, Coach McCall said, “Makenzie comes to us from up in Virginia and we are excited to have her. She will bring us much needed speed and depth to our outfield. Her range is great in the outfield and she can play all three positions out there. Offensively, she can bring some speed and versatility as a slapper to our lineup! We are excited she chose to be a Cobra!”

Hannah Fisher is a pitcher from West Columbia that lettered in golf and softball at Airport High School. During the 2017 and 2018 season she was an SCCAWS All-State selection, All-Region selection, and Lexington Chronicle First Team selection. Fisher is a five-year letter winner for the Airport varsity softball team and was the 2017 team MVP. She played travel softball for the Bandits NC 18U National Team. Off the field, she was a Junior Marshall as well as a member of the National Honor Society, National French Honor Society, Beta Club, Student Government, B27, and honor roll. She is the daughter of Jeff and Chrissy Fisher. Fisher is the sister of Andrew, Abigail, and Isabella. When speaking with Coach McCall about Fisher, he added, “Hannah is another local product for us! She brings more depth to our pitching staff and her ability to throw any pitch in any count makes her very tough to hit. She’s great kid with an awesome personality. Fish has a chance to be a really good pitcher for us!”

Jena Dewalt is an outfielder from Newberry that lettered in softball at Mid-Carolina High School. She was a 2017-18 All-Region and Silver Slugger selection. DeWalt played travel softball for the 16u-18u SC Jets, as well and the 18u Southern Select. She was a member of the Beta Club and honor roll and intends on major in exercise science. DeWalt is the daughter of Gregory and Kyshon Dewalt. She is the sister of Jamal, Jerel and Jamila. When asked about DeWalt, McCall had this to say, “Jena was a late find for us with this class and we are very excited about her. She has a ton of potential and has a lot of raw athletic ability. Jena has great speed and the ability to bunt for a hit and hit the ball out of the yard. She will add depth to our outfield immediately! We are really excited about her!”

Kayla Oswell is a first baseman from Lexington that is a six-time letter winner in softball at River Bluff High School. Oswell was a 5A All-State and All-Region selection, as well as being nominated as the Midlands best player. She was a science major, English major, and math major in high school, along with being a member of the Beta Club. She is the daughter of Patricia Kilgore-Oswell and Norman Oswell and plans to major in biology. Her mother played basketball and volleyball at USC Aiken. Coach McCall added that, “Kayla is big time get for us. She has great size and unbelievable power. She has the ability to develop into a middle of the order hitter as this level. Her size and length will be huge for us at first base and provides with much needed depth there. She’s a great kid and we are thrilled to have her!”

Brooklynn Stueness is an outfielder from Moncks Corner that played softball at Berkeley High School. Stueness has been a member of the Stags varsity softball team since seventh grade. She is the daughter of Mark and Christina Stueness and plans to major in biology. When asked about Stueness, Coach McCall stated, “B is a great kid from down in the low country! She brings power and speed to our lineup from the left side as a hitter and fills a void at the top of our lineup. She can really go get it in the outfield. We are excited to add a person and player like Brooklynn!”

Jessica McWhorter is an infielder from Hartsville that lettered in softball at Hartsville High School for the Red Foxes. She was a five-time All-Region selection, along with being a 2018 All-State selection and 2016 State Champion. McWhorter played travel softball for the Carolina Fire. She is a member of the Key Club, while also obtaining an IB Certificate. McWhorter is the daughter of Anjie Singletary and John McWhorter and plans to major in biology. She is the sister of Alex, Gage, and Walker. Coach McCall noted, “We are thrilled to have Jess in this class. We pride ourselves on getting the best players in this area and Jess was right in our backyard here at Hartsville HS. She plays the game extremely hard and is one of the toughest kids we’ve recruited. She can play all over the infield and get behind the plate and that will really help us. So excited that she decided to stay close to home and be a Cobra!”

Bailey Douglas is an infielder from Lugoff that lettered in competitive cheer, softball, and volleyball at Lugolf-Elgin High School for the Demons. During the 2018 campaign, Douglas led the team is homeruns with eight and RBIs with 38, while also winning the Silver Slugger Award with a .451 batting average. The five-year letter winner is a 2016 and 2018 All-State selection, and 2017 and 2018 All-Region and All-Midlands teams. Douglas was named the 2018 LEHS Female Athlete of the Month during the month of February. Douglas won three region championships and two district championships. She was a 2016 4A Upper State Runner-Up and a 4A Lower State Runner-Up the following year. Douglas played travel softball for the Carolina Fire with a .500 batting average, three homeruns, and 13 RBIs during the 2018 fall season. She was a member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Society, Beta Club, FCA, Be a Fan Club, and the honor roll. She is the daughter of Billy and Angel Douglas and plans to be a pre-physicians assistant major. Douglas is the sister of Jeremy. Coach McCall added that, “Bailey comes to us from right down the road at Lugoff-Elgin. She has great size and strength and her ability to play anywhere on the field brings a ton of versatility. Offensively she can leave the yard at any moment and will provide some much needed power to our order. She’s a great kid and I’m really excited she’s a Cobra!” When speaking on the class as a whole, McCall remarked, “Overall, I’m very excited about the addition of these eight players to a really talented group of returners next year. We’ve really been able to get a lot of really good players from the state of South Carolina and think that will pay dividends moving forward. We add depth in every position and a bunch of great kids who have played a very high level of travel ball. More importantly these are all tremendous people off the field who excel in the classroom and come from great families. They are all about Coker in everything they do and those are the types of players that we want in our program! We cannot wait to see them all in Navy and Gold. The future of this program is extremely bright!”

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