The Liberty softball coaching staff has announced the addition of Naomi Jones to the team for the 2020-21 season.
Seventh-year Liberty Softball Head Coach Dot Richardson has announced the addition of Naomi Jones to the Lady Flames' softball program for the 2020-21 academic year. She has signed a commitment to attend Liberty and play softball at Liberty beginning in the Fall of 2020.
Jones joins Raye Green, Megan Hodum, Devyn Howard, McKenzie Wagoner, Macy Wallace and Mary Claire Wilson, who have all signed during the early signing period.
These seven student-athletes join a team that has gone to the postseason each of the last three years, posting three straight 40-win seasons while going 135-50 during that span.
This upcoming class includes two players from both Tennessee and Virginia and one each from Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma.
Naomi Jones (RHP, Boonsboro, Va./Liberty Christian Academy) Naomi Jones, a pitcher who also swings a good bat, will make the short trip from Liberty Christian Academy to Liberty University in the fall. Jones played her first three years of high school at E.C. Glass, earning two all-district awards (pitcher and catcher in 2018, pitcher and utility in 2019). She was named a second team All-Region player as a junior, hitting .533 at the plate and striking out 186 batters in 87 1/3 innings pitcher. After batting .471 as a freshman, she hit .531 as a sophomore, also posting 77 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings pitched. She also played basketball at E.C. Glass, earning honorable mention all-region in 2018.
"Naomi is local to Lynchburg," Richardson said. "She is an amazing talent who can pitch as well as play other positions on the field. She is the ultimate utility player, who will also bring speed to the lineup. Naomi is a competitor and works hard. We look forward to seeing the impact she will make to the team."
Additional Members of 2020 Class Raye Green (INF, Jetersville, Va./Amelia County HS) Raye Green comes to Liberty with strong credentials from a career that spans two different schools. As a junior at Amelia County High School, she batted .514 with three homers and 25 RBI, while also posting a 17-2 record, 0.493 ERA and 144 strikeouts. She was named first team all-district and first team all-region in 2019, in addition to being named Region Player of the Year. Last year, she helped her team win district and regional titles. During her freshman campaign at Nottoway High School, she batted .363 before missing her sophomore year due to injury. Green also played volleyball as a freshman, junior and senior.
"Raye brings to our program versatility and strength offensively," Richardson said. "She works extremely hard at her craft. Raye is a team player and will be a positive addition to the team dynamics. We look forward to working with her and watching her perform."
Megan Hodum (OF, Stantonville, Tenn./McNairy Central HS) Megan Hodum joins the Lady Flames after a standout career at McNairy High School in Tennessee. A three-time all-district selection, she has helped her team to two state tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish in the 2017 TSSAA Class AA State Tournament. She was named her team's Offensive Player of the year in 2018 and 2019 and was listed as a "Player to Watch" during the 2018 state tournament. She has batted over .400 all three seasons, including .496 (45 runs, 18 steals) as a sophomore) and .489 (32 runs, 18 steals) as a junior. She also plays basketball and in a member of the National Honor Society.
"Megan will provide speed in the outfield and at the plate," Richardson said. "She will have a positive impact on the team on both sides of the ball. She is a hard worker and loves to compete. We look forward to her impact on the team."
Devyn Howard (UTL, Tarpon Springs, Fla./Tarpon Springs HS (College of Central Florida) Devyn Howard put up impressive numbers for one of the top junior college teams last year, batting .393 with 18 doubles, 10 homers and 56 RBI for College of Central Florida. Howard was named the 2019 FCSAA State All-Tournament MVP in addition to first team all-conference mention. She helped the Patriots to a 58-11 record and a third-place finish in the NJCAA Division I Softball Championship. A four-time all-conference selection for Tarpon Springs High School, she batted .400 or better in each of her final two seasons. She was her team's Offensive MVP all four seasons, and as a senior received an Honor Student-Athlete Award, Distinguished Athlete Award and United States Marine Corps Most Athletic Award. Howard also competed in varsity volleyball, basketball, swimming & diving and track & field at Tarpon Springs.
"Devyn is an amazing all-around athlete who will add versatility, along with, competitive spirit and experience to the team," Richardson said. "She is a catcher who can play infield and outfield. She will be a force on both offense and defense. Her strive for excellence and her work ethic will be contagious."
McKenzie Wagoner (RHP, Newcastle, Okla./Newcastle HS) McKenzie Wagoner has dominated in the circle at Newcastle High School. Her team has made the state tournament each of the last four years, culminating in a state title this season during which she pitched 24 innings of shutout softball in the state tournament. As a senior, she went 24-3 with eight no-hitters, 20 shutouts, 291 strikeouts a 0.366 ERA while hitting .460 with 40 RBI. During her junior campaign, she went 21-1 with six no-hitters, 17 shutouts, a 0.368 ERA and 232 strikeouts while batting .394 with 24 RBI. Wagoner has been named a Little All-City selection three times, including two first-team mentions. She has posted a 4.0 or better GPA all four years.
"McKenzie recently helped capture the 2019 Oklahoma High School Championship title where she led the team in the pitching circle, as well as, at the plate offensively," Richardson said. "She was named Oklahoma 4A-B High School's 2019 Player of the Year. McKenzie will add depth to our pitching staff. Her passion for the game, work ethic and her pursuit of excellence will make an impact to the program."
Macy Wallace (C, Clarksville, Tenn./Clarksville Academy) Macy Wallace is an outstanding catcher for Clarksville Academy. She has already played four years of varsity softball, starting as an eighth grader when she batted .424. A three-time All-District 10-A selection, she was named her team's Softball MVP as a freshman. She also was awarded the Clarksville Academy Defensive Award last year. Each of her three years of high school, her batting average has increased, as she hit .366 as a freshman, .389 as a sophomore and .537 last year, when she also posted a .640 on-base percentage and .985 slugging percentage. In club softball, she has played for Illinois Force and Birmingham Vipers.
"Macy will add strength behind the plate in her catching role plus power hitting when she is up to the plate," Richardson said.
Mary Claire Wilson (INF, Vestavia Hills, Ala./Vestavia Hills HS) Mary Claire Wilson comes to Liberty as a solid infielder from Vestavia Hills, Alabama, the second player in as many years to join the Lady Flames form Alabama (also Blake Gibson). A three-year starter, she was voted to the All Over the Mountain Team as a freshmen when she batted .342. Wilson hit .409 with 32 RBI in 2018, earning All-Region and All-State honorable mention. She was named to the Alabama North/South All-Star Team as a junior when she hit .481 with 27 RBI while also being voted VHHS Offensive Player of the Year.
"Mary Claire will be instrumental offensively and defensively with her speed, experience and leadership qualities," Richardson said. "She is very versatile with the ability to play infield and outfield. Her drive to compete and work to excel is infectious. Her greatest trait is her spirit and character. She is a team player and leads by example."
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