Nov. 20, 2013
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech softball signed five high school softball players to join the Yellow Jackets in 2014-15, head coach Shelly Hoerner announced Wednesday. Of the five student-athletes to commit to Tech, three are from Georgia, one is from Florida and one from Texas.
The recruiting class includes Emily Anderson (LaGrange, Ga.), Malea Bell (Kennesaw, Ga.), Christina Biggerstaff (Houston, Texas), Kelsey Chisholm (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Draven Sonnon (Sugar Hill, Ga.).
“We are very excited about these five talented prospects that are joining our Georgia Tech softball family,” Hoerner said. “They have everything we want in a student-athlete from blue collar work ethic to good family morals and values, to academic integrity to a team mentality and, of course, talent.
“We are moving in a great direction with our program and believe that this class will continue to help us reach our goals; and that is getting back to post-season play and the NCAA tournament.”
Emily Anderson | Pitcher | R/R | LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange HS
Anderson is a four-year letterwinner for head coach Jan Jones at LaGrange High School, serving one year as captain. Most recently, Anderson was selected to play in the 2013 Georgia Dugout Club all-state game.
As a senior, she was 17-6 with a 1.16 earned run average, and she achieved a milestone when she recorded her 1,000th career strikeout against Northwest Whitfield in the opening round of the state playoffs. At the plate, Anderson was among the team leaders with a .310 batting average, and she was second on the team with 24 RBI.
Anderson is a 2010 first-team all-state selection and a two-time second team all-state honoree (2011, 2012) by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA). In 2010, she helped LaGrange to become region 6-AAA champions.
Anderson plays club softball for the Atlanta Vipers and in 2012 compiled a record of 37-3 with 10 saves in the circle. She led the 2012 Viper squad to first-place finishes at the Georgia ASA 16A State Championships, the Open Invitational, the King of the Mountain tournament and the 16A season opener.
“Emily Anderson is an outstanding pitching prospect,” Hoerner said. “Emily is a young lady that will make a positive contribution in the circle from the beginning with her ability to spin the softball and keep hitters off balance. She has a knack for making hitters feel uncomfortable in the box with her change of speeds and locations. Under the tutelage of [Tech pitching] coach [Charlotte] Morgan, Emily has the potential to be an extremely talented pitcher in the ACC.”
Malea Bell | INF | R/R | Kennesaw, Ga./Kennesaw Mountain HS
Bell is a four-year letter winner and two-year captain under the direction of Lisa Chapman at Kennesaw Mountain HS. In 2013, Bell helped the Lady Mustangs to the state finals for the fifth time in six years.
She led Kennesaw Mountain to the Georgia AAAAAA State Championship Elite Eight as the Lady Mustangs finished sixth in 2013, second in 2012 and fourth in 2011. The Lady Mustangs made it to the State Championships in 2012 and 2013 after winning the 4AAAAAA Region Championship.
Bell is the 2012 Georgia Athletics Coaches Association (GACA) Player of the Year. She was named the 2012 Player of the Year and Region 4AAAAAA Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013 by the Marietta Daily Journal. In 2012, Bell led the team in batting average (.414), runs scored (49), RBI (38), home runs (10), and hits (48) from the lead-off position, while helping the Lady Mustangs to a team-record 33-win season.
She is a two-time Georgia AAAAAA first team all-state selection (2011 and 2012) and a second-team all-state honoree in 2010. A three-time All-Cobb County team and All-Region (2010-12) selection, Bell was named Kennesaw Mountain’s team MVP and offensive MVP (2010-12), and named the Lady Mustangs’ Rookie of the Year in 2010.
“Malea Bell is one of the best players in the state of Georgia as evidenced by the accolades she has earned over the past few years,” Hoerner said. “Malea’s blue collar mentality will bring a tireless work ethic that will rub off on everyone associated with our program. Malea can play defensively all over the field and will bring a potent bat to the lineup.”
Christina Biggerstaff | Pitcher | R/R | Houston, Texas/Cy-Fair HS
Biggerstaff is a three-year letterwinner under head coach Debbie Burrow at Cy-Fair High School with her senior season yet to come.
In her three seasons with the Bobcats, Biggerstaff helped the team to win three district 17-5A championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The RHP finished the 2013 season with 103 batters faced, 49 strikeouts, a 0.55 ERA in 25 innings pitched.
Biggerstaff played for Sudden Impact’s 18U Gold team in 2013. She pitched 91 innings with 123 strikeouts for a 1.4 strikeout per inning average.
“Christina is an extremely talented pitcher,” Hoerner said. “Christina has potential to be an extremely effective pitcher over the course of her career. She does an excellent job getting ahead in the count and then finishing hitters when she gets them in unfavorable situations. We are very excited to have her join our pitching staff under the tutelage of Coach Morgan and watch her grow into a force in the ACC.”
Kelsey Chisholm | INF | R/R | Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail HS
Chisholm is a four-year softball letterwinner under the direction of Jen Harman and a four-year letterwinner in basketball under head coach Ben Windle at Bartram Trail HS in St. John’s, Fla. She is the fifth member of the Georgia Tech roster from the Sunshine State.
The infielder is a three-time first team all-county and first team all-conference (2011-13). In addition, Chisholm earned first team all-area honors in 2012 and 2013, along with 2013 all-state accolades. As a freshman, she helped her team to become district champions, conference champions and region champions and made an appearance in the semi-finals.
With her 2012 Florida Select travel team, the squad won the USSSA ESPNHS World Championships, going 8-0 in the tournament with five shutouts. Most recently, Chisholm played for the 2013 USSSA North Florida Pride, compiling a 33-5 record and winning three of five tournaments, placing third in the other two.
“Kelsey is an extremely talented middle infielder,” Hoerner said. “Kelsey is one of the most athletic players that I have seen throughout the recruiting cycle, and she will be a definite asset for Georgia Tech softball moving forward. She has a very high ceiling both offensively and defensively, and we look forward to helping her reach that ceiling.”
Draven Sonnon | OF | R/R | Sugar Hill, Ga./North Gwinnett HS
Sonnon is a three-year letterwinner for head coach Randy Black at North Gwinnett High School, serving one year as captain.
As a senior, Sonnon was named all-county, Gwinnett County Offensive Player of the Year and Preseaon Gwinnett County Super Six by the Gwinnett Daily Post. As a junior, she was named all-county, all-region and all-state.
She helped her team to become back-to-back 7-AAAAAA Region Champions in 2012 and 2013 and advance to the state playoffs in Columbus in 2013. She holds the North Gwinnett High School records of 44 hits in a season and 10 home runs in a season.
Sonnon played club softball for the Atlanta Vipers with fellow 2014-15 Georgia Tech signee Emily Anderson and current Yellow Jacket Kanani Cabrales.
“Draven is an outstanding all-around ball player,” Hoerner said. “She has the potential to be an outstanding middle of the lineup type hitter, as well as being one of the best defensive outfield prospects in the state of Georgia. She has potential to contribute both offensively and defensively for a number of years for us.”