Snead State Prepares for 2017 Softball Season


The Snead State Community College softball team will kick off their season this weekend at the Galveston Invitational in Texas.

“We’ve set a team goal to make a trip to the national tournament. We want to finish with a winning record, place first in our division and improve each week and compete in each game,” said Coach Tracy Grindrod.

The team is returning 11 sophomores and has welcomed 13 freshmen to its roster.

Grindrod is entering his fourth season as the head coach of the Lady Parsons.

“Our program sets the example that to be successful, it takes hard work in the classroom and on the field. We strive for the members of our team to be role models for the community and to inspire young players to strive and make it to the college level one day,” said Coach Grindrod.

“We set a goal to have a team GPA of 3.5 and for everyone to graduate with their degree.”

Seven Snead State Parsons were named Academic All-Americans last year. Last year, the softball team finished with a 3.19 GPA and was named an Academic All-American team.  

“We use softball as a means to teach our players about life and prepare them for the four-year college experience and for life after college,” said Coach Grindrod.

“We prepare them for life situations and how to stay focused on the important things through goal setting and working hard to achieve those goals. We strive to build the players mentally, physically and spiritually each day. Mind, body and soul are required to be successful in our program, and this will carry them far in life after Snead State.”

Returning to the coaching staff this year at Snead State is Pitching Coach Holli Mitchell and Hitting Coach Megan Christensen.

“This year’s team has really come together with respect for each other. They are working hard to get better.”

Last year, in its best finish ever, the Lady Parsons clinched the No. 3 seed in the Alabama Community College Conference’s northern division. The softball team finished its season as the third-ranked team in the ACCC. They went 4-2 at the ACCC Tournament in Alabaster, and six players received post-season awards.

Five of the returning sophomores were heavy contributors to last season’s success.

Courtney Blevins (Ider) at second base and pitcher Anna Leigh Mitchell (Decatur) were both solid hitters and second team all-region selections.

Madison Cantrell (Albertville) brings good pitching and a big bat to the Parson lineup.

Mallory Walker (Cullman) is back with a solid bat and will be behind the plate a lot this season for the Lady Parsons.

“McKenzie Ridgway (Birmingham) was our best hitter off the bench last season. She’s going to find time as a starter this year for us at first and third base,” said Coach Grindrod.

“Kellee Stiles (Danville) catches and leads this team from a quiet, dedicated position and inspires her teammates to be better.”

Jill Shearer (Albertville) is a quick shortstop for the Lady Parsons and is looking to return to full strength this year after having to have shoulder surgery.

Kara Hall (Cordova) will be in the outfield this year for Snead State.

“Alexis Bates (Muscle Shoals) is a sophomore who missed last season with an injury. She brings a big bat and strong arm in the outfield,” said Coach Grindrod. “We also inherited a transfer pitcher, Alexis Bonanno (Memphis, Tenn.). She hits for power, and we will see her throw many innings.”

“We expect big things from newcomer Madison Purvis (Corner) in the outfield. She’s also a leadoff hitter from the left side for us and has a great arm.”

Pitcher Torie Garner (Florence) has great movement and command for the Lady Parsons. Rilee White (Jasper) brings a big bat and is a tough pitcher in the circle.

Alora Whitehead (Scottsboro) will see time pitching and at first and third base for Snead State. Ashley Benefield (Pisgah) is a catcher who can hit and will see time behind the plate.

“Madison Burt (Sylvania) and Lauren Adams (Huntsville) have speed and will contribute in the middle infield. Paxton Nance (Pisgah) will play second base and can hit for power,” said Coach Grindrod.

Callie Kay (Ragland) and Haley White (Moulton) both have great arms and range and will find themselves in the outfield for the Lady Parsons.

Sarah Shook (Hueytown) is new to Snead State this semester but will contribute as a catcher and third baseman.

Two of the Lady Parsons are injured – Hannah Lockhart (Walker) and Cassidy Underwood (Gadsden).

The Lady Parsons are on the road the end of January and the first half of February. Their first home game of the 2017 season will be Sunday, Feb. 19, against Lincoln Trail. The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m.

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