HARROGATE, TN -- The Lincoln Memorial University softball team continues to add layers to their talented and decorated recruiting class, as Savannah Foster, Jaclyn Cokeroft, Megan Tice and Emilee Solomon have committed to join the Lady Railsplitters for the 2014 season, head coach Natalie Layden announced on Wednesday. With these four student-athletes set to make their way to Harrogate this fall, the LMU softball program brings their total to eight additions in the 2013 class, as Payton Bruce, Meredith Johnson, Kristin McAndrew and Jennifer Moose announced their intentions to join the Lady Railsplitters in December.
Savannah Foster (Knoxville, TN) has signed on to join the Lady Railsplitters next season, and she comes to LMU by way of Gibbs High School, one of the premier prep programs in east Tennessee. Foster primarily caught for Gibbs High School, compiling a .440 career batting average en route to being named All-District, All-KIL and All-State three years in a row. In 2012, Foster caught Samantha Smith, starting pitcher for the Lady Railsplitters, during the Eagles' entire run to capturing the Class AA State Championship.
Foster was a two-time selection to the PrepXtra First Team and a three-time Golden Glove Award winner. She has compiled 25 home runs and 178 RBI to date, while ranking third in her graduating class.
Regarding Foster, Lincoln Memorial University Head Softball Coach Natalie Layden stated, "Savannah is a pure hitter and player. When I went to watch her play, I could not stop watching her. She did a great job controlling the defense from behind the plate and will only get better. Her work ethic and drive are unmatched and I can't wait to see how she will develop as a college athlete."
Jaclyn Cokeroft (Longwood, FL) comes to the Lady Railsplitters after a two-year stead at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, well-regarded as one of the top JUCO programs in the country. Prior to her arrival at Manatee, Cokeroft was a standout at Lyman High School, where she was an All-State 6A selection following her senior season. At Manatee this past season, Cokeroft notched a .302 on base percentage and a .983 fielding percentage in conference. She was named the Defensive MVP after posting an elite defensive season at third base, however, she is a versatile athlete who can play anywhere in the infield at a high level.
"We are looking for Jaclyn to help add some consistency to our defense," stated Coach Layden. "She has proven that she has a steady glove with good offense to help us here at LMU. When watching her play, she isn't flashy, but she is very good at her job. I'm really excited to see what she will bring to our team."
Also making her way from State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, Megan Tice (Orlando, FL) has signed on to join the Lady Railsplitters for the 2014 season. Prior to her time at Manatee, Tice was a two-sport star at University High School, playing both softball and basketball, earning several MVP distinctions along the way. In her first season at SCF, she played a pivotal role in the Manatees capturing the Gulf Coast Championship and finishing fifth overall in the JUCO Nationals while playing in left field and the corner infield positions. In 2013, she ranked fourth on the team in RBI and tied for second in home runs while compiling a .364 on base percentage and a .411 slugging percentage.
"Tice is a very talented athlete," Coach Layden stated. "She has a great arm from the outfield, but the strength and size to be a great hitter. She will come in and make our team better from day one. Tice and Jackie both know how to win and have been a part of a World Series team. They will bring that competitiveness and will to win to our program."
A product of Gibbs High School and Corryton, Tennessee, Emilee Solomon has also signed on with the Lady Railsplitters after a stellar two-year showing at Walters State Community College. While at Gibbs, Solomon was an three-time All-State selection, a two-time PrepXtra First Team selection, a four-time All-District pick and a four-time All-Tournament Team honoree. In his first season with JUCO powerhouse Walters State, Solomon notched a .385 batting mark with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Thus far in 2013, Solomon continues to hit at over a .300 clip with an unblemished fielding percentage. She is set to travel to Utah with Walters State to compete in the JUCO World Series over the weekend.
"Emilee is a great athlete with a lot of speed," stated Coach Layden. "She will help our outfield and our line-up with her three threat abilities. I look for her to contribute right away."
These four student-athletes, in addition to the four previously announced, are set to join a Lady Railsplitters' squad that finished 30-22 overall last season, the first under the direction of head coach Natalie Layden. It was the first 30-win season for LMU softball since 2008.