Swedes add 3 for softball

By Sara Blackburn, Bethany College
July 07, 2017

LINDSBORG – The Bethany College softball program has announced the addition of three transfers to its 2017-18 recruiting class: Courtney Fudge, Ellsworth, Iowa; Kara Myrick, La Vernia, Texas; and Lexie Valentine, Des Moines, Iowa.

Fudge, a second baseman and shortstop, comes to Bethany from Marshalltown Community College in Marshalltown, Iowa. She was named 2017 first-team All-Region XI. She hit .394 with a .481 on-base percentage, and a .628 slugging percentage, totaling 54 hits, 18 doubles, one triple, four home runs, nine stolen bases, 44 runs and 29 RBIs.

As a freshman, Fudge led her team with a .368 batting average, .458 on-base percentage and a .526 slugging percentage. She tallied 63 hits, 11 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 48 runs, 39 RBIs and seven stolen bases.

Fudge was a two-time first-team Academic All-Region XI honoree, a NJCAA Superior Academic Achievement Award winner, a member of the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year, and was named ICCAC Player of the Week twice in her career. Prior to her time at Marshalltown, Fudge attended Des Moines East High School.

"We are very happy for Courtney Fudge to have chosen Bethany College and our Swedes softball program," head coach Laura Moreno said. "Courtney has had proven success at the collegiate level after two very solid years at Marshalltown Community College. We are excited for the leadership and guidance she can bring to our program. We think Courtney makes consistently good contact offensively, and has some pop off her bat. Defensively, we feel Courtney is very agile adaptable and has good range. In our interactions with her, Courtney has shown both high focus and dedication to her sport and education. We look forward to working with her as a Swede.”

Fudge is the daughter of Missy Dekock and Carl Fudge. She has a 3.65 grade point average and plans to major in exercise science.

Myrick, an outfielder, comes to Bethany from Temple Junior College. She previously attended Florida State College-Jacksonville.

Prior to her collegiate experiences, Myrick attended La Vernia High School where she played varsity softball for three years. In 2015, she was named the Most Valuable Player. In 2014, she earned first-team All-Conference honors and was named to the Jaguar Classic HS All-Tournament Team. In 2013, Myrick was also first-team All-Conference as well as on the Southwest HS All-Tournament Team.

"We are very excited to welcome Kara Myrick to Bethany College and our Swedes softball family,” Moreno said. "Kara is a very hard-working student-athlete who wants to find a way to contribute to her team. At the plate, Kara sees the ball well as a slapper and does a good job of taking her hands to pitches. Her speed will certainly be an asset both offensively and defensively. Kara has good arm strength and a good instinct in terms of taking good routes to the ball. We look forward to working with Kara and seeing what she accomplishes during her time as a Swede.”

Myrick is the daughter of Candence and Clifton Myrick. She has a 2.5 grade point average and plans to major in biology.

Valentine, a third baseman and first baseman, also comes to Bethany from Marshalltown Community College. She earned second-team All-Region XI honors in 2017. She recorded a .371 batting average with a .455 on-base percentage, .581 slugging percentage, 39 hits, six doubles, two triples, four home runs, six stolen bases, 24 runs and 21 RBIs. Her freshman year she hit .270 with a .345 on-base percentage, .360 slugging percentage, 27 hits, nine doubles, seven stolen bases, 16 runs and 12 RBIs.

Valentine was named first-team Academic All-Region XI in 2016, second-team Academic All-Region in 2017, and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and National Honor Society. Prior to her time at Marshalltown, Valentine attended Saydel High School in Des Moines, Iowa.

"We are thrilled to have Lexie Valentine join Bethany College and Swedes softball,”  Moreno said. "Lexie had a very good sophomore year at Marshalltown Community College. She moves extremely well at third base. We really like her aggressiveness and her ability to both move laterally as well as dive for balls. Offensively, Lexie displayed quality pitch selection and has the ability to make good, consistent contact in the box. We think Lexie can bring some leadership and experience to our young squad with the commitment and priority she puts towards both school and softball, which will greatly benefit our program. We look forward to working with Lexie her next two years as a Swede.”

Valentine is the daughter of Torie Bassett and Donovan Valentine. She has a 3.52 grade point average, and plans to major in chemistry/forensic science.