For Immediate Release
COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M softball signed seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, head coach Jo Evans announced Friday. The signees will join the program in the fall of 2017.
Signing NLIs are Dani Elder (League City, Texas), Maddie MacGrandle (Frisco, Texas), Hannah Mayo (Corpus Christi, Texas), Gabby Moreno (Montgomery, Texas), Randi Carol Phillips (Jefferson, Texas), Kayla Poynter (Loganville, Ga.) and Abby Smith (Prosper, Texas).
“We are excited about our 2017 signing class,” head coach Jo Evans said. “We bring in a lot of depth on the pitching mound with Kayla Poynter, Maddie MacGrandle, Hannah Mayo, and Randi Carol Phillips. Each pitcher has a different skill set than the other and they will be a great complement to our current pitching staff. Dani Elder and Abby Smith give us depth behind the plate and Gabby Moreno gives us versatility in the infield and outfield. Poynter, MacGrandle, Smith, and Moreno, all hit for power, while Dani Elder is a gap-to-gap hitter. This is an outstanding group of young women; high achievers in the classroom and high character people. They will be a great addition to our program.”
Elder, who is ranked No. 44 in FloSoftball’s Top 100 for 2017, was named first team all-district and second team all-county as a junior last season. As a sophomore, the catcher and third baseman helped lead Clear Springs High School to their first playoff appearance in school history, while being named second team all-district and all-county honorable mention. In 2014, she was named district newcomer of the year. Playing for Impact Gold, Elder finished first at the 2013 ASA Nationals (14U), 2012 Triple Crown Ronald McDonald (14U) and placed third at Triple Crown Fireworks (18U Gold). In 2016 with Sudden Impact, Elder finished third at Triple Crown Nationals (18U Gold).
The 2016 Gatorade Texas Softball Player of the Year, MacGrandle led Frisco High School to the state tournament for the first time in 14 years last season, posting a 31-3 record while pitching all but two innings the entire season. MacGrandle helped Frisco to a perfect 16-0 mark during the District 9-5A schedule and struck out 393 batters in 213 innings. Offensively, the left-handed pitcher and first baseman hit .546 with 10 homeruns and 57 RBI. MacGrandle was named a First Team NFCA High School All-American, Second Team MaxPreps All-American, Texas Sports Writers Association Class 5A Player of the Year and Texas Girls Coaches Association First Team All-State. The Dallas News All Metro Player of the Year was also selected to the USA Today All-USA Second Team. As a sophomore, MacGrandle was named District 9-5A MVP, Dallas Morning News First Team All-Area and a FloSoftball Second Team All-American after striking out 293 in 175.1 innings. MacGrandle led Texas Glory Gold to top-five finishes in Colorado and at the DeMarini Invitational as well as a second place finish at the World Fastpitch Championships. MacGrandle, a member of National Honor Society, will graduate in the top-10 percent of her class.
A member of the 2016 South Texas Softball Pre-Season All-Stars, Mayo was named a District 8-6A and All South Texas Softball Second Team Pitcher. As a sophomore, Mayo was named to the TSWA All-State Softball Honorable Mention as well as the First Team All South Texas Softball pitcher. In 2014, Mayo was named the All South Texas Softball and District 28-5A Newcomer of the Year. Mayo has been a member of the academic all-district team from 2014-16.
A four-year starter for Montgomery High School, Moreno was a 2016 6A First Team All-County and second team all-district infielder after batting .457 with six homeruns, seven doubles and a triple. As a freshman, Moreno belted eight homers and a grand slam, four triples, 10 doubles and drove in 41 RBI with a .398 average. Moreno was named co-offensive player of the year and first team all-district, as well as 4A State Honorable Mention. Moreno and the Firecrackers HTX won the 2016 Colorado Fireworks 18 Open Bracket and finished second at the 2015 Triple Crown Southwest Nationals. In 2015, Moreno was ranked No. 95 in FloSoftball’s Hot 100 Recruits. Moreno holds a 4.1 GPA, is ranked fourth in her class and is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.
Randi Carol Phillips was named the 2016 Best Preps Player of the Year and District 17-AA MVP while also being named to the TSWA and TGCA First Team All-State for the third consecutive year. In 2015, Phillips was given the Bomber Way Award and was tabbed the 17-AA Pitcher of the Year and First Team All East Texas. As a freshman, Phillips was named the District 18-A Newcomer of the Year. A member of Harlton High School’s cross country team, Phillips was named the Wendy’s High School Heisman Recipient and qualified for regionals in 2013-14. Phillips also plays basketball and is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Student Council and National Honor Society.
A native Loganville, Ga., Kayla Poynter helped lead Walnut Grove High School the 5A State Championship Game last season and was named the 5A Region 8 Pitcher of the Year. The Georgia Dugout Club All-State Player was also named the MaxPreps/NFCA Player of the Week for September 19-25. As a junior, Poynter was named the 4A All-State and Region 4 Pitcher of the Year, while leading her team to the 4A Region 4 Championship and State Championship Game. In 2015, Poynter was named the 4A Region 4 Pitcher of the Year and was a member of the 4A Region 8 First Team as a freshman.
A catcher and first baseman from Prosper, Texas, Abby Smith was named the District 10-5A Offensive MVP and earned the Dallas Morning News “Barry Bonds” Award. As a sophomore, Smith was named first team all-district and first team all-area catcher, leading Prosper High to the 5A Texas State playoff. The two-time Dallas Morning News Player of the Week was also named all-state honorable mention at catcher. Smith was named first team all-district and the team’s MVP as a freshman. With Texas Glory Gold, Smith finished second at the USSSA World Fastpitch Championships and third at the DeMarini Invitational. A Student Council class representative, Smith was named academic all -district in 2015 and 2016.
2017 Texas A&M Softball Signing Class
Name Pos. Ht. B/T Hometown (High School)
Dani Elder C/3B 5-4 R/R League City, Texas (Clear Springs HS)
Maddie MacGrandle P/1B 5-11 L/L Frisco, TX (Frisco HS)
Hannah Mayo P 5-7 R/R Corpus Christi, TX (Mary Carroll HS)
Gabby Moreno INF/OF 5-9 R/R Montgomery, TX (Montgomery HS)
Randi Carol Phillips P/1B 5-9 R/R Jefferson, TX (Harleton HS)
Kayla Poynter P 5-11 R/R Loganville, GA (Walnut Grove HS)
Abby Smith C/1B 6-0 R/R Prosper, TX (Prosper HS)
Source- Texas A&M Athletics