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LaFayette senior Nicky Yancy pledged earlier this month to continue her softball career at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn.

The softball program at Cumberland University will have a definite LaFayette feel to it next season as the Phoenix recently added a second current Lady Rambler senior to its future ranks.

After signing third baseman Sam Adkins back on Jan. 27, the Lebanon, Tenn. NAIA school recently got a pledge from pitcher/outfielder Nicky Yancy, who said that knowing Adkins would also be there helped make her decision easier.

"Basically, whenever I went up there for a camp, (Cumberland) Coach (Heather) Stanfill and all the girls were amazing and funny and it was like it just kind of clicked," she explained. "And having someone there that I would know will kind of help a bit.

"The school isn't super big, but it feels like home. Like LaFayette, (it feels like) one community. I think that's my place to be."

Yancy has been a mainstay in the LaFayette lineup since her freshman season and she as been an intregal part of the Lady Ramblers' run to the Class 4A Elite Eight the past two seasons.

Earning first team All-Region honors as a sophomore, she equaled that accomplishment this past fall as she batted .330 with six doubles, a triple, 24 RBIs, 25 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. She was second team as a freshman and as a junior, picking up Catoosa-Walker Dream Team honors all four seasons, including a first team nod as a senior.

While her appearances in the circle were limited in her first three seasons, she was called on to spin it this past fall and responded with 11 victories, 65 strikeouts and a 2.80 ERA in 139.2 innings of work.

She said that she believed she would both pitch and play some in the outfield at Cumberland.

"I don't have a lot of speed, but I have my movement (on my pitches), which usually works pretty good," she explained. "If (Stanfill) needs someone in the outfield, then I can be there because I'm used to playing there.

"I'm also hoping to show some leadership. It may be hard, but I feel like, as a freshman, I can step up and show a lot of leadership on the field."

LaFayette head coach Meagan Base said Yancy would be missed in a big way next season.

"This year she definitely stepped up big for us in the circle," Base said. "She was one of our leaders on and off the field. She never missed a day of workouts all summer and every practice, she was there. I think she'll do very well next year.

"She also had a great work ethic as a student and she works hard in the classroom as well. (Cumberland) is getting a really driven person, that's for sure, and she's always making sure her teammates are cared for. We're definitely going to miss her. I really wish I could redshirt her."

Yancy plans to study K-12 Special Education and hopes to one day be a teacher and a softball coach.

The Phoenix began the 2020 season 7-2 and had not yet started conference play when the season was cancelled because of concerns about the COVID-19 virus.

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

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