By DAVID GRAVELY
SWT Sports Editor
The Lady Cougar softball team will be sending at least two players to the next level this season, as seniors Jordan Chrisley and Sara Wright signed their letters of intent on Thursday in front of family, friends, and coaches.
Chrisley, who was a four year varsity starter at catcher for Head Coach Gina Miano, will be attending Emory and Henry University and playing for the Lady Wasps. Jordan finished her senior year with regular season .390 batting average and a .471 on-base percentage. She scored 28 runs, earned 10 RBI’s, hit six doubles, one triple, three home-runs, and stole eight bases.
“I’m really going to miss being a Cougar,” said Chrisley. “A lot of people talk bad about our town and our school, but we’ve got something really special here. Sure we have our problems, just like any other school or community, but I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything.”
With a grade point average of 3.6, Chrisley is hoping to focus on earning a degree in physical education and athletic training. She hopes to then use that to get into physical therapy and work with athletes. She also expressed an interest in psychology.
Wright followed through on her verbal commitment from earlier in the school year and signed her letter of intent to play for the “Duke Dogs” of James Madison University. Wright finished up the 2013 regular season with a .582 batting average and a .657 on-base percentage. Sara scored 26 runs, earned 26 RBI’s, hit six doubles, seven home-runs, and stole five bases.
“I’ll never forget my time here,” said Wright. “Over the past few years we’ve been through plenty of ups and downs, but we always stuck together as a team. I’ve still got plenty of softball left to play this summer and in college, but this team will always be special to me.”
With a 3.95 grade point average and an interest in math, Wright hopes to major in computer science while at JMU.
While both of the graduating seniors are looking forward to their college experiences, they also have plenty of fond memories of their time under Lady Cougar Head Coach Gina Miano.
“She likes to dance like a dinosaur,” said Chrisley. “I think one of the funniest things I ever saw her do was when I was a manager my seventh grade year. After a game in Roanoke that we won, she followed through on a bet she made with us and danced on a table at a Mexican restaurant.”
“She always has a quote,” said Wright. “She loves ‘swag’ shirts and always has inspirational sayings for us. On top of that she always has us doing team building exercises. Those really brought us together and cut down on the drama you might normally see with a team. She worked us hard, but she always made it fun and enjoyable.”
Both players will be spending their time immediately after graduation with their families, and then getting back to the work on the softball field with travel and AAU teams before reporting to their new teams.