Third-year Liberty softball Head Coach Dot Richardson has announced the addition of five student-athletes to the Lady Flames softball program. Amber Bishop, Autumn Bishop, Channing Cox, Taylor Hoffman and Emily Sweat have all signed commitments to attend Liberty and play softball, beginning in the 2016-17 academic year.
This year's signing class includes two student-athletes from California and one each from Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
"Our Liberty Softball Class of 2016 is very talented and will add depth to our squad, giving us more offensive power and speed, as well as, defensive stability," Richardson said.
Amber Bishop (INF, Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) Amber Bishop joins the Lady Flames as a standout infielder from Murrieta, Calif. Bishop and her twin sister, Autumn, both signed to play softball at Liberty. A three-time first team All-Southwestern League selection, Amber was named Southwestern League MVP in 2015. She was also voted Athlete of the Month for April 2015. As a junior, she batted .602 with 12 home runs and 51 RBI. In her three-year high school career to date, she has recorded a .459 batting average with 20 homers and 93 RBI in 91 games played. Bishop also played high school volleyball at Murrieta Valley High School.
"Amber is an extremely talented athlete," Richardson stated. "She is an infielder that can do it all and a hitter that produces with consistency and power.Above all, Amber has a passion for the game that elevates her performance to top levels and of those around her."
Autumn Bishop (C/OF, Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) Autumn Bishop comes to Liberty along with her twin sister, fellow signee Amber, as the pair has helped lead Murrieta Valley High School to several successful seasons. Autumn is a three-time All-Southwestern League outfielder. She won the 2014 Southwestern League MVP, one year before her sister, Amber, won the award. She batted .505 with seven homers and 28 RBI as a junior. For her high school career, she has posted a .409 batting average, 21 doubles, 15 homers and 75 RBI. Bishop also competes in varsity volleyball.
"Autumn is an amazing athlete that will lead on defense both behind the plate and in the outfield," Richardson said. "She has one of the most beautiful swings in the game.Her passion is infectious and drives her to work hard toward excellence and perfection."
Channing Cox (OF, Clemmons, N.C./Forsyth Country Day School) Channing Cox is a three-year letterwinner at Forsyth Country Day School. She has helped her team to back-to-back state final four appearances, including a 2015 3A NCISAA State title. Cox has led her team in stolen bases as both a sophomore and a junior, totaling 31 steals during that time. A two-time NCISAA All-Conference player, she was named Offensive Player of the Year last season. She batted .464 with a .571 on-base percentage in 2014 before hitting .386 with a .463 OBP in 2015. Cox also plays high school field hockey.
At the club level, she has played on two NC ASA state champions and one state runner-up team. She is a member of National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.
"Channing is bright and driven," Richardson noted. "She excels in all aspects of being a student-athlete both in the classroom and on the field.She works hard and is able to focus on the task at hand.Her energy will lift up her teammates.As a tremendous individual, she will provide leadership both on and off the field."
Taylor Hoffman (OF, Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield Area HS) Taylor Hoffman is a standout in the outfield for Hempfield Area High School in Pennsylvania. A two-time all-section player, Hoffman was named all-state in 2015. As a junior, she hit .589 with a school-record 39 hits and 58 stolen bases. Hoffman batted .588 during her freshman year before posting a .519 average in 2014. She was voted to the Terrific 10 as both a sophomore and a junior. The senior appeared on the 2015 Sweet 16 All-Star team. Hoffman earned Player of the Week honors in 2014 and was voted a spotlight athlete in 2015.
She has also lettered in tennis and indoor track at Hempfield Area. Hoffman is in the top 10 percent of her high school class and is a member of National Honor Society.
"Taylor is passionate and driven in all aspects of her life," Richardson said. "As an athlete, she is quick and has an innate determination in her game. She is aggressive in the outfield and on the base path. Expect Taylor to do whatever it takes; sacrificing body for the ball to make the plays and score runs."
Emily Sweat (OF, McDonough, Ga./Union Grove HS) Emily Sweat has had a successful career as an outfielder at Union Grove High School in McDonough, Ga. She helped her team win the 5AAAAA state champion, the first of four straight appearances at the state tournament. Sweat is a three-time all-region selection, including second team in 2014 and first team in 2015. She was named to the 2015 GACA All-State team, while also earning Defensive Player of the Year honors. While serving as team captain in 2015, she was voted to the Georgia Dugout Club All-Star team. Her batting average has been .382 or better each of the last four years, including a career-best .440 last season.
"Emily is a smooth outfielder and hitter," explained Richardson. "She has a gift to flow with the game.As an individual, she is quiet yet as an athlete loud in her actions and performances.She knows how to make it happen and wills it to do so.She will lead us with her aggressive play and determination to succeed."
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