BRISTOL, Tenn. – With the 2015-16 school year fast approaching, King University Head Softball Coach Jenn Testa has announced her 2016 signing class. The class includes six junior college transfers and five that will join King out of high school for a total class of 11.
“We are extremely excited about this year’s recruiting class,” Testa stated. “A good mix of both junior college transfers with a lot of college experience and freshman who we feel can really develop into great college players, it has the potential to be one of our best overall classes ever.
“We have added some much needed depth up the middle and we really feel that this class will compliment well what we have returning,” Testa continued. “Ultimately this class has everything we need to help get us back to the top of the conference with great pitching, hitting, and hardnosed defensive talent.”
Kay Brokering, C/IF, Shelbyville, Ind., Shelbyville HS
Brokering earned All-Hoosier Heritage Conference honors three times while at Shelbyville High School and was the Shelbyville News Player of the Year. She was a four-time letter winner, and her name is all over the Shelbyville record book as she holds career school records in runs batted in, doubles, batting average as well as single season records in runs batted in, doubles, batting average and walks. She also played volleyball and was a four-time letter winner while earning honorable mention all-conference and academic All-State honors. During her senior year, she helped lead the Golden Bears to a 23-6 record. She was also a member of National Honor Society.
Kaycee Casteel, C, Bristol, Va., John S. Battle HS
Casteel will be staying in Bristol as the John S. Battle High School product was a three-time All-State player for the Trojans. She was also named the Regional Player of the Year in 2013 and 2015 while earning all-conference honors three times. Casteel helped lead John S. Battle to a state runner-up finish in 2012 while leading the Trojans to district and regional championships in 2013 and a district championship in 2014. She was the valedictorian of her class and a member of National Honor Society.
Kaylee Rowland, P/UT, Powhatan, Va., Powhatan HS
Rowland comes to King from Powhatan High School in Virginia. In the summer she plays travel ball for Richmond Elite. She was on the Honor Roll and graduated from Powhatan High School a year early. She can play many positions and looks to be a utility player for the Tornado.
Alliyah Sands, SS, Clayton, N.C., Cleveland HS
Sands had a solid senior season for Cleveland High School where she was named conference player of the year while earning team MVP honors and was recognized as the Cleveland High School Female Athlete of the Year. Sands helped lead the Rams to back-to-back 3 Rivers A Conference championships in 2014 and 2015.
Chelsey Wampler, IF, Damascus, Va., Holston HS
Wampler makes her way to King after helping lead Holston High School to a 23-3 record and a conference championship during her senior season. The Cavaliers also won the conference tournament championship in 2015. She also played volleyball and owns the school record for career kills.
Emily Kendrick, P/1B, Honaker, Va., Walters State CC
Coming from Walters State Community College, Kendrick had stellar numbers playing for the Senators over the last two years. Over those two seasons, the pitcher posted a 36-9 record and four saves, winning 23 games a season ago. During the 2015 season she posted an earned run average of 1.35 while striking out 128 batters in 181 innings pitched, leading the Senators to a 39-10 record. She was a third team NJCAA All-American and Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) Pitcher of the Year in 2015. Prior to Walters State she plated at Honaker High School, winning four district championships, and ultimately the state championship in 2013. In 2013 she was named the Virginia State Pitcher of the Year while garnering first team All-State accolades a season after earning second team All-State honors. Kendrick was named the Black Diamond District Pitcher of the Year four times, and first team All-Black Diamond honors. She also played volleyball, earning first team all-district recognition.
Jennifer Kern, SS/2B, Huntsville, Ala., Cleveland State CC
Kern, a Huntsville, Ala., native joins the Tornado after spending two years at Cleveland State Community College. Last season she was the starting shortstop for Cleveland State, posting a .288 batting average with a .378 on base percentage. She led the team with three home runs to go along with seven doubles and a triple and drove in 21 runs.
Olivia Lawson, C/IF, Rogersville, Tenn., Walters State CC
Lawson, originally from Rogersville, makes her way to the Scarlet and Navy after spending two years at Walters State Community College. A season ago she helped Walters State to a 39-10 record. Prior to Walters State she was a three-time first team all-conference honoree at Cherokee High School. In her first year with the Senators she posted a .395 batting average, .466 on base percentage and slugged .651, ripping six home runs and driving in 27. A season ago she clubbed nine home runs, drove in 48 while hitting .383 with a .484 on base percentage and .631 slugging percentage. Lawson graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA and was ranked seventh in her class at Cherokee. She also played volleyball in high school.
Erin Roper, OF, Morristown, Tenn., Walters State CC
Another transfer from Walters State Community College, Roper garnered second team All-TCCAA honors in 2015. She helped the Senators amass 79 win against just 18 losses in two years, including a 39-10 record a season ago. The outfielder hit .366, ripped six doubles and scored 26 runs last year for the Senators. Prior to Walters State she attended Morristown East High School where she twice earned All-Inter-Mountain Athletic Conference recognition. In 2013 she was named the IMAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Megon Smith, IF/P, Garland, N.C., Louisburg College
A .385 hitter a season ago at Louisburg College, Smith could be a two way play for the Tornado. In 2015 she was named second team All-Region after driving in 42 runs, scoring 35 on 10 home runs and 12 doubles. In the circle she posted a 3.71 earned run average, striking out 43 in 51 innings pitched for the Hurricanes. A Garland, N.C., native, Smith was a three-time All-State and all-conference selection at Union High School. In her senior year of high school, Smith recorded a batting average of .531 while posting an ERA of 1.79, helping Union to a 13-7 record. She graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA and ranked fourth of 108 students in her graduating class.
Hayley Smothers, OF, Camden, Tenn., Columbia State CC
Smothers will don the Scarlet and Navy after spending the last two years at Columbia State Community College. In 2015 she helped the Chargers go 33-17 as she was named first team All-TCCAA. She posted a .351 batting average and an on base percentage of .408. Smother scored 30 runs while driving in 24 on seven home runs and 11 doubles. In high school she helped Camden Central High School to four 50-win season, including a mark of 54-7 in her senior year. In all, the Lions posted a record of 209-35. Smothers helped the Lions capture the state championship in her freshman year of 2010 before reaching the sub-state round in 2012 and 2013. She was a an all-conference honoree from 2011-13.