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Darton College softball team inks eight new players for 2012-13 season

The Darton softball team's 2012 signing class Tuesday included, front row, from left, Bree Wells, Savannah Carlisle and Mallory Sanders, and back row, from left, Jordan Watson, Melissa Dearth, Sierra Newman and Jostlyn Higgerson.

The Darton softball team's 2012 signing class Tuesday included, front row, from left, Bree Wells, Savannah Carlisle and Mallory Sanders, and back row, from left, Jordan Watson, Melissa Dearth, Sierra Newman and Jostlyn Higgerson.

ALBANY — Tradition doesn’t graduate at Darton College, and Jostlyn Higgerson was fully aware of that when she officially committed to be a Lady Cav on Tuesday along with seven other high school softball players.

“It was the atmosphere here,” said Higgerson, a senior from Enterprise High School in Alabama. “All the players are friendly. All the coaches are great. You have a sense that there are a lot of great players around you, and you know they are going to do their part.”

Darton, which won the Region XVII championship and placed fifth in the NJCAA World Series last season, brought in a whole new crop of talent Tuesday to pick up right where the outgoing Lady Cavs left off.

“We competed against a lot of other schools, and we feel honored that they chose Darton,” Lady Cavs coach David Dews said of his eight new players, who signed national letters-of-intent for the 2012-13 season. “With our numbers, we don’t have too many (players), so everybody is going to have an immediate impact. I’m depending on all of them to come in and contribute right away.”

The 2012 signing class included Merina Young (RHP, Kimberly High School, Wisc.), Sierra Newman (OF, Bryan County High School, Ga.), Bree Wells (SS, Cherokee High School, Ga.), Savannah Carlisle (RHP/OF, Harris County High School, Ga.), Mallory Sanders (C, South Paulding High School, Ga.), Melissa Dearth (1B, Walnut Grove High School, Ga.), Jordan Watson (OF, Headland High School, Ala.) and Higgerson.

“If we all do what we came here to do, then we will get it done like we are supposed to,” Wells said.

Darton will lose five sophomores — pitchers Amanda Cook and Katy Jordan, infielders Erica Vasquez and Amanda Jaskolski and outfielder Chantelle Curinton — after this season, which officially kicks off Feb. 1 at Andrew College.

“We feel good about all of these kids we are bringing in. They were all brought in because of specific needs we know we are going to have next year,” Dews said. “It’s a real special group. I think they are real mature for their age, and they understand the expectations of coming into our program and the little things that we are going to have to do every day. They are willing to pay the price and sacrifice to be here. We are really excited about that.”