Victoria Draper has a reputation as one of the fastest leadoff hitters in the area.
How fast can the Lawrence County High left-hander get down the first-base line? Quick enough to prompt Red Devils assistant coach Don Smith to warn umpires unfamiliar with Draper about her speed before games.
Now Draper has decided to take her speed and steady bat to the Southeastern Conference. According to Lawrence County coach Amy Speegle, Draper, a senior center fielder, has given a commitment to Auburn and plans to sign a National Letter of Intent in early April.
Three more Lawrence County softball players signed Wednesday with junior college programs. Pitcher Ashton Malcom and shortstop Whitney Woodard signed with Central Alabama, while infielder MacKenzie Hill signed with Wallace State-Hanceville.
Hatton infielder Hannah Harper signed Wednesday with Wallace State-Hanceville, and Clements’ Callie Baker signed last week with Shelton State.
As a junior last season, Draper hit .367 with 14 RBIs. She led the Red Devils with 26 stolen bases.
Draper was a 2012 first-team selection on The Daily’s Class 4A-6A all-area softball team, and she was selected by the Alabama Sports Writers Association as a Class 5A all-state honorable mention.
Gholston picks Tide: R.A. Hubbard sprinter Alex Gholston has given a commitment to Alabama’s track and field program, according to Chiefs coach Nicholas Vinson.
Vinson said Gholston plans to sign a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.
Gholston is one of the area’s most decorated track and field athletes. During her career, the R.A. Hubbard star has collected 14 Alabama High School Athletic Association state medals, and she holds Class 1A state records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
At the 2012 Class 1A state meet, Gholston finished first in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. She also finished first in long jump.
Gholston, who held a 4.3 weighted grade-point average at the end of her junior year, also stars on R.A. Hubbard’s basketball team. She has been part of two basketball state titles and was the ASWA’s 2012 Class 1A player of the year.
Football recruiting: Former Austin running back Josh Walker could be close to making a decision about his future.
Austin coach Jeremy Perkins said Walker has received an offer from Navy and the senior has an official visit scheduled this weekend in Annapolis, Md.
Walker also has an offer from Troy, according to Rivals.com. As a senior, Walker accounted for more than 1,700 yards of offense while leading the Black Bears to the Class 6A playoffs.
Another former Austin player, defensive end Tobias Payne, made a decision on his college destination this past week when he gave a commitment to North Alabama. Athens punter Adam Harvey also gave the Lions a commitment.
Former Decatur running back Josh Matthews gave a commitment last week to Tuskegee.
Getting hot: Athens’ girls basketball team appears to be gaining momentum just in time for the postseason.
The Golden Eagles have won 10 of their past 13 games and beat Muscle Shoals on Monday to claim the top seed in the Class 5A, Area 16 tournament.
Athens, which opened the season 2-9, improved to 13-12 Thursday night with a win against James Clemens. The Golden Eagles host East Limestone on Friday before closing out the regular season Monday at Decatur.
Contact Justin Graves at 256-340-2460 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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