Alexis Chumbler, Amber Herrington and Audrie Pryor — three seniors from the Lady Grizzlies’ softball team last year — have moved on to Reinhardt University to play for the Lady Eagles’ powerful program, one that already includes another former Creekview star in sophomore pitcher Haley Brannon.
Before playing together for three years at Creekview, the trio had competed with one another in the past. According to Pryor, the relationship between her and Chumbler wasn’t always so friendly.
“I have known Alexis since elementary school,” Pryor said. “I played basketball and softball against her. I never did like her because she was always so good at everything she did.”
The two became friends once they started playing on the same traveling team in middle school.
“We started playing sports together in eighth grade and became best friends and did everything together,” Pryor said.
It was also around that time that the duo was first introduced to Herrington.
When the three became actively involved in club softball during their first year of high school — playing for various teams such as the Cherokee Pride and Georgia Fire — their friendship bloomed.
For the soon-to-be college freshmen, having the familiar faces of their friends around them will make the transition into the college game much easier.
“I think it will be good because we all know how each other play the game,” Pryor said. “We know a lot about each other on and off the field, and we can always count on one another if we need to.”
The three players were quick to praise the skill set of the other two when asked what their best on-the-field attributes were.
Said Herrington of Chumbler: “She is ready to play the moment she touches the field. The moment she gets out there, she puts her game face on.
“As for Audrie, she loves to play hard. She doesn’t mind getting a little dirty.”
Pryor had a similar take on Chumbler’s game.
“Alexis is an all-around really great player. She knows the game like the back of her hand and always gives it her best no matter what.
“Amber’s best traits on the field are her speed and her batting ability. She has a lot of speed and can put the ball in play almost every time.”
Chumbler said of Herrington that “she is a very uplifting player on the field. She likes to talk people up and make sure they’re doing OK.
“Audrie is very determined and focused on the field. Once she’s out there, it’s very hard to startle her.”
Reinhardt coach Glen Crawford said his three new players from Creekview will be welcome additions to the program, and ones he will look to utilize all over the field.
“All three are great athletes that can play multiple positions,” Crawford said. “They all have good defense, are good baserunners and work very hard on the field. We are going to have a young team next year, so I think they’ll fit right in.”
Chance Cain was the head coach of Creekview’s softball team for the graduated trio’s senior season, after taking the reins from previous coach Mike Nayman.
“They are so unique,” Cain said. “Amber has worked hard and improved so much over the last few seasons. She’s really good at reading the defense, and you can’t teach the speed she has. Alexis is so athletic, she does everything well. She could play whatever sport she wanted. And Audrie, she was our quiet leader. If there were issues, kids looked to her for guidance.”
When Cain was asked if he thought his three former players would find success in their first year at Reinhardt, he was confident.
“I think they’re going to do well,” Cain said. “They always brought a strong work ethic to practice. They’re great young ladies, and they all have good heads on their shoulders. They will do well at whatever they choose to do in life.”