BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU Softball head coach Amy Tudor has announced that six future Hilltoppers have inked National Letters of Intent to join the program in the fall of 2017. This class of signees owns a decorated resume and includes five newcomers that account for eight all-state selections in their respective states. Coming to The Hill in the fall of 2017 are Madeline Bowlds (Utica, Ky.), Annabelle Brown (Rainsville, Ala.), Taylor Graven (Greene, Iowa), Shelby Nunn (Bowling Green, Ky.), Kendall Smith (Bowling Green, Ky.) and Jordan Thomas (Lebanon, Ky.).
“Talented, smart, and diverse is how I would describe this class,” said Tudor. “I believe each of these signees can have an immediate impact upon their arrival to WKU. I expect big things from this class.”
Madeline Bowlds | Utica, Ky. | Daviess County H.S. | First Base | L/L
Madeline Bowlds is a four-time all-district selection out of Utica, Kentucky, who opted to stay in-state and continue her softball career on The Hill. The Daviess County High School first baseman has played on the high school squad for seven seasons and most recently in 2016 guided the unit to a fourth place finish in the state tournament. Bowlds is also a two-time all-region selection and earned All-State Academic Honorable Mention during her junior campaign.
Coach Tudor on Bowlds: “I first was impressed with Maddie’s ability at camp and continued to follow her and eventually recruited her. Maddie can run, swing and slap; she is a lefty first baseman who also can play outfield. Her versatility both at the plate and in the field will fulfill a big need in our lineup.”
Annabelle Brown | Rainsville, Ala. | Plainview H.S. | Shortstop | R/R
Annabelle Brown is a five-time all-county tournament team selection in addition to being named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) All-State Team following her junior season. Most recently in 2016, Brown was named the all-county tournament MVP. The right-handed shortstop hails from Rainsville, Alabama, and was also an all-region selection for her efforts during her sophomore campaign.
Coach Tudor on Brown: “Annabelle Brown is an athlete who will play middle infield for us. She throws, runs and hits well. I am looking forward to the impact she will make both offensively and defensively.”
Taylor Graven | Greene, Iowa | North Butler H.S. | Pitcher | R/R
As Tudor signs her fourth class at the helm of the WKU Softball program, she also inked the fourth pitcher out of Iowa in as many classes in North Butler High School’s Taylor Graven. The Greene, Iowa, native is a two-time first-team all-state selection who was also tabbed as the 2016 Mason City Globe Gazette Player of the Year. Additionally, Graven was named her conference’s (Top of Iowa Conference) Player of the Year following her junior campaign. The three-time North Butler team MVP was also named a two-time unanimous first-team all-conference pitcher honoree.
Coach Tudor on Graven: “Gravin is a right-handed pitcher who will throw both up and down in the zone with a different change up than our returning pitchers. She will provide a different look and add depth to our young pitching staff. Taylor is used to winning and that mentality will help both her and this program.”
Shelby Nunn | Bowling Green, Ky. | South Warren H.S. | Utility | R/R
Despite sitting out during the 2016 season due to shoulder surgery, Shelby Nunn brings a resume full of both athletic and academic accolades to WKU. The South Warren High School utility player has elected to stay home in Bowling Green and play softbal on The Hill. Nunn is a three-time first-team academic all-state honoree that was also tabbed as her region’s Preseason Top Player for the past three seasons. Following her most recent year of competition (2015), Nunn was named to the Kentucky Class 2A All-State Second Team. The righty is also a three-time all-district selection.
Coach Tudor on Nunn: “Shelby, like Kendall Smith, is a product of Bowling Green. Being local, she came to a lot of our camps before a shoulder surgery set her back a bit. However, her loyalty to me and to WKU is what impressed me in addition to her ability to swing and play multiple positions.”
Kendall Smith | Bowling Green, Ky. | Warren East H.S. | Catcher | R/R
Another local product in Kendall Smith has elected to stay close to home and head to The Hill to continue her softball career. Smith is a three-time all-state selection including two first-team nods in three years of prep softball. The right-handed catcher is the two-time defending Culvers’ Player of the Year and ranks 69th on Flo Softball’s top-100 in class of 2017 list. Smith was also named the 4th Region Player of the Year following her sophomore campaign.
Coach Tudor on Smith: “Smith was my first commitment in this class and I think she has the ability to do big things at the plate and behind the plate. She is a very strong and athletic kid who I believe has the potential to be a “wow” player.”
Jordan Thomas | Lebanon, Ky. | Bethlehem H.S. | Outfield | L/L
Jordan Thomas is a multi-sport athlete out of Lebanon, Kentucky, that will join WKU Softball as an outfielder in the fall of 2017. The lefty was a six-year varsity starter and is a three-time academic all-state selection entering her final prep season. Prior to her junior campaign, Thomas transferred from Marion County H.S. to Bethlehem H.S. where she was named a second-team all-state honoree following her junior campaign. She has also been named to the All-5th Region Team the past three seasons.
Coach Tudor on Thomas: “Jordan is a left-handed hitter with both power and speed. She is very athletic and a smart player who will provide speed in the outfield and on the bases. She will be a fun player to coach and watch.”
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