Graduating several key players, including pitchers Maddie Monroe and Kelsey Floyd and offensive catalysts Lindsey Booker and Brandie DeLay, the Lady Eagles will be down a few starters for the 2014 season. But with as many as 12 players set to join the team this fall, Crawford is feeling confident.
Among the newcomers is Randi Wimpy, who last played in 2012 at Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tenn., and was named the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association’s Player of the Year.
As a freshman that year, she led the nation in batting average (.613) and on-base percentage (.662), and she was second in home runs (26). She also tallied 78 RBIs. She was also named to the All-TCCAA team, as well as being recognized as a first-team All-American.
“Hitting is pretty much my main thing,” said Wimpy, who did not play in 2013. “Hopefully, (I can bat) No. 3 in the lineup because that’s where I’ve always been in the lineup.”
Crawford said Wimpy’s signing went to show that the Reinhardt program is moving in the right direction.
“That we can even attract a player of her caliber to come to Reinhardt to play is a huge moment for Reinhardt,” Crawford said. “Our program is elevated once again to another level.”
Crawford hopes Wimpy will also take on a leadership role.
Wimpy said she chose Reinhardt because it is close to her home in Cartersville, has solid academics and a good softball program.
“This is definitely my first pick,” she said. “I had some other colleges wanting me to go for a visit, but I never really went because this was my first pick.”
Wimpy — named after her older brother, Randy Wimpy Jr., who drowned in a flooding accident before she was born — started out as a baseball player before switching to softball in the seventh grade. She credited her start playing against boys with making her a better player.
Wimpy’s primary position as catching, but with Reinhardt already having an all-conference catcher in Kaley Garmon — who batted a team-best .391 with seven homers and 43 RBIs in 2013 — Crawford knows he will have to move some players around. The Lady Eagles did lose both of their first basemen, so Crawford felt that might make for a more natural shift for someone.
The addition to Wimpy’s bat to the lineup should improve the team all around.
“They can’t pitch around some of our hitters,” Crawford said, “so some of our batters will get better because they can’t pitch around to get to (Wimpy). I think this is going to make us a little more power-driven, and hopefully it will take us to the next level.”
Wimpy said several of her new teammates have already reached out to her.
“Hopefully, we will have a good mix,” she said. “I can get to know everyone a little bit. As long as they are ready to put up some numbers and win, I’m fine with that. I like being on a winning team.”