Tornado ink three players in early signing period

BRISTOL, Tenn. – With the early signing period complete, King University head softball coach Jenn Testa announced the signing of three players to join the Tornado for the 2014-15 season. Amanda Sports, Diamond Callwood and Lauren Rowsey all inked National Letters of Intent to play their college softball at King.

"We are very excited about the addition of these three players into our program," Testa said. Each one of these young ladies will be a tremendous asset to both our program and University. We look forward to the opportunity to coach this class and are very excited about the impact they can have on our program."

Amanda Sports, 5-9, OF, Taylorsville, N.C/Alexander Central HS

In three years at Alexander Central High School, Sports' Cougars posted a 92-5 overall record under head coach Monte Sherrill, including a mark of 33-1 during Sports' junior season of 2013. The Cougars won North Carolina State Championships in both 2011 and 2013 while winning conference titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Alexander Central finished ranked #4 in the USA Today Nationwide High School Top-25 poll after the 2011 and 2013 seasons. Sports was named All-State in 2013, along with being All-Region and all-conference in both 2012 and 2013. She posted 36 hits, including four home runs and drove in 38 runs during her junior campaign of 2013. During the summers, Sports played for the Carolina Cobras under coaches Charlie Blackwelder and Terry Wahl. The Cobras won the North Carolina ASA 16U State Championship in each 2012 and 2013.

"Amanda is a tremendous athlete with great instincts," Testa commented. "Her size and athleticism give us depth in all three outfield positions. Offensively, she has tremendous power and the ability to come right in and make an impact in the middle of our lineup."

Diamond Callwood, 5-4, IF, Conyers, Ga./Heritage HS

Callwood had an illustrious career at Heritage High School as she set the single season school record for stolen bases in 2012 when she swiped 44 bases in 45 attempts. At the completion of her career, Callwood ranked third in the school's history in stolen bases, going 80-for-84 her junior and senior seasons. During her senior season, she stole 36 bases on 39 attempts while hitting .416 with an on base percentage of .469 and slugging .525. In the 31 game season she registered 42 hits in 101 at bats. She helped guide the Patriots to a 26-7 record and a Region 8-AAAAA championship. She won the Golden Spikes Award in both her junior and senior seasons. Callwood earned All-Region first team honors in both 2012 and 2013 while being named honorable mention in 2011. She played for the GA Elite 18U Gold travel ball team under head coach Leonard Moody.

"Diamond is an incredible athlete. She will provide some defensive depth in the infield and some much needed power and speed offensively," stated Testa. "We look for her to come in and make an immediate impact on the field and at the top of our lineup."

Lauren Rowsey, 5-9, IF/OF, Lexington, Va./Rockbridge County HS

Rowsey helped Rockbridge County High School win the Blue Ridge District Tournament in 2012. During the 2012 season, Rowsey posted a .419 batting average, going 26-for-62 with 11 doubles and two triples. She added one home run a scored 21 runs while stealing 16 bases. During her sophomore season, she posted a batting average of .386 while driving 22 runs. In 2011 Rowsey played her travel ball for the Renegades before playing for the Rockbridge Crush each of the last two seasons.

"We are thrilled to add Lauren to our King University softball family," said Testa. "Her size and versatility provide us depth at multiple positions in both the infield and outfield. She has really good power and has a chance to be a middle of the order type hitter in our lineup."

The Tornado won their first regular season Conference Carolinas championship last season, going 17-3 in league play. King opens the 2014 season on February 7 at Columbus State University as they take on the hosts of the Cougar Classic.