FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University softball coach Stacey Vallee has announced the addition of junior college pitcher Cea Knox of Myrtle Beach and freshman catcher-infielder Meghan Heiser of Sacramento, Calif.
Knox, 5-9, is transferring from USC Salkehatchie, where she played two seasons for coach Mitch Smith.
This past spring, she posted a 13-11 pitching mark with a 1.74 earned run average as she helped the Lady Indians to their first-ever winning season (23-21). She struck out 111 batters in 153.1 innings. At the plate, she batted .392 with 24 runs scored, 15 doubles, one home run, 34 runs batted in, and a .455 on-base percentage.
Knox leaves as the school’s all-time leader in strikeouts and wins, and during the 2009 campaign she tossed the first no-hitter in the program’s history. She was recently named to the 2009 ESPN The Magazine® Academic All-District III (College Division) women's softball team (second team), and was both an All-Region X selection and a Region X All-Tournament Team pick in 2008. She was named the school’s Female Athlete of the Year for 2007-08.
Off the field, she served in student government as vice president this past year.
Knox is also a product of Socastee High School, where she was a two-time All-State selection and holds the school’s career home run record.
Heiser, 5-9, is a product of St. Francis College Prep High School, where she played under the direction of coach Al LoGiudice.
This season she batted .222 with three doubles, two homers, 17 RBIs, and a .300 on-base percentage. Playing behind the plate and in the infield, she posted a .987 fielding percentage with only two errors and five passed balls in 25 contests. She was named to participate in the 2009 Optimist All-Star Game after helping lead St. Francis to a 14-11 record.
As a junior, she batted .391 with two home runs and eight RBIs and was named All-League, while also receiving an All-League Sportsmanship Award.
She also played summer ball for the Capital City Comets Gold Team.
“Cea brings a great attitude to the program, and she wants to learn and be a part of a winning tradition,” said Vallee. “She is coming from a junior college, so she has the experience that we are always looking for. She is going to be a true utility player for us, pushing for time on the mound, at first, and in the outfield. As with most of our pitchers, Cea can hit for herself and brings some great statistics with her as well.”
“Meghan will also be a great addition to our program,” Vallee said. “She is a young lady that is driven to succeed and wants to learn more. That is the type of player we like to have at FMU. Meghan will also be bringing with her strong hitting credentials which will help us perform on the offensive side of the game. She will be working behind the plate and at first base for us.”
Knox and Heiser join six players who signed during the early signing period: infielder Tristan Faile of Lancaster, S.C., catcher-outfielder Olivia Ferguson of Roanoke, Va., catcher-first baseman Annie Hegar of Jefferson, N.C., left-handed pitcher Murphy McConnell of Milton, Ga., utility player Jamie Ross of Cape Coral, Fla., and right-handed pitcher Brittany Scoggins of Boiling Springs, S.C.
Francis Marion finished the 2009 season with a 32-19 record, and narrowly missed earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
#166 / 6-1-09