Lady'Back softball signs eight for 2007

FAYETTEVILLE – Eight new Lady Razorbacks signed national letters of intent to play softball at the University of Arkansas, head coach Jamie Pinkerton announced today. Amanda Caldwell of Victoria, Texas, Lauren Chisom a Bentonville, Ark. native, Leslie Dixon from Edmond, Okla., Lauren Iverson of Grove, Okla., Emily Jones a Joplin, Mo. native, Kim Jones from Lenexa, Kan., Jacey Juden of Arkansas City, Kan., and Wynne, Ark. native Layne McGuirt are the signees for the 2007 class. “I think it’s a class that will give us needed depth at pitching and catching,” said Pinkerton. “It’s a class that I feel is solid, versatile and very good.” Catcher Amanda Caldwell from Memorial High School in Victoria, Texas, comes from a tradition of softball as her great grandmother was inducted into the Canadian Softball Hall of Fame. Caldwell was a first-team all-area pick and was the top academic athlete three years running. She hit .423 her junior season with 19 RBIs and four home runs. “Amanda adds much needed depth at catching and is a good hitter,” Pinkerton said. “She is also a quality student-athlete.” Bentonville, Ark. product Lauren Chisom is a two-time all-state selection and a two-time offensive player of the year. In addition, she received the newcomer of the year award her freshman season. “We are happy to pick up Lauren,” said Pinkerton. “She is one of the two best athletes out of the 2007 class from the state of Arkansas.” Leslie Dixon, a catcher from Edmond, Okla., joins her sister, freshman Miranda Dixon, as a Lady Razorback. Dixon was the starting catcher all four years of high school earning all-Edmond honors every year, all-conference honors three years and all-state honor as a senior. She hit .444 her senior year. “Leslie can catch and play corner and is an athlete that should be able to help us immediately,” Pinkerton said. “We’re real pleased to pick her up.” Lauren Iverson holds the Grove High School records for most doubles in a single season, most home runs in a single season and most career home runs. As a senior, she batted .423 with 38 RBIs and five homeruns earning her all-state first team honors. “Iverson is an athlete,” said Pinkerton. “She runs well and can play probably any position. She also swings the bat well and has savvy.” Emily Jones joins the Lady’Backs from Joplin, Mo. where she helped the Eagles of Joplin High School to four conference championships and a state-quarterfinal appearance. E. Jones holds multiple school records in softball. She had 108 hits, 24 doubles, 16 home runs and 91 RBIs for her career and had a .488 batting average as a senior. “Emily is a player that swings the bat extremely well,” Pinkerton said. “She is a tall, strong power hitter and is going to help us offensively.” Kim Jones is a 5-11 right-handed pitcher from Lenexa, Kan. She holds a career ERA of 0.47 with 398 strikeouts and was a two-time all-state selection. K. Jones has a 3.87 GPA and was an NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete 2003-06. “Kim is a very good pitcher,” said Pinkerton. “She is going to compliment our pitching staff well.” Pitcher, Jacey Juden comes to the Lady’Backs from Arkansas City High School in Arkansas City, Kan., where she led her team to a state championship in 2006. Juden holds a 46-2 career record with 542 strikeouts and a 0.47 ERA. Juden can also contribute offensively, batting .406 her junior season. “We are extremely happy to have Jacey,” Pinkerton said. “She was highly recruited and is one of the top pitchers in the country. We look for her to help immediately.” Layne McGuirt has wanted to be a Lady Razorback all her life and her dream has come true. The Wynne High School product earned all-state honors two years, pitched four perfect games and pitched 17 shutouts her junior year alone. She holds a 0.68 career ERA and boasts 610 strikeouts. We think as a staff she is the best pitcher in Arkansas, period,” said Pinkerton. There are some talented pitchers in the state, but I think she knows what it’s going to take to pitch at the SEC level.” Arkansas softball holds its 2007 Winter Clinics Jan. 20-21. The clinics include elite and junior levels in hitting, pitching and catching and registration is now available. The Lady’Backs begin regular-season play Feb. 9 in Tampa, Fla. For more information about Arkansas softball, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.