LMC Signs Benfield in Early Signing Period

BANNER ELK, NC--Head Softball Coach Julie Kennedy announces the National Letter of Intent signing of Ashley Benfield of Taylorsville, North Carolina to Lees-McRae College.

After playing for one of the best high school programs in the state, Benfield brings a winning mentality to Lees-McRae College. She plays 3rd base for Alexander Central High School under Head Coach Monte Sherrill. Benfield, a right-handed, line drive hitter, is well known for her speed on the bases. On her summer team (NC Sundevils) she is also known for her speed out of the box as a left-handed slapper and in the outfield. Outfield is where she will be primarily competing for the Lees-McRae Bobcats.

Whether slapping from the left side or hitting from the right, Benfield bats in the high .300/ low .400s range on average for her summer ball and high school teams. One of the highlights of her offensive careers came at the Queen of Diamonds Tournament this summer where she batted .556 and was on base .667 percent for the weekend.

In high school Benfield has lettered in softball two years, also earning the awards of 2007 Northwest 4A All Conference Player Softball and 2006 Most Valuable Player Offense Award Softball. She has a GPA 4.060 and her class rank is 47 of 366. A well-rounded student-athlete; she is a member of Senior Beta Club, Student Council and the Interact Club. She also recently won the Wendy's High School Heisman Award. Ashley plans to major in Elementary Education at Lees-McRae.

"Ashley is a talented softball player who will add a great deal of speed and aggressiveness to our team"," says Kennedy. "We are fortunate in gaining a player with both drive and natural ability."

Lees-McRae College is a four year college in the mountains of North Carolina located in the ski village of Banner Elk. Lees-McRae College and the community of Banner Elk are home to 18 collegiate sports, thirty-one degree options, caring and qualified professors, two major ski slopes (Beech and Sugar Mountains), mountain biking and hiking trails, beautiful rock streams for fishing and plenty of wildlife (to include an occasion black bear or two).

BOTTOM PHOTO: Ashley Benfield on left