Hatley’s Emilee Slade signed her letter of intent to play softball at Meridian Community College. Pictured are, front, L to R: Donna Slade, Terry Slade, Emilee Slade, Kelli Kimbrough, Daniel Kimbrough; back, L to R: Hatley coach Chris George, Kara Slade, Abby Kathryn Kimbrough.

Hatley utility player Emilee Slade found her perfect home for the next level as she signed her letter of intent on Thursday to play softball at Meridian Community College.

“When I went to visit, the two coaches were super friendly, and they made me feel welcome as soon as I got on campus,” Slade said. “The one thing that really pushed me was I asked Coach Robinson that I’m a momma’s girl and would she be my mom away from my mom, and she promised me she would. That was one thing that made me feel it was where I really wanted to be. I have already met some of the girls that I’m signing with, and Meridian just got a new workout room, so that’s really nice as well.”

Slade, who has primarily played catcher but also seen time in the infield, batted .541 last season on her way to being named the Division 4-3A Offensive Most Valuable Player. She added 10 doubles, 16 RBI and six stolen bases.

“I want to be as consistent as I can, not let anything get in my head and worry about how I make my teammates feel and if they are confident, I am confident,” Slade said. “We want to win the Monroe County tournament the third time, and we want to go in the playoffs and get deep in the playoffs. Winning the division would be a big one because I don’t think we have done it since I have been here.”

Slade also led the Lady Tigers with a .960 fielding percentage and made just four errors in over 100 chances.

“Emilee is one of those kids who you can plug in and play anywhere, and she will do absolutely fantastic. Senior year, but she has always been a leader for us,” Hatley coach Chris George said. “The best thing about her is she brings effort to everything, every day, all the time. When you combine the effort, she brings with the talent she has, she’s going to do great things. She absolutely tore the cover off the ball last season, and everything was centered, line drives and never tried to do too much and stayed within herself. She put the barrel on the ball and good things happened. She keeps her game simple, and I think that will help her at the next level too.”

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