By Justin Nails
PINSON—Pinson Valley celebrated with three of its softball players on Friday as Graci Graves, Savannah Mayes and Hope Cole all signed letters of intent to play college softball in a ceremony held in the Fine Arts Auditorium.
All three players were in attendance to sign their letters and take pictures with family and friends and their new coaches.
Graves, who will be attending Coastal Alabama Community College, said her decision to pick Coastal was made for a number of reasons. “I like so much about Coastal. Growing up it was always Alabama and UAB, do I want to go here or do I want to go there and then I attended a camp at Coastal and I just felt at home. Plus, headed toward the beach is always awesome.”
Coastal coach Mallory Radwitch was also on hand and spoke highly of Graves. “Graci is a great kid with high character and works extremely hard and I expect her to compete for a starting position in the middle infield for us next year. I know that Graci will push her teammates and she’s going to be a great asset for our team.”
Savannah Mayes, who signed with Stillman College, said Stillman was right for her because first and foremost “They have my major, which is Occupational Therapy. I attended a camp and just fell in love with the campus, Coach Penfield and the girls on the team and I knew this was home for me.”
Coach Joel Penfield of Stillman had nothing but high praise for Mayes, “She picked us. We were looking for a middle infielder and invited her down to visit and we made her an offer but she definitely picked us. She’s very smart, high academics, and she will fill a need that we have in the middle infield and now I’m just looking forward to getting her down there,”he said.
Hope Cole signed her letter of intent to play at Marion Military Institute. Cole said of her new school, “The campus was gorgeous, very secluded and to me it just felt safe.” Coach Jeff Venson also played a key role in Cole’s decision as she said, “Coach is going to make sure that I do what I need to do and I know he will get the very best out of me when it comes to softball.”
Coach Venson said, “We’re excited to have Hope next year as a pitcher. She spins the ball well and we expect her to come in and contribute in the circle right out of the gate.”