08/18/09 — MOC softball inks recruiting class

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MOC softball inks recruiting class

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on August 18, 2009 1:46 PM

MOC Sports Information

MOUNT OLIVE -- A pair of junior college transfers help comprise a five-player list of recruits who will join the Mount Olive College softball team this fall.

Mandy Hensley and Ana Cooke, who each played on the JUCO scene last season, have signed with the Trojans. The other three are walk-ons Courtney Bell, Lucia Bowling and Eastern Wayne graduate Caitlyn Turner.

Hensley, an outfielder from Fremont, Ohio, batted .365 in two seasons combined with Owens Community (Ohio) College. She earned first-team, all-conference recognition as a freshman and ranked 34th nationally (NJCAA Division II) in stolen bases as a sophomore.

"After graduating all three of our starting outfielders last year, Mandy will bring collegiate experience and maturity to the outfield this year," said MOC head coach Jaime Kylis-Higginbotham. "She also adds versatility and speed to our batting lineup."

Cooke, who comes from Pitt CC, is back with former catcher Erika Taylor. While the circle, Cooke logged 28 victories and a 1.03 earned run average (ERA) and threw nine career no-hitters during her junior and senior seasons combined at Beddingfield High School.

"I'm excited to watch Ana throw," said Kylis-Higginbotham. "And she already has experience and chemistry with one of our senior catchers, so that should help make her transition go more smoothly."

Kylis-Higginbotham says she also expects significant contributions from Bell, Bowling and Turner. Bell is a middle infielder from Jacksonville, Bowling is an outfielder from West Brunswick and Turner is a third baseman.

"These three young ladies will provide us with the depth that has allowed us to stay competitive deep in the season," said Kylis-Higginbotham. "I will look for them to provide some big innings for us as they grow into their potential."

The five newcomers join early signees players join Lauren Darden (pitcher), Rebeckah McDaniel (catcher/utility) and Olivia Poplin (infield), who all signed in November.

Mount Olive finished 25-18-1 overall last season.