Trojan Softball Signs Five During Early Signing Period

ANDERSON, S.C. – Anderson University head softball coach Tommy Hewitt has announced that five prep standouts signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period in in late November, and will compete for the Trojans beginning in the fall of 2014.   
“All these players are exactly what we are looking for in an Anderson University softball student-athlete,” said Hewitt. “They are all very motivated, excellent students and all of them play on highly competitive travel ball teams.”

Rachael Barefield, a standout first baseman for Lee-Scott Academy (Opelika, Ala.), earned a starting spot on the Warriors’ varsity squad as a seventh grader and has been named the best hitter on the team for the past three seasons. As a junior, Barefield posted a .543 batting average, while recording a .621 on-base percentage. She blasted a dozen home runs and drove in 18 runs, while earning Athlete of the Week accolades.

She earned All-State accolades the past two seasons, while also accumulating All-Area honors following her freshman, sophomore and junior campaigns. Barefield was also named honorable-mention All-Area as a freshman. In three seasons, the right-hander accumulated 27 home runs and recorded 83 RBI over the past two seasons. She plays travel ball with Easton Elite Gold 18u. 

Barefield has performed in the classroom as well, earning the school’s scholar-athlete award each of the last five years and is a member of the National Honor Society.

“Rachael plays first base and some third base,” said Hewitt. “She has a really good arm but an even better bat with a near perfect swing. She always puts the bat on the ball and rarely strikes out.”

Carli Hurtado helped lead her Franklin County High School (Royston, Ga.) Lions to the program’s first-ever Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class AAA Region Championship appearance as a senior, before falling 2-0, to Pierce County in the state playoffs.

The right-hander was named GHSA All-Region and also earned All-State honors following her senior campaign last fall. Hitting from the left side of the plate, Hurtado recorded a .399 batting average, while posting 25 singles, eight doubles and three triples during her senior season. She drove in 18 RBI, drew 29 walks and swiped 38 stolen bases.  

Hurtado is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Beta Club.

“Carli has tremendous speed as a slapper and handles the bat extremely well.  She plays middle infield and can also play third base,” added Hewitt.  “Carli will be a lot of fun to watch play over the next four years.”  

Chelsea Jones is a pitcher/first baseman from The Lakeside School (Abbeville, Ala.) who recorded a .556 batting average during her junior campaign last spring en route to helping lead the Chiefs to an appearance in the Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) Class A State Championship contest. She tallied nine home runs, a triple, 16 doubles and 54 RBI, while notching a .626 on-base percentage. The right-handed hurler posted a 25-7 record in the circle a year ago, including six no-hitters and recorded 297 strikeouts. Jones earned Second-Team All-State accolades and was named an AISA All-Star.    

As a sophomore, Jones notched an 18-6 record in the circle, while striking out 203 batters. At the plate, she batted .525 and boasted a .628 on-base percentage, while tallying seven home runs and 20 walks. Jones is a two-time team MVP and has been named Honorable Mention – Super 12 following both her sophomore and junior campaigns. During her career, she has been named All-Tournament at the Pike and Glenwood tournaments.   

“Chelsea has a strong bat and will hit for average as well as hitting the long ball,” noted Hewitt. “She will be one to keep your eye on and will be lots of fun to watch play.”

Cailah Niles, from Phenix City, Ala., is a catcher who set five single-season offensive records and already owns five career marks for the Glenwood School Gators. She is a three-time All Bi City First-Team honoree and has been named All-Area First Team and All-AISA First Team for three consecutive years. After setting single-season school records with 75 hits, including 17 home runs, 25 doubles, 60 RBI and 69 runs scored, the right-hander was named All-Area Hitter of the Year and earned the Glenwood Slugger and MVP Award after helping lead the Gators to an appearance in the AISA Class AAA Elite Eight.

She also captured the Glenwood Slugger and MVP Awards following her sophomore campaign, when the Gators were AISA AAA State Tournament Runners-up and Niles was named to the All-Tournament team. Glenwood claimed the 3A State Championship during her freshman season, with Niles garnering All-Tournament recognition.        

Niles has competed with the Easton Elite travel team, as well as participating at the ASA Nationals with both the Birmingham Vipers and the Bama Babes. In 2011, she played travel ball with Chain and competed in the USFA World Series. 

“Cailah is a catcher with very good skills,” noted the ninth-year head coach. “She has a great arm and may be one of the purest hitters to ever play softball at Anderson University. She will follow in the tradition of Anderson long-ball hitters.”

Trudi Shuman, a four-year varsity letterwinner from Savannah Christian in Savannah, Ga., helped lead the Raiders to back-to-back appearances in the GHSA Class A State Tournament, including a third-place showing in 2012 and a fourth-place finish last season. The right-hander earned GHSA All-Region honors as a senior and was nominated for All-State accolades. She also played with the South Georgia Lady Sharks travel team. 

Academically, Shuman has been a yearly member of the Savannah Christian Honor Roll and has volunteered as a member of the newspaper and yearbook staff.    

“Trudi is an outfielder with lots of speed,” said Hewitt. “She covers a lot of ground and reacts quickly to the ball coming off the bat. Trudi has a tremendous work ethic, hits righty and can also hit left-handed.”

The Trojans open their 2014 season at home versus Conference Carolinas opponent Lees-McRae on Feb. 2. First pitch for the doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m.

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