Smithville's Chloe Summerford signed her letter of intent to play softball at Northwest Community College. Pictured are, front, from left: Rodney Summerford, Chloe Summerford, Faith Summerford. Back, from left: Smithville head coach Jeremy Duke, Reed Summerford, assistant coach Drew Summerford.

Smithville’s Chloe Summerford has been the anchor in the pitching circle for five years for the Lady Noles, and now she’s taking her utility softball talents to the next level, signing her letter of intent with Northwest Community College on Thursday.

Summerford said the coaching staff stood out most to her on her visit to Northwest.

“Their coach has always had a good relationship with the girls, and that was the first thing I noticed when I went on my visit,” she said. “She was very chill, laid back and treated them like sisters. The campus is insanely nice and feels like home.”

While she’s primarily seen time at pitcher in high school, Northwest has talked to Summerford also about middle infield, and she believes she could contribute in the outfield if needed as well.

“I think I can play anywhere I’m needed. I want to make sure I am good all around and don’t just focus on one part of my game,” she said. “I also want to get up to that college level and making sure that I’m not falling behind and that I can be there for my team up there. I think my pitching has been really good recently, and I really want to work on my hitting and making sure I’m able to hit off college-level pitchers.”

Summerford posted a 14-6 record last season with a 2.38 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 108 innings. At the plate, she hit .381 with 18 RBI, seven doubles and one triple.

“We lost a key group of seniors back in 2016, and Chloe stepped into that pitching rule as an eighth-grader and did a phenomenal job,” Smithville coach Jeremy Duke said. “Chloe has been an outstanding player for us the last six years, and we are super proud of her and her accomplishments. She’s worked her tail off to get to where she’s at now. She has work to go with it being college ball, and I have no doubt that she’s going to do that because she’s that type of player. She will continue to get better.”

Summerford competed in the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star game this summer and was named the division’s Pitcher of the Year as a junior. She was also an all-division selection as a freshman.

“She has always been consistent in the circle, and we have put a lot on her shoulders, and she’s accepted that role very well,” Duke said. “At the plate, she’s consistent and is just an all-around solid softball player. She can play any position on the field, and I don’t consider her just a pitcher or just a shortstop. At Northwest, she’s going to be that five-tool player that they can use wherever needed.”

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