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Inaugural LMU softball all skills camp proves to be a rousing success

HARROGATE, TN -- The inaugural LMU Softball All Skills Camp held on Dorothy Neely Field and on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University this past week proved to be a rousing success, with ten different states represented by a full field of camp participants.

Along with Tennessee, the LMU Softball All Skills Camp boasted participants from Texas, Michigan, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Alabama and Ohio, extending the reach of the Lady Railsplitters' program well outside of the bounds of the southeast region.

The All Skills Camp offered student-athletes with collegiate softball aspirations an overnight experience that ran from Monday evening until Thursday afternoon. The camp provided the participants with a vast array of skill work, focusing primarily on developing the fundamentals of the game. The camp staff worked side-by-side with the athletes on all areas of softball, including hitting, baserunning, infield and outfield play, pitching, catching and game competition. Those elements were passed on to the participants through demonstrations, drills and position specific work.

"It was great to bring athletes to Lincoln Memorial University to see our campus and learn the Lady Railsplitter way of playing softball," stated LMU head softball coach Natalie Layden. "Our main focus at this camp was to have fun while helping the athletes better their skills."

The LMU softball program is coming off of a resurgent season in 2013 under the direction of Natalie Layden, who led the Lady Railsplitters to a 30-22 mark in her first year at the helm. It was the first 30-win season for the Lady Railsplitters since 2008. Looking ahead to the 2014 campaign, the Lady Railsplitters return six of their top eight hitters after finishing among the top half of the South Atlantic Conference in runs, hits, home runs, RBIs, total bases, batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage. They also return their top arm in sophomore Samantha Smith, who finished 20-13 last season in her debut with the Lady Railsplitters. Her 20 wins ranked fourth in the SAC in 2013.

Coach Layden added, "Our staff thoroughly enjoyed working with the young athletes, as some will be joining us in the future."

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