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Overbay Signs with WBC Softball

12/19/2011

December 16, 2011


By Cory Clark
Jonesboro Sun Staff Writer

(Jonesboro, Ark.) — Hayley Overbay made a little history Tuesday when she became the first-ever Jonesboro High School softball player to earn a scholarship to play at the next level.

In front of a large group of family and friends, Overbay signed on with Williams Baptist College in a dual signing ceremony with fellow classmate Nykia Keith, who signed a letter of intent with the Lady Eagles’ volleyball program.

Overbay, a catcher for the Lady Hurricane, said Tuesday was a memorable day because she just couldn’t imagine not having the chance to play the sport she loves.

“It’s an amazing feeling. I love the sport, I love the game, and I can’t imagine college without having a sport and without having to wake up at 5:30 in the morning and work out,” Overbay said. “It’s just going to be an amazing experience for me.”

Overbay said it didn’t take long for her to realize that Williams was the right place for her during her visit to the school.

“I just fell in love with the atmosphere. You can walk around and see people out studying, and I had the privilege of meeting several of the players and playing against them in high school,” she said. “It was right. I just knew it was the place.”

Jonesboro softball coach Marshall Poole said Overbay has been one of the key cogs in helping turn around the Lady Hurricane softball program in recent years.

“It’s a big deal for Jonesboro softball. For quite a while we’ve been on the lower end of the echelon as far as teams in Jonesboro, and in the last couple of years we’ve turned this program around, and we can play with anybody in this town and in our conference,” Poole said.

Being the first-ever Jonesboro softball signee didn’t really register for the Jonesboro senior until after she had signed her letter of intent.

“I didn’t think much about it until after the fact, because it is a team sport. It took my friends and my family and the coaches to all encourage me to get to this point,” she said.

On the field, Poole said Overbay is a very dedicated player who excels at the most difficult and important position on the diamond.

“As far as Hayley goes defensive wise she’s as good as there is,” he said. “She’s great at blocking balls, she’s got a really strong arm and she’s got a sense for the game.”

Overbay said she’s looking forward to playing her senior season as well as moving on to the next level and playing for Lady Eagles coach Eric Newell, whose program is expected to be ranked in the top 20 of NAIA next spring.

“I believe that Coach Newell’s recruiting classes will continue to grow and continue to make the team better, and it’s a team experience,” she said. “We build each other up, and I just can’t wait for next year to start and to be able to be a part of the Lady Eagles.”

Williams is a four-year, liberal arts college at Walnut Ridge. The Eagles compete in the American Midwest Conference of the NAIA.

Story courtesy of the Jonesboro Sun

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