FMU softball inks Conway pitcher and Florida outfielder

FMU softball inks Conway pitcher and Florida outfielder

Francis Marion University women's softball coach Stacey Vallee has announced the signing of 5-9 right-handed pitcher Janecia (Neci) Hemingway of Conway, S.C., and 5-4 outfielder Kayleigh Walters of Valrico, Fla., to a national letters of intent during the recent signing period.

Hemingway is a senior at Conway High School, where she played under the direction of coach Mike Skipper and earned All-State honors each of the past three seasons. She is a four-time All-Region selection, during which time she registered 36 wins in the pithing circle.

This past season, she hit .377 with seven doubles, two home runs, 13 runs batted in, and 14 runs scored. In the pitching circle, she was 8-5 with a 2.18 earned run average and 109 strikeouts in only 103 innings pitched. She has been selected to play in the 2018 North/South All-Star Game.

As a junior, she batted .422 with eight homers and 29 RBIs, while posting a 14-5 pitching mark. She helped lead the Lady Tigers to their first region championship in school history. She was named both the Region VI-AAAAA and the Toast of the Coast Player of the Year.

Hemingway was also an All-Region selection on the basketball court and played volleyball this past fall. She is a member of Conway's National Honor Society and the Delta Gems.

"Neci is a great local pick-up for us," Vallee said. "She is from not far away and comes from a very athletic and supportive family. We are excited to have her join our roster for the 2019 season. She has many tools in her belt and we can't wait to see how we can utilize them all. She will bring some good offensive numbers to our lineup and we also hope to see her on the mound and possibly in the field defensively at other positions as well. She has a passion for the game and a passion to be the best she can be. Hard work will not be an issue for her, as she knows if she wants something she will have to work for it. She is going to be a great addition to our family."

Hemingway's sister Shamae played basketball at Coker College, while her older brother Junior played football at the University of Michigan before being drafted in 2012 by the Kansas City Chiefs.   Younger brother Tonka is a highly recruited defensive lineman on the Conway football team.

Walters played her freshman and sophomore seasons at the State College of Florida and will have two years of eligibility at FMU.  The Manatee program also produced current Patriot team members Jaimie and Jessica Harney.

This past season, she batted .274 while scoring 34 runs in 52 games for a 35-21 squad.  She drove in four runs, stole 10 bases in 11 attempts, and registered a .356 on-base percentage.

Walters is a product of Bloomingdale High School, where she played for coaches Mark Brady and Mandy Schuerman. As a senior, she hit .317 with 14 stolen bases.  During her junioryear, she was part of a state championship team.

"Kayleigh bats from the left side of the plate, and we are excited to add her collegiate experience to our outfield – a position that saw us start three freshmen in 2018. She will fit into our family very well and with ease due to her friendship with the Harney's, but also because of her great personality. We are excited to see where her experience will fit into the program for the 2019 season."

The Patriots lost only two seniors off last year's 19-25 squad.

Valle previously announced the signing of 6-0 first basemen Addie May of Vale, N.C., and 5-5 middle infielder Darian Buss of Huntsville, Ala., during the fall early signing period.