Middle Tennessee Softball Signs Three MoreMay 2, 2002 · MT Media Relations
The three new players include pitcher Muriel Ledbetter (Collierville High School in Collierville, Tenn.), Michelle Wilkes (St. Benedicts High School in Bartlett, Tenn.) who can play infield and outfield, and catcher Kellie Finnie who is a junior college transfer from Motlow State Community College. In the early signing period, Connelley inked pitcher Tiffany Childress (Columbia Central High School in Columbia, Tenn.) and Jennifer Dorias (Hiriam Johnson High School in West Sacramento, Calif.) who can pitch and play infield and outfield.
Ledbetter will help shore up the pitching ranks for next season. She was First Team All-American at AFA Nationals; she has been a three-time Best of the Preps nominee, a five-time team MVP honoree and a Wendy's High School Heisman Award nominee.
"Muriel can make an immediate impact on the mound and in the field," Connelley said. "She is the complete package, a player who loves and respects the game."
Wilkes, who is a rival of Ledbetter's in the high school ranks, will be looked to as a versatile player who will be called on for infield and outfield duties. Connelley said her speed and use as a utility player can be an asset to the team.
The final signee is Finnie, who has spent two years at Motlow State Community College. The catcher has a .269 batting average for the 2002 season with 28 hits, four doubles, two homeruns, 23 RBI and 32 runs scored.
"I think Kellie will be a good fit to our program," Connelley said. "She gained strong experience at Motlow and it will be good to have local junior college talent on the team."
Four of the five players signed by Connelley are from the state of Tennessee. It is a goal of Connelley's to take a hard look at local Tennessee talent and keep them in the state.
"It is a huge step to keep top in-state talent at home," Connelley said. "The middle Tennessee area is rich in talent, and I think we can use some of them to continue building the Middle Tennessee softball program."
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