signing

Ouachita’s softball program sent three more players to the next level Monday afternoon when slugger Abby Allen signed with South Alabama, utility player Madelyn Fletcher gave her John Hancock to ULM and Ali Deiter signed the dotted line for Louisiana College.

Former Ouachita coach Tim Whitman made the trip back to Ouachita from North DeSoto to speak at the signing and had high praise for his former players. Whitman called Allen one of the best players he’s ever coached, and highlighted her God-given talent, along with her unrivaled competitiveness.

“South Alabama’s coach even said it on their website that she’s going to immediately make them better,” Whitman said. “Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, she’s going to hold you accountable. She wants you to put as much work into it as she is.”

Allen, who owns the school record with 43 career home runs, laughed at her growing reputation.

“Some people don’t like it, but I’m me,” Allen said. “It is what it is.”

Allen has been committed to South Alabama since she was a freshman, and she stuck with the Jaguars because they were the first to show interest. Now, she’ll be a rival to her teammate Fletcher, who went from batting .259 as a freshman to one of the Lady Lions’ leading sluggers the past two seasons.

Fletcher, who had the daunting task of replacing shortstop Nikki Skerlong, hit .410 last season, and kept her commitment with ULM despite a head coaching change.

“(Molly Fincher) is a great coach,” Fletcher said. “Coach (Corey) Lyon gave me the opportunity to go to ULM, so when he left I was upset. But Coach Molly came in, and she’s just been amazing.”

All three Lady Lions will chase another state championship this season, as the Lady Lions are two years removed from winning the 2018 state title.

Award-winning sports writer for columns and features since joining the field in 2013. As the first-ever featured columnist of the month at Bleacher Report, Martin cut his teeth with online media before joining the newspaper business in 2014.

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