Tag Archives: Softball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament

Softball Factory Athlete Abbey Smith Motivated To Continue Impressing After Early Verbal Commit to Auburn

Abbey at Softball Factory’s All-America Pre-Season Tournament

Two-time Softball Factory Pre-Season All-American Abbey Smith verbally committed to Auburn as an eighth grader and refuses to take her foot off the gas, despite having the next big step in her softball career locked down at such an early age.

“Verbally committing at the young age of 13 was stressful but relieving,” Smith recalls. “As a 13-year-old having to choose where I want to be in five years is a big task. I just had to believe in what my heart was telling me. I went to several different school camps and visited campuses, but Auburn felt right from my first visit there.”

The young athlete saw herself as an Auburn Tiger and did not turn back.

“I loved the coaches, the size of the campus, it had my intended field of study and I would be able to play against some of softball’s best players,” she explains. “After deciding that I wanted to be at Auburn, I was relieved. The part of choosing a school was done but I knew that I had to work even harder.”

Even though the weight of having to impress college coaches from various schools is off her shoulders, slowing down is not an option for Smith. She intends to make the most of the remainder of her high school and travel ball career.

“Some people that I know wanted to commit because they thought the pressure would be taken off them,” Smith says. “They are wrong. The pressure is on to keep your grades up, keep improving on your skills and to become a smarter player.”

Continuing to impress the coaches she has verbally committed to play for is important to the Austin, Texas native.

“I am motivated to work hard because I know that I have a lot that I need to improve on,” Smith says, understanding that they expect to see an even better version of herself. “The coaches are predicting how you will be in the future when they give you an offer. The Auburn coaches know that when I get there I should be a better and smarter player. I need to keep improving so I can be what they expected or better than what they expected I would be.”

Smith also knows that putting in hard work now can help get her in the Tigers starting lineup sooner than later.

Abbey with Bowie HS Softball Team

“I just don’t want to be at the college and on the team.” she states. “I want to have a starting spot from freshman year. I have to work hard to beat out other players.”

Smith, who has been named District 14-6A Newcomer of the Year, as well as making the District 14-6A First Team and All- Academic Team, has put up numbers for Bowie High School that demonstrate how hard she has been working since verbally committing to Auburn.

Through 22 games this season she carries a .575 batting average, 46 hits, four doubles and three triples, all while stealing a perfect 19 bases on 19 attempts. In 17 games for the Diamond Sports Hotshots, she batted .537 with 22 hits and a double and a triple each.

The future Physical Therapy major hopes to become the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, make the SEC All-Freshman team and win the College World Series, as well as maintain an A average in all her classes when she does reach the next level. Beyond college, she aspires to represent the USA in the Olympics someday.

Smith, who has attended two Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryouts in addition to her two Pre-Season All-American appearances, views Softball Factory as a means to keep improving herself and gain the valuable input and insight that she is seeking as she waits to sport her Tigers jersey.

“She doesn’t want to sit still,” her father, Mike Smith, explains. “She sees Softball Factory as a way to keep grinding and see where she stacks up against other softball players across the country. She doesn’t want to be complacent.”

Abbey with Softball Factory’s Senior Director, Lea Ann Jarvis and legendary softball pitcher, Jennie Finch

The coaches are another reason the young softball star continues her relationship with Softball Factory.

“The best thing about my Softball Factory experience was getting to work with some of the best coaches out there and working on fine tuning my skills,” Smith shares. “I also loved listening to Jennie Finch and other professionals talk at the Pre-Season event. They didn’t just talk about form and softball drills. They talked about the type of attitude players should have, being coachable and the good characteristics players should have.”

Softball Factory’s Senior Director Lea Ann Jarvis is one of those coaches who have had a positive impact on Smith’s softball career.

“Coach Jarvis is a great coach in many ways,” Smith exclaims. “She pushes all the players that come to the Softball Factory camps and the games. She doesn’t accept excuses. She expects you to listen the first time and just do it.”

For Coach Jarvis, the enjoyment of working with Smith is mutual.

“She doesn’t have to be coached on her effort and attitude,” Jarvis says, praising Smith. “She shows up everyday ready to learn, get better and make the game better. I have enjoyed working with Abbey and can’t wait to see her play at the next level!”

Two-Time Pre-Season All-American Reynolds Signs To Play at Weatherford

Abby Reynolds

Two-time Softball Factory Pre-Season All-American, Abby Reynolds has officially signed to play softball at Weatherford College in Weatherford, TX. Weatherford Softball finished the Spring 2016 season with a 40-13 mark.

The 2016 grad from College Station High School in College Station, TX has attended numerous Softball Factory events and has been a hard-working and decorated player since we first saw her at a National Tryout event in Georgetown, TX in September of 2014.

Abby was pushed to work harder,” said Shawn Reynolds, Abby’s father. “She learned what it would take to make it to the next level and beyond and she was able to measure herself against some of the best players in the nation and learn from some the best former players and coaches in the nation.”

Abby has been a great kid to work with. She has grown so much in the two years I have worked with her,” said Julia Rice, Abby’s Player Development Coordinator.

Her game has gotten better and better each time we have seen her at our events, and really stuck with the recruiting process. Abby is one of those kids who did all the right things by emailing and calling coaches, and I am so proud of her that she has found a home! I can’t wait to follow her career over the next four years!”

Her senior season at College Station High School has been a successful one, in large part because of Abby’s versatility on the field, playing at multiple positions.

Named a team captain at the start of the season, Abby was the starting catcher for the first half of the season before moving to second base in the middle and then to third at the end due to injuries and the need to have solid defense at the hot corner. Offensively, she’s paced the team with 13 extra base hits, was second in batting average, and second in stolen bases. Overall, Reynolds hit .378, scored 26 runs and drove in 13 in high school play.

The success of the season was based, in part, off of repetition, practice and game play against some of the top players in the country at recent Softball Factory events. Abby was part of successful Softball Factory teams that played in such prestigious events as the Mid-America Championship and Fall Classic Tournaments with highly sought-after talent coming to play from all around the country.

The events we attended were great for Abigail’s confidence and skills,” said Shawn. “I loved that she was able to learn from such a diverse group of coaches, instead of just the local high school and tournament coaches.”

Beyond just playing games, Shawn mentions how invaluable the experience was for Abby in order to continue gaining confidence and improving her skills.

The feedback was honest; if there was something that needed improvement, they would give Abby methods for improvement. She learned new drills that she was able to take home and work on. She learned the importance of proper warm-ups, stretches, and nutrition. She participated in college level workouts and was given a glimpse of college level expectations. At the events, Abby was able to sharpen her skills playing with and against top-level players. As the saying goes, iron sharpens iron. She has also learned an increased respect for the game and all who came before her who have grown the game,” said Shawn.

Last November at the Fall Classic, Abby showed that her game was ascending to the next level by her ability to hit to all fields with a good presence in the box and smart pitch recognition. The catching prospect also snapped off a 1.88 pop time to second base, showing off her very strong arm. Scouts noted her tremendous work ethic and leadership skills on the field.

Abby possesses such a great work ethic and attitude,” said Lea Ann Jarvis, Softball Factory’s Senior Director. “She’s very athletic and plays the game the right way. Extremely coachable and a great team player and will do well at the next level.”

Showing off her versatility to play multiple positions, Reynolds came to the 2016 All-America Pre-Season Tournament in January playing short stop with good range, arm strength and a sure glove. The willingness to play multiple positions for a team shows the character of player that Abby is and will only help her excel at Weatherford.

The Reynolds Family placed extreme importance on Abby being able to find the right school that suited her abilities on the field and better positioned herself to be more noticeable to college coaches through connections made at National Tryout events and Softball Factory training and tournament play.

Softball Factory was very helpful in providing information on how and when to contact coaches,” said Shawn. “The events that we attended were an excellent place to make contacts with former players and coaches who have been through the recruiting process themselves. The coaches at Softball Factory provided honest evaluations that helped us to better target the level of school that was the right fit. The player page that Softball Factory generated was a good resource that Abby could send to coaches. She was provided with feedback on how to improve her game and make herself more marketable. College coaches attended the tournament events and the write-ups done for these events were always positive.”

To borrow a sporting term, “playing from behind”, Shawn and his wife, Megan, realized time was of the essence for Abby to find her dream school and that hard work was the only way to achieve that.

At our first recruiting seminar with the Factory, we realized that we were already behind in the recruiting process. Softball is growing and so are the opportunities to play at the next level, but that doesn’t mean that there is not a lot of work involved in getting there.”

Beyond playing the game, Abby wants to give back to the sport and the people who helped her gain confidence and the skill set to succeed at the next level. She hopes to some day have the opportunity to help Softball Factory at events in the future. In the present, her dream of playing collegiate ball is now coming true and the future is right around the corner.

We wish we had started (the recruiting process) earlier,” said Shawn. “We are so happy that Abigail was able to take the first step in her dream to making it to a professional team. Abby will continue to use the tools that she learned at Softball Factory to move from the junior college level to a Division I program. We are very excited for the opportunity that she has earned and we look forward to what her hard work will bring in the future.”

 

Class of 2015 Standout Players – Where Are They Now?

Four weeks into the 2016 season and undefeated Florida still sit atop the NCAA Division I rankings. Michigan, Auburn, and LSU round out the top four with Louisiana-Lafayette jumping into the number five spot.

Softball Factory has 23 alumni currently playing for these schools, with 3 players on the top-ranked Florida roster.

Softball Factory alumni have gone on to successfully play at the collegiate level. Below are four of our stand out 2015 graduates.

 

Marisa Trevino

Marisa Trevino (OF, 2B)
High School: Seven Lakes (TX)
College: Trinity University
2016 Season: Marisa has played in 11 games for the Tigers, with five hits in 24 plate appearances. She has scored four runs with two RBI. In the outfield, Marisa has made six put outs and had one assist.
Softball Factory History: Marisa started working with Softball Factory in 2011 and quickly stood out to our coaching staff. In 2012 Marisa played in the Softball Factory World Series, where she was evaluated as a fine-tuned athlete, demonstrating her “knowledge [of the game] that complements her athleticism, speed, agile range, routes and strong, accurate arm.”

 

Emilee Kirk

Emilee Kirk (3B, 1B)
High School: Great Valley High School (PA)
College: Mount St. Mary’s University
2016 Season: Emilee has appeared in seven games for The Mount. She recorded her first collegiate hit against JMU.
Softball Factory History: In her four years with Softball Factory, Emilee was selected to participate in two All-American Pre-Season Tournaments in 2014 and 2015. She was evaluated by her coaches as an athletic player with a solid skill set both offensive and defensively. 

 

 

Paige Holmes

Paige Holmes (C, 3B)
High School: The Bolles School (FL)
College: University of South Alabama
2016 Season: Paige has had a strong start, appearing in all 18 games so far with the Jaguars. She has scored seven runs, collecting 10 hits with eight RBI. Behind the plate Paige has 139 put-outs and 12 assists.
Softball Factory History: In 2015 Paige was invited to the All-American Pre-Season tournament where Softball Factory coaches evaluated her as a strong player with a solid skill set. While catching Paige displayed strong blocking fundamentals with efficient footwork, fluid transfer and a good release. At the plate Paige “makes positive movement towards the ball […]and displays a level swing path.”

 

Morgan Greenwood

Morgan Greenwood (C, 3B)
High School: Providence Catholic High School (IL)
College: DePaul University
2016 Season: Morgan has appeared in three games for the Blue Demons. In six at bats she has recorded two hits, a single and a double.
Softball Factory History: Morgan participated in the All-American Pre-Season Tournament in 2014, receiving positive feedback from Softball Factory coaches. While behind the plate she has an athletic, low, and flexible setup and when receiving the ball Morgan blocks exceptionally well. Offensively, “Morgan gets good extension through the ball and drives it hard to the gaps.”

Softball Factory Alumnus Emilee Kirk To Play at Mount Saint Mary’s University

EmileeKirk

Softball Factory standout Emilee Kirk has committed to attend and play softball at Mount Saint Mary’s University in
Emmitsburg, MD, a Division I school out of the Northeast
Conference.

Kirk, a senior at Great Valley High School in Paoli, PA, has been involved in numerous Softball Factory events, starting with a
National Tryout in Saint Davids, PA in 2011.

Her skill set took her to the 2011 Softball Factory Christmas Camp & Tournament in addition to Fall Classic and Fall
Showcase 18U events, before being selected in 2014 and 2015 to the Softball Factory
All-America Pre-Season Tournament.

“Emilee attended numerous Softball Factory events over the last four years and each was a great learning experience and will always be a cherished memory,” says Emilee’s father, Paul Kirk.

We are proud of Emilee’s accomplishment and hope she will continue to carry the “Factory Way” spirit with her throughout her college career.