Chattanooga Softball Team Signs Five

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Chattanooga Lady Mocs softball team announced Monday its five-member signing class for the early signing period.  The class includes the No. 42 player in the nation, Cori Jennings, as ranked by Student Sports “Hot 100 Seniors” and lists the group just outside its Top 25 Classes as a bubble team.  Four of the five signees are members of the Tennessee Fury 96 travel team.

“It is exciting to find out we are one of the top recruiting classes,” Head Coach Frank Reed said. “We felt like the 2014 class was going to be really strong for us.”

Jennings is joined by Ashley Conner, Taylor Parker, Jordyn Hamill and Kailey Palazzolo to complete Reed’s signing group.  Jennings and Palazzolo each pitch, Connor and Hamill are sure-handed middle infielders, and the head coach of the Lady Mocs describes Parker as “not your typical catcher.”

A left-handed hurler from Brush Creek, Tenn., Jennings represents Chattanooga’s most notable signee.  A member of the Tennessee Fury, the pitcher/first baseman has seen great success at both the high school and club level.  For Gordonsville High School, Jennings was an 8A All-District member from 2011-13 and the district’s Most Valuable Player in 2012.  She was named to the Associated Press All-State team from 2011-13 and a Tennessean All Mid-State member in 2013.  She also led the Tigers to a Class A State Runner Up title.

Her Fury team received four top-10 finishes at ASA Nationals and was crowned champions of the ASA Hall of Fame Tournament in 2009.

“She brings great control and is a great left-handed pitcher,” Reed said. “She can hit and play a little defense for us. She brings a lot to the table.”

Also in the circle fort the signing class is right-hander Kailey Palazzolo.  A Chino Hills, Calif., native, the pitcher first caught the attention of UTC coaches with her bat rather than her pitching arsenal.

“She hits the ball really well.  We started watching her from the hitter’s side several years ago before we realized how well she pitched.  She can play just about anywhere and can see her bat in the lineup.”

A senior at Don Antonio Lugo High School and a member of the California Cruisers 18 Gold travel team, Palazzolo has been named a Mt. Bradley League CIF First Team and All-Inland Valley Second Team honoree the past three seasons.  Last season, she was named DALHS’s Most Valuable Player and has earned captain status for the upcoming softball season.

Moving from the circle to the middle infield, signee Jordyn Hamill reigns from Chickamauga, Ga., and is a four-time state champion with Head Coach Dana Mull’s Gordon Lee High School Trojans.  

“Jordyn has great hands and hits the ball really well,” Reed said. “She brings a lot of uniqueness to the team and we can see her doing multiple things for us.”

A smart base runner and versatile fielder, Hamill also has experience in the outfield.  Hamill could draw comparison to Mocs’ sophomore Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.) who was also a middle infielder with a great bat who made the transition from shortstop to outfielder almost seamlessly.  Hamill and Taylor were team mates with Mull’s Trojans.

Also signed as an infielder is two-time State Champion Ashley Connor. Listed as a second baseman and shortstop, Connor played at Northwest Whitfield High School where she holds the record for most career doubles at NWHS.  The 2010 and 2012 All-State shortstop is a native of Dalton, Ga, and is a member of the Tennessee Fury summer team.  A champion on the field as well as in the classroom, Conner boasts a 4.0 GPA and has lettered in academics three years.

“She has a strong bat and is a compact kid. She hits the ball well and is a great runner.  She brings a lot to the table as far as what she can do for us.  I can see her at either second base or on the corner.”

Rounding out the class is catcher Taylor Parker from Richland High School.  The fourth member of the Fury 96 team, Parker’s resume includes both the season homerun record (13) and career homerun record (29) at Richland.  The power-hitting backstop was named District MVP in 2012 and 2013 and has been named to the All-Region team twice in her career.  She helped lead the Raiders to a Class A State Championship in 2013 and is set to letter in softball for a fourth season in 2014.

“She hits the ball really well and gives us strength at catcher.  She has a strong bat and doesn’t look like your typical catcher when it comes to size.  She has a really good arm and knows how to talk to her pitcher.  Coaches are always looking for great communicators at catcher.”


Five Area Players Voted To TSWA All-State Soccer Teams

Five Chattanooga-area soccer players have been voted to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association all-state soccer team. Making the team were Notre Dame's Michael Quatrano and James Teal, McCallie's  Drew Viscomi and Jonah Bryan and Baylor's Jackson Campbell. THE TEAMS Soccer   Class AAA GK: Tyler Delgado, Independence GK: A.J. Robbins, Dobyns-Bennett ... (click for more)

Flenniken Wins Ira Templeton Chattanooga Classic

The heat didn’t faze Casey Flenniken who won the 2016 Ira Templeton Chattanooga Classic by 1 stroke over Marshall Talkington and 2015 Champion Nick Garretson. Flenniken had a two-day total of 6-under-par 134 at Creeks Bend Golf Club in Hixson, TN. On the opening day Flenniken caught fire. He had five birdies and no bogey’s to shoot 65. On the second day Flenniken had to ... (click for more)

County Commission Gives Up Fight On $900,000 In Discretionary Funds

County Commission members have given up the fight for the annual $900,000 in discretionary funds. Commission Chairman Chester Bankston said there was not enough money available after requests from a number of agencies and departments were cut to balance the budget without a tax increase. Commissioner Sabrena Smedley said the fact that commissioners can no longer allot the ... (click for more)

Bridge Repair Over 12th Street To Cause Temporary Lane Closure On US 27

While investigating a pothole in the existing bridge on U.S. 27 North over 12 th Street in the construction zone, crews discovered a potential weak spot in the bridge deck that could over time result in more damage to the bridge deck.  For the safety of the traveling public, the outside lane in this area will be closed until the contractor makes necessary repairs, TDOT ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (2)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What You Leave Behind

Randy Travis, one of the best at singing country songs that has ever been, had a song about three people who got killed when an 18-wheeler missed a stop sign. There was a farmer and a teacher, a hooker and a preacher on this bus and Randy tells us: “One's headed for vacation, one for higher education, An' two of them were searchin' for lost souls.” In that wonderful song, the ... (click for more)