Trenton foursome sign with colleges

(From left) Trenton's Haley Blakenship, Brandy Dees, Jessica Johnson and Ella Emmons signed their letters of intent on Wednesday to play college softball.
(From left) Trenton's Haley Blakenship, Brandy Dees, Jessica Johnson and Ella Emmons signed their letters of intent on Wednesday to play college softball.
Photo by Sabrina Emmons

The regular season is winding down for the Trenton softball team, which is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 1A in the latest FHSAA rankings.

Four members of the top-ranked Tigers are getting an opportunity to play at the next level.

On Wednesday, seniors Brandy Dees, Haley Blankenship, Jessica Johnson, and Ella Emmons signed their National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play college softball.

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Trenton's Brandy Dees signed with Lake Sumpter.
Photo by Sabrina Emmons Trenton’s Brandy Dees signed with Lake-Sumter.

Dees, who has played shortstop, third base, center field and catcher, signed with Lake-Sumter State College.

As a junior she batted .362 and tied for the team lead with six doubles.

This season, Dees is second on the team with a .320 batting average and she is also second on the team with 16 hits.

She has scored 11 runs, driven in six runs, with three doubles, and one home run, along with a .944 fielding percentage.

“Hardnosed player who loves the game and is a great teammate,” said Trenton coach Clint Anderson, who is in his third season with the Tigers (15-2).

Trenton's Haley Blankenship signed with Wesleyan College.
Photo by Sabrina Emmons Trenton’s Haley Blankenship signed with Wesleyan College.

Haley Blankenship, who played outfield and first base, inked with Wesleyan College, an NCAA Division III college in Macon (GA).

A .288 hitter as a junior, Blankenship is batting .242 this season with nine RBI through 15 games.

“Haley has stepped in as the DP for most of the season,” Anderson said. “She has a great eye for the ball. She’s a contact hitter who has come in clutch in bunting situations and has really grown since her sophomore year.”

Jessica Johnson has played first base, second base, outfield and pitcher.

She will be moving on to Trinity Baptist College Jacksonville.

Trenton's Jessica Johnson signed with Trinity Baptist College.
Photo by Sabrina Emmons Trenton’s Jessica Johnson signed with Trinity Baptist College.

Johnson, who has a .957 fielding percentage, is batting .250 with 11 hits in 16 games and she is third on the team with 10 RBI.

“Good eye for the ball, “Anderson said. “She knows the strike zone and is very patient at the plate. Jessica was also last year’ defensive player of the year for Trenton.” 

Catcher Ella Emmons is a USC Salkehatchie (Allendale, South Carolina) signee.

She has a team-best .983 fielding percentage with 173 putouts in 180 total chances.

Offensively, she is second on the team with a .472 on base percentage and is second with a .450 slugging percentage.

She is batting .300 this season with 12 hits, 9 RBI, three doubles and one home run.

Trenton's Ella Emmons signed with USC Salkehatchie.
Photo by Sabrina Emmons Trenton’s Ella Emmons signed with USC Salkehatchie.

“Ella has been the glue that has held this team together,” Anderson said. “She’s a great defensive catcher who makes her pitchers look good. She also swings the bat very well.”

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