Hughes will come to Lee from the North Georgia area, hailing from Union County High School in Blairsville, Ga. The senior pitcher considered Brenau University, West Georgia, and Presbyterian College before landing with the Lady Flames.
“Signing Angie is very important to our program,” said Russell. “She is a tremendous pitcher that is a winner on and off the field. She is dominating on the mound and we are looking for that kind of pitcher for our program.”
Awards have been a common theme in Hughes’ career to this point, as she has earned several regional and state awards. Hughes was the Region 8AA Pitcher of the Year in 2010 and 2011, as well as being named the AA Pitcher of the Year in 2010. She was the Georgia Dugout Player of the Year in 2010 in addition to Gainesville Times First Team All-Area. Hughes was also her team MVP in both 2010 and 2011.
“I know that 2012 will be a great season, and when (Hughes) comes in the program in 2013 we will be in a good place for her to step in and contribute right away,” added Russell, who will graduate two veteran pitchers following the 2012 season.
“She is a great kid and when we were at her signing people were congratulating me on signing such a great person. As a coach it means a lot to sign quality kids that compete at a high level. I am excited to get her on campus and see her throw for us.”
Hughes cited her goals as improvement on the mound, and to help the team win a national title. The Georgia Merit Scholar plans to major in Chemistry/Biochemistry in hopes of entering a career in Pharmacy.
Lexie Dean, of Grace Academy in Chattanooga, will bring her versatile play to the Lady Flames in 2012-13. Dean has enjoyed an outstanding three-year career for Coach Tina Walker at Grace, earning All-District honors all three seasons.
Boasting a career batting average of .512, Dean was named Best Hitter for her high school squad the past three seasons. She was also named TWSA All-State and Best of Preps in both her sophomore and junior seasons. 2011 was also highlighted by a 26-game hitting streak.
“We are thrilled that we are signing Lexie,” said Russell. “She will be a very valuable player for us because she can play both infield and outfield. She is also a speedy player that is a threat on the bases.”
The National Honor Society and Beta Club member plans to study health science and pursue neo-natal nursing. She cites the beautiful campus and feeling at home in her decision to make Cleveland her college destination. Dean was also recruited by Middle Tennessee, Belmont, and Carson-Newman.
“Lexie plays very competitive summer ball (.460 batting average) and Grace has been very competitive these last few years. She is another exciting member of the 2013 signing class that will make a big impact on our team,” concluded Russell.