FULTON, MS — Itawamba Community College head softball coach Andy Kirk made a big splash in the early stages of the signing period landing area standouts Maddy Lukens of Saltillo, Arriann Henry of North Pontotoc and Ingomar’s Heather Dillard on Friday.
“This is a great start to the signing period,” said Kirk. “Maddy, Arriann and Heather will add a lot to our line up next season and will also be valuable assets in the leadership role for us both on and off the field.”
Lukens, a shortstop, batted .444 as a junior with 23 runs and 17 RBI on 8 doubles and 3 triples. Her .487 on-base percentage and .900 fielding percentage helped her earn North Mississippi Daily Journal All-Area, All-Division and Class 5A All-State honors.
“I’m so excited to be able to continue my softball career and get a great education to go further in life,” Lukens commented. “My sister played at ICC and it’s really important to our family to keep that legacy going and to be close to home.”
She is the sister of former Lady Indian pitcher Chelsea Lukens, who earned MACJC All-State First-Team honors as a freshman and sophomore along with being named to the NJCAA All-Region 23 team while being nominated for NJCAA All-American honors and being selected to the MACJC All-State Academic list as a sophomore.
Henry, a first baseman, batted .434 with 31 runs and 30 RBI on 11 doubles, 3 triples and 1 home run while leading the team with 11 stolen bases to earn All-Division honors.
“I’ve been playing softball since I was eight and it’s been a dream to be able to continue my career on the collegiate level,” said Henry. “ICC is a great school with a great softball program and I felt like it was the right choice for me.”
She was a member of the 2010 MHSAA Class 4A State Champion team and earned a spot on the 2012 All-Star team in slow-pitch softball after hitting 21 home runs for Coach Shane Montgomery and the Lady Vikings.
Dillard, a middle infielder, batted .527 with 60 runs and 18 RBI on 4 doubles, 1 triple and 2 home runs during her junior season at East Union High School before transferring to Ingomar High School for her senior season.
“I’m just so very excited,” said Dillard. “Coach Kirk is a really great coach and I’m really looking forward to playing for him.”
She was named All-Division and earned Best Defensive Player and was a member of the .500 Club as a sophomore and junior. Dillard stole 31 bases on 33 attempts, which was ranked third in the state amongst all Mississippi high schools.
“All three of these girls are going to fill a lot of needs for us next season,” said Kirk. “We are going to lose some important sophomores and we are going to lean on players like these and some of the other signees to come in and make an impact on our program right away.”
Kirk is expected to announce more signees in the near future.