CANARY ADDS TOUCH OF WEST TENNESSEE FLAVOR TO 2017 ROSTER WITH SIX ADDITIONS
July 26, 2016
Martin, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin softball coach Donley Canary has announced the addition of six players to the program’s decorated 2017 spring roster. The Skyhawks have added five west Tennessee products in Kaitlyn Martin (Medina, Tenn.), Sarah Hooten (Camden, Tenn.), Allison Evans (Newbern, Tenn.), Darby Underwood (Paris, Tenn.) and Seeley Layne (Ripley, Tenn.) along with Loyola Marymount transfer Rachel Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.).
“The additions are welcome because it will provide competition while strengthening our overall roster, especially on our bench,” said Canary. “Competition breeds success and I think the depth we have added will take our whole squad to the next level in the future.”
Kaitlyn Martin, P/1B, 5-10, L/L, Fr., Medina, Tenn. (South Gibson HS)
Martin joins the Skyhawks from South Gibson High School where she played for head coach Rory Hinson after previously committing to Southeastern Conference power Tennessee. Martin was a force at the plate and inside the circle for the Lady Hornets, earning TSCA all-state honors on three occasions. As a senior she posted a .448 batting average with 10 doubles, eight home runs and 34 RBIs while drawing 24 walks in 87 plate appearances. Inside the circle she posted a 12-9 mark with a 2.78 ERA in 123.1 innings of work while tallying 176 strikeouts – averaging 9.99 strikeouts per game. During her sophomore and junior campaigns, Martin belted 23 home runs and drove in 73 runs while recording 43 victories along with 350 strikeouts inside the circle.
“I saw Kaitlyn several years ago at one our camps and we immediately had interest. We thought she had got away from us, but we are so excited to see her join our squad. She is a strong player that can really hit the ball and will compete immediately for playing time at first base while providing a potentially dynamic arm from the left side.”
Sarah Hooten, P, 5-6, R/R, So., Camden, Tenn. (Dyersburg State CC)
Hooten joins the Skyhawks from Dyersburg State Community College where she played one season under head coach George White. While playing for the Lady Eagles, Hooten was tabbed a NJCAA D1 Top Newcomer after posting a 13-10 record and a 2.56 ERA in 180.1 innings of work. She tossed 23 complete games while tallying 202 strikeouts - averaging 7.8 strikeouts per game. On the offensive side, Hooten posted a .333 batting average with five home runs and 25 RBIs. Prior to attending Dyersburg State, Hooten prepped at Camden High School where she was an all-state performer.
“Sarah is simply a breathe of fresh air. She pitched against us in the fall and made a tremendous impression. We feel like she can come in and compete for the No. 1 spot and give us tremendous depth. She wants to be at UT Martin and we are so excited to have her at our program.”
Allison Evans, P/INF, 5-8, R/R, Jr., Newbern, Tenn. (Dyersburg State CC)
Evans joins the Skyhawks after spending one season at Dyersburg State Community College following a one-year stint at Memphis. While playing for the Lady Eagles, Evans was tabbed a NJCAA D1 Top Newcomer after posting a .276 batting average with two home runs and nine RBIs while tossing 8.1 innings of work. Evans prepped at Dyer County High School where she was a four-year all-district and all-tournament performer. While playing for the Choctaws, she set the school strikeout record at 567 while posting a 3.11 ERA and .487 batting average.
“Alli is a player that we recruited out of high school and wanted her from afar the past two years. We’ve played against her both at Memphis and Dyersburg State. We feel she can come in and provide some depth at several positions.”
Darby Underwood, OF, 5-7, R/R, Fr., Paris, Tenn. (Henry County HS)
Underwood joins the Skyhawks from Henry County High School where she played for head coach Jamie Osbron. During her senior campaign the team posted a school record 43-4 campaign, bringing her career win total to 107-36 during her four years - including the program’s first 30-win and 40-win seasons. Underwood posted a .264 batting average with 24 hits, six home runs and 25 RBIs last season.
“Darby is an extremely hardnosed, competitive player. She had a tough senior year but came back with a great summer season which made us keep a close eye on her. She simply wants to be a Skyhawk and we gave her that opportunity. She can play multiple positions and really plays the game the way it is supposed to be played.”
Seeley Layne, P, 5-10, R/R, Fr., Ripley, Tenn. (Brighton HS)
Layne joins the Skyhawks from Brighton High School where she played for head coach Robin Jacobs. During her senior season, Layne helped lead her squad to a 30-11-1 overall record while pacing the team with a 25-8 record and a 1.78 ERA in 36 appearances. During her career, Layne posted a 63-24 overall record while notching a 2.09 ERA in 523.2 innings of work. 44 of her 63 career victories came during her final two years, posting a 74.6 winning percentage while notching a pair of sub-two ERAs campaigns. On the offensive side of the ball, Layne posted a .425 batting average as a senior while tabulating career marks with a .369 batting average, 16 home runs, 25 doubles and 103 RBIs in 123 games.
“Seeley is a player that we have been watching for a while now and we thought that she was going to take a break from the game of softball. After thinking it over, she decided she wanted to continue to play the game and will slot in as a closer. She is a strong kid with a ton of power pitching potential.”
Rachel Williams, OF, 5-9, R/R, r., Las Vegas, Nev. (Loyola Marymount)
Williams joins the Skyhawks from Loyola Marymount where she spent the previous two seasons. While at Loyola Marymount, Williams saw action in 43 games, earning 30 starts. Limited to just 15 games as a sophomore, Williams posted a .154 batting average with two RBIs after a freshman campaign which featured a .303 batting average with one home run and six RBIs. Prior to her previous college stint, Williams prepped at Palo Verde High School where she was a four-time all-state honoree, leading her squad to a pair of state championships along with Silver State Prep Player of the Year honors as a senior.
“One thing we needed to do was improve our hitting heading into the offseason. We felt like we had a hole in our outfield last year and we feel that Rachel and provide a veteran bat that will translate within our league. She battled injuries and a coaching change which stifled her playing time, but played for a top notch travel organization in the Firecrackers Blanco that opened eyes nationwide. She will compete for a spot as soon as she steps on campus.”
The six players join a trio of early signees to total nine newcomers to the 2017 squad. Previously signed players include Reid Ballard (Seymour, Tenn.), Gabby Zizzi (Cross Plains, Tenn.) and Samantha Scott (Atoka, Tenn.).