Knoxville, Tenn.--(UTSports) Fresh off a national-runner up finish in 2013, Tennessee softball co-head coaches Ralph Weekly and Karen Weekly once again have assembled one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. On Wednesday, Tennessee softball announced that six outstanding student-athletes will don the Orange and White and join the Lady Vols in the 2014-15 academic year.
"Karen and I are very excited about the opportunity to coach these six outstanding student-athletes," Ralph Weekly said. "This class possesses a wealth of speed and power for Tennessee. Each of them has demonstrated the versatility to play several positions and play them well. Most important, they are each committed to excellence on the field and in the classroom."
Tennessee's 2014 signing class features Jessica Adell, Meghan Gregg, Lauren Irwin, CJ McClain, Scarlet McSwain and Shianne Ybarra. The 2014 UT signing class ranked No. 6 in StudentSports.com's Top 25 Recruiting Class rankings. StudentSports.com ranks Gregg at No. 5, McClain at No. 7 and McSwain at No. 43 in its Hot 100 Seniors rankings.
Nov. 13 marked the start of the early National Letter of Intent signing period for prospective softball student-athletes enrolling in the 2014-15 academic year.
Tennessee enjoyed one of the finest seasons in program history in 2013, finishing as the national runner-up, making its sixth Women's College World Series appearance in nine years and posting its eighth 50-win season with a final record of 52-12. UT returns several key players from its 2013 WCWS Championship Series run, including All-American seniors Ellen Renfroe (2011, 2012) and Madison Shipman (2012, 2013). With 11 returning veterans and seven exciting newcomers, Tennessee is primed for another big season and has goals that culminate in Oklahoma City.
Tennessee Softball 2014 Recruiting Class
Prospect, Ky./Ballard HS
Williamson, Ga./Flint River Academy
Seymour, Tenn./Seymour HS
Nashville, Tenn./Stratford HS
Paris, Tenn./Henry Country HS
Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo HS
Jessica Adell, OF (Prospect, Ky.)
Adell was named the 2012-13 Gatorade Kentucky Softball Player of the Year after batting .461 with 32 RBIs, six doubles and 33 stolen bases and posting a 20-10 record in the circle with a 1.10 ERA, 210 strikeouts and eight shutouts over 197.2 innings. She has led Ballard High School to three-straight 7th Region and district titles from 2011-13 and a state runner-up finish in 2011. Adell is also a two-time KHSAA all-state and all-region selection (2012, 2013) and a three-time all-district player. She hit .412 with 10 RBIs and 20 stolen bases as a sophomore and batted .398 with 33 RBIs and 40 stolen bases as a freshman. In 2013, Adell's Tennessee Fury '96 club team finished third at the ASA 16-U Nationals in California.
Meghan Gregg, IF (Williamson, Ga.)
Gregg is ranked as the No. 5 player in StudentSports.com's Hot 100 Seniors. She is a lefty-batting shortstop with power and speed and helped lead Flint River Academy to three consecutive GISA Class AA State championships (2010-11, 2012-13, 2013-14). Gregg is a four-time all-state and all-region player and has been the Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons. She hit .766 with seven homers and 16 stolen bases as a senior (season in the fall) after hitting .683 with 22 homers and 15 stolen bases as a junior. As a sophomore, she hit .701 with eight home runs and 29 stolen bases. Gregg is a multi-sport star athlete, earning all-state honors in basketball (three times) and track and field. She was the 2012 state champion in the shot put. Gregg also won the 2013 ASA/USA Softball Girls' Gold 18-U National Championship this past summer with her club team, the Atlanta Vipers. Her 2011 club team, the Georgia Impact Gold finished as the national runner-up at the 2011 ASA Nationals. Gregg's 2013 Chicago Bandits and 2012 Southern Force club teams finished in the top 10 of the PGF tournament in California.
Lauren Irwin, IF (Seymour, Tenn.)
Irwin was named to the TSWA All-State first team in 2013 after earning second-team honors in 2012. She is a two-time all-district Offensive Player of the Year (2012, 2013) and a three-time all-district and all-district tournament pick (2011, 2012, 2013). Irwin helped guide Seymour High School to substate championships in each of the last three seasons and regional titles in 2011 and 2013. Playing shortstop in 2013, she hit .426 with 11 homers, 44 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. As a sophomore she hit .418 with nine homers, 47 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. She plays club ball for Tennessee Fury Fastpitch 18U Gold and competed at the ASA Gold Nationals.
CJ McClain, OF (Nashville, Tenn.)
McClain is ranked as the No. 7 player in StudentSports.com's Hot 100 Seniors. She possesses speed and power and is able to play all three outfield positions. She earned all-state, all-district and all-tournament honors in 2012 and helped guide Beech High School to a state title in 2011. That season she hit .465 with 43 RBIs, 17 doubles and nine homers. In 2013, her Tennessee Fury '96 team placed third at ASA 16U nationals and the previous year the team finished second. In 2009, her Frost Comets '96 squad won the 12U title at the ASA Hall of Fame Tournament in Oklahoma City. She has been clocked at 2.5 seconds in the dash to first base.
Scarlet McSwain, IF (Paris, Tenn.)
McSwain is ranked as the No. 43 player in StudentSports.com's Hot 100 Seniors. She has great athleticism with power, speed and a strong throwing arm. McSwain garnered 2013 all-state and all-district honors after batting .661 with five homers, 37 RBIs and 30 stolen bases for Henry County High School. She earned the 2012 District 10-AAA Top Offensive Player award after batting .589 with one homer, 38 RBIs and 46 stolen bases. As a freshman, she hit .521 with one homer, 26 RBIs and 41 stolen bases. McSwain's Tennessee Fury club team finished third at 2013 ASA Nationals and third in the Colorado Fireworks tournament.
Shianne Ybarra, OF/IF (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
Ybarra has guided Mission Viejo High school to three consecutive South Coast League championships. As a junior in 2013, she earned second-team All-CIF and first-team all-league honors after batting .393 with five homers, 24 RBIs and nine stolen bases. She hit .391 with one homer, 17 RBI and seven steals as a sophomore. In 2011, Ybarra garnered first-team All-CIF and first-team all-league accolades after hitting .369 with two homers, 17 RBIs and eight stolen bases. Ybarra helped lead her club team, Team Mizuno, to the 2012 PGF 16U Premier National Championship and the 2012 Independence Day Tournament title.