"We are very pleased with what we were able to do during the early signing period," said Head Coach Jenn Testa. "There were several immediate needs that had to be addressed and we were able to do so. We were able to add three very talented athletes on the field and three very good students that will excel academically at King College."
Catcher | Height: 5-10 | B/T: R/R
Virginia High School | Bristol, Va.
Local product Hannah Smith comes to King after a standout career under Head Coach Barry Reed at Virginia High School. During her career, Smith helped lead Virginia High to a three-year record of 61-20, including three state Final Four appearances and one state runner-up finish. As a junior, Smith posted a batting average of .469 with four home runs, 16 doubles, and 15 runs batted in. During her sophomore campaign, Smith hit .478 with three home runs and 29 runs batted in.
Smith garnered numerous accolades for her on-the-field performance. After leading her team to a record of 19-8 and a regional championship as a junior, she was named Region D Player of the Year and was also named First Team All-State catcher and Single A State Player of the Year. She was also named to the All-Clinch Mountain District team three times and named Clinch Mountain District Player of the Year twice.
Smith played travel ball for three years for the Virginia Class Action Scrappers 18-and-under White team for Coach Dave Beckner. She is the daughter of Renee Thomas and Carson Smith.
"We are thrilled to have Hannah as part of the King College family," said Testa. "Hannah will have an opportunity to come in right away and make an immediate impact for us both behind the plate and in the middle of our lineup."
RHP | Height: 5-7 | B/T: R/R
North Gwinnett High School | Suwanee, Ga.
Morgan White comes to King by way of North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia. A four-year starting pitcher and scholar-athlete for the Region 7AAAAA Bulldogs under Head Coach Randy Black, White posted a combined record of 15-3, with seven complete games in her junior and senior seasons. She ended her pitching career sixth in all-time wins at NGHS, including a complete-game no hitter against Duluth High School this season. White helped lead North Gwinnett to an overall record of 23-10-1 during her senior campaign and helped NGHS advance to the first round of the GHSA State Playoffs. White also earned Second Team All-Gwinnett County honors.
White played travel ball for the Georgia Impact 18 Gold under the direction of Coach Charles Miller and received pitching lessons from Lacey Ingram of the Pitcher's Mound, in Duluth, Georgia. Morgan is member of the Beta Club, Key Club, Lunch Bunch (Special Ed Community Service), and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. White is the daughter of Chip and Christy White.
White is expected to come in and add immediate depth the Tornado pitching staff. "We feel Morgan is a kid that has tremendous potential and upside," said Testa. "She has a tremendous feel for all her pitches and locates extremely well. We expect Morgan to come in right away and make an impact for us in the circle and we are extremely excited she chose to be a part of our program at King".
First base | Height: 5-6 | B/T: R/R
Hebron Christian Academy | Dacula, Ga.
Amber Walker will also join the King College Softball program next fall. Walker enjoyed a standout prep career at Hebron Christian Academy in Dacula, Georgia under Coach LeAnn Mitchell. Walker helped the Lions advance to the GHSA State playoffs after leading the team to a 19-6 ledger this season. She also helped Hebron Christian earn Gwinnett Diamond Club Team of the month honors for August and September.
Walker earned numerous awards off the field. She was named First Team All-Region 8-A and was also named Dacula Patch Female Athlete of the Week. She garnered Offensive Player of the Year honors for Hebron Christian after she posted a batting average of .442 during her senior campaign.
Amber played travel ball for the Diamond Dawgs under Coach Tim Walker. Amber is the daughter of Darlys and Tim Walker.
Walker is expected to come in and compete for playing time at first base. "Amber is extremely athletic with tons of potential," said Testa. "She moves well and is very solid defensively. Amber has the ability to come in and hit in the middle of our lineup very early on in her career. She will help give us some much needed depth on the corners in the infield and we are excited to have her at King."
Of her signing class Testa said, "As a coaching staff we are committed to bringing in quality student-athletes and we will continue to add a few more pieces to our 2016 class as we strive to make our softball program a championship-caliber program. It is an exciting time to be a part of King College Softball and the future is bright."
The Lady Tornado will open their first full season at the King College Softball Complex after playing six games upon its completion last season. King finished the 2011 season 12-28 but look forward to the fresh start at a new facility and in its first year as a member of Conference Carolinas. They open the 2012 slate on Feb. 17 at home against local rival Emory & Henry (Va.) at 1:00 p.m. The Lady Tornado will play six games in three days and ten contests over the first full week of the season.