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Indians diamond darlings ink collegiate letters

Story by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher

Photos by Brian Tannehill | Director of Photography

WETUMPKA – Surrounded by friends, family and school officials a quintet of Indians put their verbal commitments to paper signing national letters of intent to play baseball and softball on the next level. Ashlynn Campbell (Purdue, softball), Ty Brooks (South Alabama), Jaxon Shineflew (South Alabama), Davis Wells (Southern Union) and Tyson Collier (Enterprise State) put the recruiting process behind them with a stroke of the pen.

Campbell – in late April – was named honorable mention as Extra Inning Softball’s National High School Player of the Week going 13-for-16 in a six-game stretch where the Indians went 5-1. In that span she accounted for eight stolen bases, 10 runs scored and 14 putouts from shortstop. As a junior, she was ranked No. 81 in the 2023 Extra Elite. As the Tribe’s Leadoff Indian and shortstop, Campbell was dominant as a junior batting just shy of .540 with an on-base percentage north of .600. She banged out eight doubles, 10 triples and a homer while driving home 22 runs over the span of 86 total hits.

After graduation, she’ll share hardhats with Hayden High Catcher – and Birmingham Bolts’ teammate – Ansley Armstrong, who also signed to play Big 10 Softball at Purdue.

Brooks, a rising junior, chose South Alabama over the likes of Mizzou, K-State and the rival Trojans, among others. Literally born into baseball, Brooks has developed into an elite defender that can bring it with a bat in hand. As a junior Brooks hit .416 with 10 extra-base hits, 22 RBIs, scored 42 runs and swiped multiple bases.

Shineflew developed into a quality pitcher, sending 79 batters back to the dugout saddled with front-facing and back-facing K’s on the way to building a 7-1 record with an ERA of just over 1.00.

Wells – of the bunch of Wednesday’s signers – had the longest commitment, hanging on to it for what equates to a calendar year. The utility (catcher/outfielder) Indian will join a group of familiar-faced Bison. Noah Jones, Dawson Fuller and Douglas Johnson – Indians of seasons past – are currently on the Southern Union Roster.

 Collier’s commitment was the shortest. Bringing a live arm to the bump and a fastball consistently in the 80s, the decision to offer was almost a no-brainer.

Last season, Wetumpka finished the regular season ranked 8th in the state according to the Alabama Sportswriters. The Indians advanced to the playoffs, sweeping Valley in the first round. They fell short in a best-of-three battle with Hueytown in the second round.The Indians softball team finished the 2021 campaign ranked 5th in the state after amassing 33 wins and qualifying for the Central Regional. In Montgomery, the Indians knocked off Brookwood to start the tournament but were felled by Helena in the championship semifinals and then had their season ended by Benjamin Russell.

Founder/Publisher of Central Alabama Scoreboard. Former sportsguy, and managing editor.

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