Haley Smith committed to play softball for Tennessee Tech the summer after her freshman season at Girls Preparatory School, and she never wavered on her decision. On Sunday the versatile senior officially signed a national letter of intent to join the Golden Eagles, and GPS celebrated that on Wednesday. "Being in Cookeville is just a good feeling. Tennessee Tech has a really good feeling, and I'm excited to be part of that and hope to have an impact on their program," Smith said. There's a good chance of that. She has played every position except pitcher for the perennial state contenders and probably has batted over .400 for her GPS career, "and she's led us in home runs about every year," coach Susan Crownover said. "She's so valuable because she can play anywhere on the field, and she can play every position well. She's a hard-working kid. She can't get enough swings; she can't get enough balls hit to her; she always wants more." As for Smith's loyalty to TTU, Crownover said, "She never blinked. She's the kind of kid who knows what she wants, generally, and she knows where she will be comfortable. Tennessee Tech is that for her."
* No one would suggest that Chattanooga State needs a miracle to be successful in softball, but it's always nice to have one. The Lady Tigers now have one lined up for 2018-19 as East Hamilton shortstop Miracle Gorman signed Wednesday to join them. "She's great all the way around," East Hamilton coach Norma Nelson said. "She's a great kid, a great ballplayer, a great teammate. I can't say enough about her." Gorman started playing on the high school varsity as an eighth-grader and has been the starting shortstop since her sophomore year, but a broken ankle kept her out of summer ball in 2016 and limited her junior season with the Lady Hurricanes. Still, Chattanooga State coach Blythe Golden had seen enough already. "In one word, she's amazing," Golden said. "To get a local player of Miracle's caliber is a blessing for our program. She's a quality athlete and a great girl from a great family." Gorman said she knows and likes several of the Chattanooga State players, "and the coaches are nice and the facilities are great. I know it's a good softball program."
* Lee University junior outside hitter Silvia Sartori and Shorter senior middle blocker Tiffani Estep, who's from Chattanooga and Central High School, were voted to the All-Gulf South Conference volleyball first team for the second time each, and Lee libero MaKayla Beebe repeated as a second-team selection. Also on the All-GSC second team is Christian Brothers sophomore outside hitter Emma Lenoir from East Hamilton. Sartori, who also has been a second-teamer in her three-year Lady Flames career, has 380 kills this season going into the league tournament Friday. Beebe has 510 digs. Lenoir, the 2016 GSC freshman of the year, had 421 kills and 305 digs in 2017. Estep has 280 kills with a .340 hitting percentage and has been in on 111 blocks.
Swimming & Diving
* Sewanee's Meghan Mulhern and Lee Haber were the Southern Athletic Association swimmers of the week for their performances against Centre and Transylvania, and Sewanee's Noel Whitlock and Jed Henrichsen were the divers of the week for the second time. Mulhern swam the 1000- and 500-yard women's freestyle events against Centre and won the 200 and 100 free at Transy, where Haber won the men's 1000, was second in the 100 breaststroke and helped win the 400 free relay after winning the 200 breast and 200 individual medley against Centre.
* The Georgia Northwestern golfers tied for 11th at 651 in Central Alabama Community College's 14-team tournament Monday and Tuesday at Wynlakes in Montgomery. David Manis and Lane Strickland shot final-round 77s for the Bobcats, Manis tying teammate Branton Bailey for 31st place individually at 156 in their final event of the fall. Central Alabama won at 584.