HARRISONBURG, Va., Dec. 5, 2012 – James Madison softball head coach Mickey Dean announced the addition of three student-athletes to the program with each signing a national letter of intent during the NCAA’s fall signing period.
Joining the Dukes’ roster for the 2013-14 school year are outfielder Taylor Newton (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch), middle infielder Madyson Moran (Taylor Mill, Ky./Holy Cross) and utility player Mimi Morris (Kenilworth, Ill./New Trier).
“The class that we are bringing in fills some positional needs that we have,” Dean said. “This class fills some spots from seniors that will be graduating and from some positions that we felt needed some depth.”
Dean added, “One of the biggest strengths that these three players bring is speed. It’s an extremely quick class that will make us better on both offense and defense.”
Newton comes to JMU out of Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton, Fla., and also played for the Sarasota Heat 18U Gold club team. She is a three-year varsity letterwinner for the softball team. As a freshman in 2010, she was named the Rookie of the Year on Lakewood Ranch’s district championship team. She is a two-time All-Area Team honoree and, as a junior in 2012, she led her team to the State Final Four with a .379 batting average, 11 doubles, four triples and three home runs. She also did not commit an error all season. Newton is a Varsity Letter Scholar Athlete, given to students with a 4.0 or greater weighted GPA.
“Taylor Newton has had a very nice summer ball and high school career,” Dean added. “She’s out of Florida and plays centerfield. She’s a triple threat with the bat, meaning she makes good contact, hits for power and also gets on base.”
Madyson Moran played for Holy Cross High School in Covington, Ky. She played her club ball for the Beverly Bandits and Cincy Doom, competing at the ASA/USA Nationals and the Premiere Nationals. Heading into her senior season, she is Holy Cross’ all-time leader in hits, home runs, RBIs, stolen bases and runs scored. She is a two-time Team MVP and was also named the Offensive Player of the Year. As a sophomore in 2011, Moran hit .603 with nine home runs and followed that up with a .596 batting average with four homers in 2012. She is a three-time District and Region All-Tournament team selection.
“Maddie Moran is a middle infielder with good speed,” Dean commented. “She has a very good glove and great range defensively. She’ll bring a great deal of experience from the club team that she’s been playing with. She’s played against teams from all across the country in summer ball. We are really excited about the depth she’ll add to our middle infield.”
Mimi Morris played for New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill., while playing her club ball for the Illinois Chill. As a junior, she hit .500 with 35 runs scored and 31 stolen bases while leading her team to both conference and regional championships. She was named to the All-Area and All-State teams. As a sophomore, her team finished fourth at the Illinois High School Association 4A Championships after winning both the Sectional and Super-Sectional Championships. She hit .379 with 28 runs and 11 stolen bases.
“Mimi Morris comes to us out of the Chicago area,” Dean said. “She’s played for a very good club team for quite a while. She’s probably the fastest of the three players in this class. She has a great deal of speed and is really quick on the base paths.”
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