01/26/04 — NJ's Woddall sings with Pitt

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NJ's Woddall sings with Pitt

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on January 26, 2004 2:01 PM

KENLY -- First-year Pitt Community College softball coach Kevin Davenport was ready to go the extra mile to sign North Johnston senior Ashley Woodall -- even if it meant staying overnight and sleeping on the Woodall family couch during a recruiting visit.

He was prepared, but he didn't have to go that far as Woodall chose the young, but promising Bulldog program over Louisburg and Guilford College. Woodall, the daughter of Michael and Patricia, plans to study medical sonography.

Woodall batted .485 as a junior and proved versatile in the field, playing first base, catcher and outfield for the 19-5 Panthers. She was a Class 1-A Carolina all-conference performer as a junior and a sophomore.

She signed an official letter of intent in Greenville on Jan. 14 to attend the Region X school.

Davenport was impressed with Woodall's total game, coachability and attention to education.

"The first thing I was pleased with was her all-around athleticism. She has a beautiful swing and a natural set-up in the batter's box," said Davenport. "I want strong players on the field and in the classroom. This class is a coaches' delight and a teachers' dream."

Woodall joins North Lenoir's Hermia Humphrey, Washington's Jeri Bell, Kinston's Bailey Harrells and Greenville Rose's Meredith Nichols and Stacy Andrews in a solid recruiting class.

"She will come right in as a freshman and play. I'm looking at her mainly an outfielder, but she will probably learn the ins and outs of first and second base as well," Davenport said.

Woodall believes her experience as a part of a final four team as a sophomore and her overall experience at North Johnston and with traveling teams will have her prepared for the next level, but knows she must continue to work.

"It's going to be a lot of work, but I think I can handle it," Woodall said. "It's been a great experience here. I've had great coaches that have taught me a lot in my time here."

With her next two years set, Woodall still is focused on finishing her career with the Panthers, who have claimed four of the last six Carolina Conference championships, on a high note.

"I definitely want to win the conference," she said.