RINGGOLD, Ga. — Shelby Hammontree may be a new name on the prep softball scene in the Chattanooga area, but college coaches know all about the Heritage High School freshman.
Though she got only 27 at-bats this past season for the experienced Generals, Hammontree's work on the travel ball circuit and at college camps was enough for East Carolina University coach Beth Keylon-Randolph, the former Hixson High School star who won a national championship as Chattanooga State's coach last spring.
Hammontree accepted a scholarship offer from Keylon-Randolph on an unofficial visit this past weekend.
"I really didn't expect to be recruited by Division I schools this early, so I'm very excited," said Hammontree, who played behind Heritage all-star catcher Kristin West in 2012. "Coach Keylon-Randolph is a really great teacher and she expects her players to be the best, so it's an honor to play for her."
Hammontree's experience on the Heritage summer team and her showings at elite college camps made her a known quality outside the northwest Georgia area, Generals coach Steve Chattin said.
"She's been playing in our program since she was 12 and she's gone against very good competition," Chattin said. "She's received interest from several schools who have seen what she can do. She has the potential to be a legitimate power hitter by the time she graduates, and she has excellent catching tools.
"I know she's excited about her decision, and we're very excited for her."
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...