December 4, 2008

Saints Softball Sign Seven for 2010 Season

DAHLONEGA, GA - North Georgia College & State University head softball coach Mike Davenport has announced the signing of seven players to National Letters of Intent for the 2009-2010 season.

“I am excited about this signing class and the compliment they will have on our softball program at North Georgia as not only athletes but students as well,” Davenport said. Victoria St. Clair, Krysten Connelly, Lauren Dykes, Callie Fernandez, Michaela Hamilton, Megan Kesler, and Shea Wages look to add energy and strength to the powerful Saints’ roster.

Hampton, Georgia native Victoria St. Clair joins the Saints’ outfield from Luella High School in Locust Grove, Georgia. The Luella Lions 2008 team captain, under the coaching of Stephen Adkins, has been the recipient of the Coach’s Award, Offensive Award, and Defensive Award, as well as academically receiving the Health Award. During the summer, she plays her travel ball with the Georgia Mustangs and the Extreme Mavericks under coaches Mark Sullivan and Mark Redman.

Krysten Connelly hails from Lawrencville, GA and was the 2008 Pitcher of the Year for 5A Peachtree Ridge High School in  S uwanee, GA.   During her tenure under Head Coach Duane Wilson, she helped the Lions
capture a Team of the Month honor in addition to leading the team to a  5A GHSA Region Championship.  She was twice elected to the High School All-County and the High School All-Region teams, and was once named Player of the Week. She was named to the first-team class 5A All-State Team. In 2007, she earned Player of the Year honors after helping her team to a second place finish in the 5A GHSA State Championship Tournament.   Krysten will join high school teammate Callie Fernandez, and will become an addition the Saints’ pitching staff.  Krysten played summber ball for the Knockouts 18-Gold under the direction of Drew Findling.

Lauren Dykes, a left handed pitcher and first basemen from East Paulding High School in Dallas, GA, joins the Saints with a high-school ERA 1.00 and a batting average of .430. A starting and letter-winning East Paulding Raider since 2005 for Head Coach Rick Holsomback, she helped her team reach the Georgia High School Final Four in 2005. She was named All-Region First Team and All-State Second Team as a freshman and was included as an Honorable Mention in the 2006 and 2007 All-Region Teams, as well as being named to the 2008 All-Region First Team. Through her high-school career she  was also named to the Beta Club at East Paulding. With the Georgia Fire Black in 2007, she reached the 18A ASA Nationals and  was named to the ASA Hall of Fame. She now plays under Head Coach Bill Neglia with the Georgia Fire Gold during the travel season, leading the team in the categories of batting, slugging, and on base percentages with a .448, .594, and .465 respectively, and helping her team reach the ASA Gold Nationals.

Peachtree Ridge High School senior Callie Fernandez will join the Saints’ infielders at short stop and second base. Calling Atlanta, Georgia her hometown, the Peachtree Ridge Lion helped her team reach fourth place in 2006 in the GHSA AAAAA Tournament and runners-up in 2007, and they were the 2008 Gwinnett County High School 7-AAAAA Region Champions as well as placing fourth place at the AAAAA Tournament in 2008. She was named to the first-team class 5A All-State Team. Her team was named the Gwinnett County High School Team of the Month in September of 2007. In 2007 she was named to the Gwinnett County High School All-County Second Team and the All-Region Team as well as the Peachtree Ridge Most Valuable Player. As a senior she was named to the 2008 Gwinnett County High School All-County First Team, the All-Region First Team, and the All-State Fastpitch East Atlanta All-Star Team, as well as earning the Best Offensive  Player title at Peachtree Ridge after hitting a .386 with 1 homerun, 11 doubles, 4 triples, and 34 RBIs, the most in Gwinnett County. During the summer she plays for the Dacula Lady Falcons 18 Gold, where she qualified for Nationals in 2008.

Leftie Michaela Hamilton, a Cataula, GA native playing for the Harris County High School Tigers in Hamilton, GA, joins the Saints’ pitching staff. Under Coach Ed Oliver, she earned the 2005 Physical Fitness Award and the Coaches’ Horizon Award for an exhibiting potential after an outstanding season, as well as being named to the All-West Georgia (All Bi-City) Second Team. The Tigers were the 2006 and 2007 2-AAA Region Champions and made it to third place at the GHSA AAA Tournament both years. She earned the Most Valuable Player Award at Harris County High School in 2006 and the Pitcher of the Year Award in 2007 and was named to the All-West Georgia (All Bi-City) First Team and the All-State Second Team in 2006 and the All-West Georgia (All Bi-City) First Team and the All-State First Team in 2007. As a senior she led the Tigers to runners-up in the 1-AAAA Region and was again named to the All-West Georgia (All Bi-City) First Team. Her academic awards include the United States All-American Scholar Award and the United States Mathematics Achievement Award. Her travel ball team, the Georgia Challengers led by Coach Jill Carlson, made an appearance at the 2006 16A Southern Nationals, were the 2007 ASA Georgia State Champions and again appeared at Nationals, and reached ninth place at the 2008 ASA 18A Nationals.

Megan Kesler will join the Saints’ squad from Madison County High School in Danielsville, GA, where she completes a successful senior season  under Head Coach Doug Kesler. She racked up 13 wins as a starting pitcher, while only suffering 5 losses.  She had a 1.43 ERA in 107 innings of work and produced 3 no-hitters.   She is a NFCA All-American Scholar Athlete and is ranked among the top 5 in her senior class.  Megan garnered a 1st Team GHSA All-Region selection in 2008 and was a member of the Georgia Dugout Club All-Star Game (North Team.)  In 2007, Kesler earned a 2nd Team All Region selection and received the Red Raider Award on her high school team.  Upon completion of the 2006 season, Megan captured the Most Valuable Pitcher award.  She also received the President's Educational Award, was a member of the National Honor Roll, earned the Georgia Certificate of Merit, and was awarded the DAR Good Citizen Award.  Megan will play for the GA Outlaws and Nikki Pittman during the summer travel ball season.

Shea Wages is a native of Statham, GA and was a member of the North Oconee High School softball and basketball programs in Bogart, GA.  Shea finished her softball career with a 108-42 record in 4 years under Head Coach Bryan Eades.  During her senior season, the left handed hitting Wages appeared in 34 games,
had 117 at bats with 43 hits an average of .417, with only 2 strike outs.  She was responsible for 30 runs scored and 13 RBI’s while contributing 22 stolen bases out of 26 attempts on the base paths.  The North Oconee Titans finished the 2008 season as the 8-AA Region Champs and advanced to the State Playoffs.  Shea earned the Varsity Academic Award for having the Titans highest GPA.  In the 2007 season, Shea was awarded Oconee Enterprise Player of the Week honors, and was named to the 1st Team All Northeast GA and 1st Team All-Region teams.  She made 2nd Team All-State, received the Varsity Academic award for highest GPA, and was selected as the North Oconee Titans Most Valuable Offensive Player having batted a .487 with a perfect 30 for 30 stolen bases.  In 2006, Shea helped the Titans win the 8-AA GHSA Region and State Championship titles, while earning 1st team All-State, All-Region, and All Northeast Georgia team honors.  She was also a varsity starting point-guard for the North Oconee Titans basketball team.  She grabbed the Varsity Hustle award and Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006 respectively.  Shea has added to her list of accomplishments by being a member of the Beta Club, serving as her Senior Class Vice President, 4 year recipient of the Honor Roll and the 2008 Homecoming Queen.  Shea will join the Saints’ as an outfielder in 2009-10.  During the summer, Wages plays for the Atlanta Phoenix coached by Ted Watson, Tim Smith, and Bill Young.


- Quotes from Head Coach Mike Davenport -

“Bringing in quality kids, not only quality athletes but quality people, from the state of Georgia was a priority to our recruiting philosophy.

All sevenof these players are multidimensional athletes that will address our future needs on the field.  We are very honored to have them become part of our Saints Softball Program.”





Callie Fernandez Krysten Connelly Lauren Dykes Megan Kesler

Michaela Hamilton Shea Wages Victoria St. Clair