blue ridge bank

Virginia Softball signs Top 15 recruiting class

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

softball

(© Peieq – stock.adobe.com)

Virginia softball head coach Joanna Hardin announced the signing of six players in the incoming class of 2021. All six Cavalier signees are ranked in the top 103 players nationally and the class includes four players ranked in the top 25 nationally at their position.

The class is ranked No. 15 nationally by Extra Inning Softball.

“We are excited to welcome the class of 2022,” Hardin said. “Five of our six signees are from the Commonwealth, more than any other previous classes. The rankings, accolades and statistics are proof that the state of Virginia is filled with talented softball athletes. Our signees bring a balance of speed and power offensively, defensive utility and athleticism, along with two top pitchers in the country throwing from opposite sides. Beyond softball, our six signees are all young women of high character, drive, competitiveness and passion. Each embodies the mission and cornerstones of UVA Softball. We believe the class of 2022 will play a major role in helping UVA compete at the top of the ACC.”

Eden Bigham | Right-Handed Pitcher | Rustburg, Va. | No. 28 Overall Recruit
• No. 28 overall recruit by Extra Inning Softball

  • No. 10 pitcher by Extra Inning Softball
  • Extra Inning Softball All-America honoree
  • First-Team All-State selection
  • 2x First Team All-District selection
  • 2x First-Team All-Region selection
  • All-Area Player of the Year
  • Helped Rustburg HS claim 2021 softball state championship
  • Plays travel ball with Williamsburg Starz Gold (2018-22)

Coach Hardin On Bigham

“Eden has won two state championships in two different sports. She’s a right-handed pitcher who throws hard and spins it well. She has proven success against some of the best teams in the country. Her edge for us is her diligent work ethic and her competitiveness. She’s a winner and that’s who you want in the circle. We believe she’ll make an immediate impact for us upon her arrival to Grounds.”

Mary Caroline Eaton | Catcher/Utility | Charlotte, N.C. | No. 53 Overall Recruit
• No. 53 overall recruit by Extra Inning Softball

  • No. 18 catcher by Extra Inning Softball
  • 2021 All-State and All-Conference selection
  • 2x Offensive Player of the Year
  • 2021 Team Captain
  • Plays travel ball with Team North Carolina – Eaton (2013-2021)

Coach Hardin On Eaton

“MC Eaton is our lone out of state signee and we have been tracking her growth and development since she was 13 years old. Watch her swing one time and you know she has juice. We believe she’ll be an offensive threat and bring power to our lineup. She’s faced some of the toughest pitching in the country throughout her entire career. We believe she’s an excellent fit for our program and will help us continue to develop into a championship program.”

Kelsey Hackett | Infielder | Appomattox, Va. | No. 103 Overall Recruit

  • No. 103 overall recruit by Extra Inning Softball
  • No. 21 infielder by Extra Inning Softball
  • Extra Inning Softball All-America honoree
  • First Team All-Region selection
  • All-Area selection
  • Helped Appomattox County HS claim 2021 softball state championship
  • Raider Award recipient at Appomattox County High School
  • Plays travel ball with Williamsburg Starz Gold (2017-2021)

Coach Hardin On Hackett

“Kelsey is one of our two single-A high school state champions from Appomattox High School. She’s our swiss army knife who can play multiple defensive positions, she sprays the field from the plate and runs exceptionally well. She plays the game with passion and enthusiasm and will be a huge asset to our team when she arrives next year.”

Kassidy Hudson | Outfielder | Chesapeake, Va. | No. 92 Overall Recruit
• No. 92 overall recruit by Extra Inning Softball

  • No. 49 outfielder by Extra Inning Softball
  • First-Team All-Region selection
  • First-Team All-Conference selection
  • Team captain
  • Plays travel ball with Orion Hunter Elite

Coach Hardin On Hudson

“Kassidy is a baller on the basketball court and stud in the grass. She’s our only true outfielder in the signing class. She’s a lefty-lefty. She hits for average and has some speed. We expect her to come in and develop some power in her time in Charlottesville.”

Jade Hylton | Middle Infielder | Martinsville, Va. | No. 56 Overall Recruit
• No. 56 overall recruit by Extra Inning Softball

  • No. 38 middle infielder by Extra Inning Softball
  • 2x All-Region selection
  • Piedmont Region Tri-Player of the Year as a freshman – hit .681 with 15 HR, 36 runs and 36 RBI
  • 2021 Alliance Home Run Derby Finalist
  • Currently plays travel ball with Williamsburg Starz

 

Coach Hardin On Hylton

“Jade adds athleticism and speed to our class. She’s one of the top middle infielders in the state and has played shortstop her entire life. Her agility and her game savvy allows her to play any position defensively. She can hit for power and average. She has speed and we expect her to steal double-digit bases while she’s here. All around, she elevates the level of our program.”

Courtney Layne | Left-Handed Pitcher | Appomattox, Va. | No. 35 Overall Recruit
• No. 35 overall recruit by Extra Inning Softball

  • No. 14 pitcher by Extra Inning Softball
  • Regional Player of the Year
  • 2x First Team All-Region selection
  • Helped Appomattox HS claim 2021 softball state championship with a perfect game
  • Has six perfect games and five no-hitters for her career
  • 2x Raider Award recipient at Appomattox HS
  • Plays travel ball with Team North Carolina – Eaton

Coach Hardin On Layne

“Courtney Layne is our second single-A state champion out of Appomattox High School. She threw a perfect game to seal the deal last spring. A left-handed specialist, she’s proven she can dissect the best offenses in the country. Though her stature might be on the smaller side, when she steps in the circle she carries herself life she is 6-5. We can’t wait for her to make her way down the road to come compete for the Hoos.”

 

Support JerryRatcliffe.com

jr logo

Make a one-time or recurring gift to support JerryRatcliffe.com online below. Your gift is not tax-deductible. Thank you for your support of JerryRatcliffe.com and the "Jerry Ratcliffe Show" podcast!