FLORENCE — A former UCHS softball player is part of a trio headed from Spartanburg Methodist College to play for Francis Marion University.
Francis Marion University head softball coach Stacey Vallee recently announced the addition of three transfers from Spartanburg Methodist College — third baseman Logan Wade of Union, utility player Breanna Cuff of Landrum, and middle infielder Hannah Knight of Lancaster. All three will have two years of eligibility for the Patriots.
Each member of the trio earned All-Region X honors this past season, while helping the Pioneers to a 38-14 record and an eighth-place finish at the NJCAA National Championship.
Cuff, 5-3, batted .384 this past season with 41 runs scored, eight doubles, six home runs, and 40 runs batted in. She also posted a .530 on-base percentage. In addition to her All-Region accolades, she was also named to the Region X All-Academic Team.
Cuff played her freshman season at Southern Wesleyan University where she hit .293 with 13 doubles, two homers, and 26 RBIs. She is a graduate of Landrum High School, where she played for coach Tucker Hamrick. She was a five-time All-Region selection, garnered All-State honors three times, and participated in the 2012 North/South All-Star Game.
“Bre is a line-drive hitter that can play several positions,” said Vallee. “She will be a good addition to our squad, especially on the offensive side, and she also excels in the classroom.”
Knight, 5-3, was named Region X’s Player of the Year for 2014 after batting .386 with 55 runs scored, seven doubles, three triples, four homers, and 28 RBIs. She posted a .474 on-base percentage and ranked among the national leaders with 58 stolen bases in 61 attempts. She earned a 2014 NJCAA Softball Marucci Elite Hitter Award for having the highest batting average in her three-region district. At second base, she registered a .964 fielding percentage and took part in turning nine double plays.
A two-time All-Region X selection, she was also named to the Region X All-Tournament Team each of her two seasons at SMC. As a freshman, she hit .329 with 13 extra-base hits, 21 RBIs, and 43 stolen bases.
Knight is a product of Buford High School, where she played under the direction of coaches Ronnie Bailey, Wayne Boone, and TJ Armbrust.
“Hannah will add speed to our line-up, and one thing that really stood out to me about her is that she is a vocal team leader,” Vallee said. “She is a contact hitter who has batted lead-off for Spartanburg Methodist. She is not afraid to get dirty and does things that can spark a squad. She will fill an immediate need for us, whether in the middle infield or outfield.”
Wade, 5-4, hit .308 this past season with 43 runs scored, 13 doubles, one homer, and 23 RBIs. She posted a .360 on-base percentage and was 11-of-12 in stolen base attempts. She was named to the 2014 Region X All-Tournament Team.
As a freshman, she batted .298 with three home runs and 22 RBIs and was a first-team All-Region selection.
Wade is a graduate of Union County High School, where she played for coach Danny Gault.
“Logan possesses some pop in her bat to hit for extra bases. She is a hard worker and does the things needed to accomplish a task. She will come in and challenge for playing time.”
“The fact that all three players spent the past year together should ease their transition to FMU. In addition, all three are Palmetto State natives and family and friends will be able to see them play.”
FMU lost five seniors off last season’s 23-28 squad that tied for seventh during the Peach Belt Conference regular season.
Last fall, FMU announced the signing of middle infielder Whitney Clements of Spring Grove, Va., middle infielder Ericka Clifford of Acworth, Ga., and left-handed pitcher Kaitlin Munda of Nokesville, Va., during the early signing period.