Addison Sturdivant signs with West Georgia

Gordon Lee senior softball player Addison Sturdivant was joined by parents Amanda and Tyler Sturdivant as she signed her letter of intent to play softball at West Georgia. Also on hand for the ceremony were Gordon Lee head coach Dana Mull, Gordon Lee principal Michael Langston, Gordon Lee assistant coach Thomas Gray, Gordon Lee athletic director Todd Windham and Gordon Lee assistant coach Kevin McElhaney.

Addison Sturdivant is a standout multi-sport athlete, but her first love was softball as she first took up the sport nearly 12 years ago.

On Thursday, Sturdivant assured that she will get to continue with that first love for at least another four years.

The Gordon Lee senior outfielder will be taking her talents a little bit farther south next season as she'll suit up for the University of West Georgia and head coach Al Thomas.

"I think it was really just meant to be," she added. "I had heard from a few schools, but nothing was really working out. I had never reached out to (West Georgia) or thought they would be an option, but they saw me at a couple of tournaments and said they wanted me. I took a visit and once I got on campus, I fell in love with it."

Thomas, who has an excellent track record of signing some of the top talent in Walker County and the northwest Georgia area, dating back from when he headed up the softball program at Shorter, will add Sturdivant to a roster that already includes her former Gordon Lee teammate Maddie Clark. West Georgia also landed Heritage standout Bailey Christol earlier this month.

Sturdivant called getting the opportunity to play in college "a dream come true".

"This is everything I've ever wanted," she said. "I just feel like everything I've ever worked for is finally coming true and I'm excited for it. I'm excited for this new chapter."

A three-sport star in Chickamauga, Sturdivant is about to begin another basketball season with the Lady Trojans and she's also an accomplished track athlete.

Although her junior season on the track was wiped out by COVID-19, she helped lift Gordon Lee to a state team title as a sophomore when she won individual titles in the 100 and 300 hurdles. She also holds school records in both those events and she won the high jump, the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles at the area meet.

She also a pretty fair softball player.

After earning second team All-State honors as a utility player in her sophomore year (.347 average, 10 RBIs, 17 runs scored, 13 stolen bases), she exploded onto the scene as a junior, picking up a first team All-State nod and being named the Walker County Co-Player of the Year.

She led the Lady Trojans that season with a .539 average to go with a pair of doubles, one inside-the-park homerun and 21 RBIs. Her 55 total hits, 30 stolen bases and 46 runs scored also led the team and she responsible for nearly one-quarter of the Lady Trojans’ total runs (67 of 305) that year.

More post-season awards should be forthcoming after she batted .443 as a senior with seven doubles, two homers, 20 RBIs, 54 runs scored and 45 stolen bases. She helped Gordon Lee win an 18th straight region championship and a sixth consecutive state title, the program's 10th in the last 11 years and their GHSA-record 11th state fastpitch title overall.

"Addison is one of those players you want on your team," Gordon Lee head coach Dana Mull explained. "If there was 120 percent, she'd give 120 percent. Sometimes, you have to hold her back a little bit because she's going to go as hard as she can.

"She's only been slap-hitting for three years and she's picked up on it so fast. Obviously, she has great speed. She causes havoc on the bases when she gets on. She's been a huge part of our team the past three seasons with her getting on base and making things happen."

"I'm definitely going to bring speed and hopefully a lot of stolen bases," Sturdivant smiled. "I think I've got a strong arm in the outfield and a good attitude."

Sturdivant said she plans to study nursing at her mother's alma mater and said her choice of study also factored into her decision to attend school and play for the Wolves.

"That was a big thing for me because the coach was really great about me wanting to study nursing," she added. "It's very time-consuming, especially junior and senior year with clinicals. But (Thomas) said school comes first because this is my career and softball will only be here for the next four years, so that was a really big draw for me."

"You can't ask for a better person than Addison," Mull added. "She's always going to put a smile on your face. I know she'd fit in wherever she went, but West Georgia is getting a great player and a great person."

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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