July 26, 2012
Four more to join Hokie softball squad
Additions brings newcomer class up to six

BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech head softball coach Scot Thomas announced Thursday the addition of four additional players who will enroll at Virginia Tech next month and join the softball squad. Transfer Amanda Ake, along with freshmen Alex Barnes, Morgan McCoy and Kiara Ota, will begin their careers in the maroon and orange this season on the diamond.

“We’re really excited about what these four newcomers will bring to our program,” Thomas said. “Amanda was a JUCO All-American last year while Kiara, Alex and Morgan all had outstanding senior seasons. All four have the ability to impact our program and round out a great class when you include the two we signed last fall.”

Below are the bios on the four new additions in alphabetical order.

Amanda Ake
Carrollton, Ga.
Central Carroll HS/Tallahassee C.C.

At TCC: Played for Coach Patti Townsend and former Hokie Jennifer McKibben at Tallahassee Community College … A third-team JUCO All-American as a sophomore … Also earned a spot on the All-FCSAA first-team after leading Tallahassee with a .404 batting average with 10 home runs … Also named first-team All-Panhandle Conference … Led the Eagles in hits (65), runs scored (47), stolen bases (23) and slugging percentage (.652) … Also had 10 doubles and helped turn eight double plays from her shortstop position … Played in 56 games as a freshman, hitting .346 with nine doubles, a triple and a team-leading 13 home runs … Named second-team All-FCSAA and first-team All-Panhandle Conference … Named to the FCSAA All-Tournament and Gulf District All-Tournament teams … Drove in 46 runs and scored 37 runs … Had a slugging percentage of .626 … Drew seven walks and had 13 total sacrifices … Stolen nine bases … Helped turn 14 double plays.

High School: Was a four-year letterwinner in both softball and basketball at Central Carroll High School in Carrollton, GA … Was named Rookie of the Year in 2007, first team all-region, second-team all-state, and won the Silver Slugger Award for hitting .527 … Was selected second-team all-region in 2008, while being tabbed Offensive MVP and “Most Improved” on the Lions basketball team in 2006-07 … Played for the Georgia Elite travel ball team for Coach Daniel Caldwell.

Personal: Amanda Leigh Ake was born July 5, 1991 in Fort Hood, TX … Daughter of Lesa Armstrong and Robert Ake … Has an older brother, Keith, and a younger brother, Cameron … Contemplated major is history.

Alex Barnes
Thornville, Ohio
Millersport HS

High School: Lettered four times at Millersport High for Coach Tom Laird … A first-team All-Ohio selection as a senior … Was also Player of Year in the Central District, first-team All-Central District, first-team All-Metro, first-team All-Mid State League (MSL) and first-team All-Fairfield County … Hit .641 her senior year with three home runs, three triples and 14 doubles … Had an on-base percentage of .729 and a slugging percentage of 1.125 … Scored 28 runs, drove in 22 runs, drew 14 walks, stole 12 bases and was hit by 15 pitches … As a junior, hit .508 with three home runs, earning first-team All-Central District, first-team All-MSL and was named the all-star thirdbaseman for the Central District … Hit .451 as a sophomore with four home runs and .427 as a freshman with three home runs … Named first-team All-Central District and second-team All-MSL as a sophomore and first-team All-MSL as a freshman … Left Millersport holding school records in career home runs, home runs in a season, career stolen bases, career batting average, season batting average and hits in a career … Selected for the Adidas Futures Tournament 2011 for Ohio Wizards, a tournament all-star team … Also played basketball, volleyball and ran track, earning All-MSL honors in basketball and volleyball … Played travel ball for Coach Shawn Reis and Northern Ohio Softball.

Personal: Alexandra Kay Barnes was born April 5, 1994 in Toledo, OH … The daughter of Christine and Scott Barnes … Has a younger sister, Mia … Contemplated major is engineering.

Morgan McCoy
Blacksburg, Va.
Blacksburg HS

High School:
Lettered four times at Blacksburg High for Coach Dave Potts … Hit .426 her senior year, earning second-team All-River Ridge District honors … Had an on-base percentage of .478 and a slugging percentage of .672 … Had two home runs, two triples and five doubles her final year … Stole nine bases, drove in 11 runs and scored 17 runs … The 2012 recipient of United States Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award … Named honorable mention River Ridge District honors in her sophomore and junior years … Played travel ball for Coach Allan Spencer and the Dixie Chicks.

Personal: Morgan Dell McCoy was born March 3, 1994 in Radford, VA … Daughter of Robin and Dale McCoy … Has two older brothers, Luke and Corey … Contemplated major is human nutrition, foods and exercise.

Kiara Ota
Second Base
Irvine, Calif.
Northwood HS

High School:
Lettered three times at Northwood High for Coach Blair Ota … Hit .484 in league play her senior season, earning Pacific Coast All-League honors … Also won the Leadership Award in 2012 … Named all-city, Pacific Coast League all-league and defensive player of the year as a junior … Named rookie of the year in 2010 … A Pacific Coast League Honorable Mention selection in 2010 … Led the team in sacrifices for three years … Also played volleyball … Played travel ball for the Irvine Sting, also coached by Blair Ota.

Personal: Kiara Paula Ota was born July 21, 1994 in Irvine, CA … Daughter of Blair and Paula Ota … Has four older siblings, Bowen, Jamie, Melissa and Erin … Erin played softball at Virginia Tech from 2005-2009 and Melissa played softball for Brown University … Contemplated major is veterinary medicine.

These four will join fellow newcomers Kelly Heinz and Maggie Tyler, who were announced in November. The full roster can be found here.

The 2012-13 Hokie softball team will begin fall practice in September and is scheduled to play a pair of non-traditional season tournaments, one at home Sept. 15 and 16 and one at the Botetourt Sports Complex in Botetourt, Va., Sept. 29-30. The spring schedule should be released in the upcoming weeks.

For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).

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