Softball: Lady Wolverines have three to sign with colleges

Posted: November 10, 2017 at 1 a.m.

Brittany Crowson (from left), Jazmine Dodd and Anna Griffin sign letters of intent Thursday at Bentonville West High School in Centerton. Crowson signed with Gulf Coast Community College, Dodd with Tyler Junior College and Griffin with Southeast Missouri.

CENTERTON -- Hours before she was to sign her national letter of intent, Anna Griffin had the realization of what she was about to accomplish.

Griffin was not only one of the first three Bentonville West athletes to sign with a college, but she would become the first one to sign with an NCAA Division I school when she signed to play softball at Southeast Missouri.

She was joined during Thursday's ceremony at the Wolverine Athletic Complex by teammates Jazmine Dodd and Brittany Crowson, who signed with Tyler (Texas) Junior College and Gulf Coast State College, respectively.

"It's crazy," Griffin said following the signing. "When my dad pointed out to be (Wednesday) night, I was like 'Whoa! That's a big deal.' It's something that won't go away for a long time, and I'm glad to represent the school. It means a lot to be able to represent my school in this way.

"I never thought I would get to this point. We always talk about being committed, but I'm officially theirs for 4 years. It's amazing."

Griffin hit .346 last season with four home runs and 19 RBIs for West, which reached the Class 7A state tournament semifinals in its first season. She drew interested from other Ohio Valley Conference teams before picking Southeast Missouri, located in Cape Girardeau.

She played first base last season for the Lady Wolverines and hopes that will be her position when she reaches the college ranks.

"It feels like family for me there," Griffin said. "With me being six hours from home, it's going to be tough. I know, though, I will be with some of my best friends for years to come. That's what sold me on being there."

Dodd, West's starting centerfielder and leadoff hitter, was second on the team with a .486 batting average and 41 runs scored. She also had one home run and 22 RBIs, as well as a team-high four triples and eight doubles.

The combination of the big-city feel the Rose City of sTyler provides, as well as having family in the area, made Dodd's choice that much easier.

"I'm really excited about the fact that I get to play softball beyond high school," Dodd said. "I still have a chance to play after that since it's a two-year college, so I'm excited about that. Tyler is kind of like Northwest Arkansas, where it has a lot of people in it. Even though I'll be far away from home, I'll have people I know there.

"I hope I get to play center there as well. That's my favorite position to play. I'll be working hard, at practice and outside of practice, and hope I will do even better this spring."

Crowson, who split her duties between pitcher and third baseman, led the Lady Wolverines in doubles with 13 while hitting .350 with one home run and 22 RBIs. She also appeared in the circle 17 times for West and had a 3.14 ERA last season.

The person attention she drew from the Commodores during the summer became a selling point for Crowson, and a trip to Panama City, Fla., sealed her decision.

"I was at a tournament in Texas; they saw me and came to all of my games," Crowson said. "They contacted me, and I went down for a visit. I never wanted to leave.

"I'm really happy and scared at the same time. It's a great new beginning. They envision me as a pitcher, which is my favorite position. I'm hoping I get to hit, which is something I look forward to while I'm there. I would also like to play third some."

Sports on 11/10/2017