Baylor School and Tennessee Fury outfielder Lauren Lewis has been rated No. 25 nationally by studentsports.com on its Hot 100 list of college softball prospects in the class of 2015.
Lewis, who has committed to Kentucky, has been a multiple all-state and Times Free Press Best of Preps selection for the Lady Red Raiders, who have won the Division II-AA state championship in each of her three years on the varsity. Her Fury team has had four top-10 finishes in Amateur Softball Association national tournaments.
Among her individual high school accomplishments, Lewis hit a school season-record 11 home runs when she was a freshman. Last year she set two TSSAA records by driving in 15 runs at the state tournament and eight in one game.
"She can hit the ball as hard as any high school player I've seen, and she's been doing it since she came to us in eighth grade," Baylor coach Kelli Smith said. "The ball just jumps off her bat with such force. She definitely has the potential to be a great hitter at the next level. She has all the natural ability and tools, and I know she'll work hard. She's just going to continually get stronger."
According to studentsports.com, the juniors on the Hot 100 were chosen based on input and feedback from college and club coaches. Criteria for choosing and ranking the players include club and school performances and projecting how they will play at the college level.
Turner to Chatt State
First baseman Chandler Turner is signing a softball scholarship with Chattanooga State on Wednesday in a ceremony at Ringgold High School. Turner, a starter for three full seasons and part of her freshman season for the Lady Tigers, batted over .300 each season and helped lead Ringgold to back-to-back region titles and appearances in the Class AAA Elite Eight.
"I'm very excited because this is something I've been working toward since I was young," Turner said. "Staying close to home for two years is important to me, and my parents are excited to be able to see me play. I love the program, and all the girls I've met there seem very nice."
Though Turner was a terror in the middle of the Lady Tigers' lineup, coach Rachel Hodge believes she hasn't shown all she can do.
"It's an awesome opportunity for a great kid," Hodge said. "She's one of those players who is only going to get better, and she has a very bright future because there is so much potential. At Chattanooga State, where they train as hard as most Division I schools, she's going to get there."
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.