Arts & Sciences' Jamani Greer and Kiara Suttles recently signed scholarship papers and will continue their softball careers at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La.
The two were also teammates on one of the Tennessee Fury 16-under teams. Greer said Southern coaches first took notice of them when they played in a national tournament in California.
"They've been watching us a good two years and they know some of the people who have coached me," Suttles said. "They've probably seen me more than anybody else."
She and Greer visited Southern's campus together last month.
"I liked it a lot," Greer said. "It's nice. I know it's far away, but I like it. I got to meet some of the players, and they were real nice. I liked the atmosphere, too."
Southern's new head coach is Lee Dobbins, a Soddy-Daisy High School graduate with many softball ties locally.
"These were two great gets for our program here at Southern and the first two pieces of the puzzle for our turning the tide for the program in the immediate future," Dobbins said in a school release. "Both have been well coached and played for one of the top travel ball organizations in the country."
Suttles plays catcher for the Lady Patriots and was one of the most feared sluggers in the Chattanooga area last spring. She hit 13 home runs and walked 25 times.
"She led the team for the second half of the season in batting average, hitting over .500," CSAS coach Kaity Holloway said. "She by far, in my opinion, is one of the best catchers to come out of this area in a long time."
Greer has been a mainstay at third base for the Lady Patriots the last three years and been on the receiving end of a few of Suttles' pickoff throws.
"She is an outstanding defensive player," Holloway said of Greer. "She's fearless. That's why she had Kiara work so well together. Both have that go-get-it attitude. They're like, 'I dare you to get off that base.' She's also somebody we have put up and down our lineup. She's quicker than a lot of people think. We can bat her No. 2 and have her bunt if we need to, or she can move down and hit doubles out of the five hole. She's an all-around great ballplayer."
CSAS has had seven players in the last two years moving on to college softball.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.