A second member of the Brownwood Lady Lions softball team is headed for college to continue her playing career upon graduation from high school.
Lady Lion senior third baseman Ayanna Clemons on Tuesday signed a national letter of intent to play softball for Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kansas. Clemons joins pitcher Chyanne Ellett, who signed with the University of Memphis in November, as Lady Lions whose softball skills will take them to the next level.
“It feels really exciting to start a new chapter in my life, especially playing the sport that I love,” Clemons said.
Seward, a member of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference, posted a 38-21 overall record last season, including 22-6 in league play. Seward faced Angelina, Midland, Howard and Ranger — all Texas colleges — last season prior to the start of conference action.
“The coach had contacted me and she was looking for more players,” Clemons said. “She asked if I was still interested and of course I said yes, and ended up going for a visit and really liked it. It felt like a second home to me so I decided I really wanted to go there.”
Clemons choose Seward over Texas Wesleyan, located in Fort Worth.
“Texas Wesleyan was interested in me, but the reason why I didn't choose them is it didn't feel like it did at Seward,” said Clemons, who was recruited to play third base. “I just went with what I felt like was the right choice for me.”
In her first three years as a Lady Lion, Clemons has played in 96 games with a .378 batting average, three home runs, 62 RBIs, 108 hits, 30 doubles and 66 runs scored.
Among the career highlights for Clemons was reaching the Class 4A state tournament as a freshman member of the Lady Lions roster.
“It was something really special and unbelievable to be able to experience my freshman year,” Clemons said. “It set the tone for every single year. I can't wait to experience that hopefully again this year.”
During the signing ceremony at Warren Gym, Lady Lions softball head coach Jessica Lynn also recalled Clemons' first high school season.
“She came out and immediately stood out at third base and won the position right off,” Lynn said. “She replaced a first team all-district player from the year before and did really well. We had her in the No. 9 hole and she had a lot clutch hits in the playoffs that year. It was really exciting to see a freshman come up with big hits. She had a huge home run in one of our playoff games.”
Regarding Clemons' career as a whole, Lynn said, “She's very solid, very calm, you can't tell if she's nervous or excited. But she's very passionate about the sport and has put in a ton of work and I think she's going to do very well in college.”
Clemons is hopeful the Lady Lions make a return trip to Austin before her high school career ends.
“The way we play, even though we lost in the third round last year, I feel like every year we come back playing really hard,” Clemons said. “As long as we keep playing as a team I think we can definitely get to state this year.”
Clemons intends to study nursing at Seward, and hopes her softball prowess will allow her to extend her athletic career longer than just two additional years.
“I'm hoping to be able to play well enough to continue my softball career, and hopefully I can get a scholarship to play at a bigger school and move back to Texas,” Clemons said.