Hays adds another Juco All-American to 2012 signing class

From Texas Tech University Athletics:

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech softball coach Shanon Hays announced the signing of JUCO All-American Shelby Johnson to a financial aid agreement Tuesday in order to join the program for the 2013 season.

Johnson, a native of Jefferson, Ga., starred the past two years for Chattanooga State, who won the NJCAA Division I National Championship just a few weeks ago. The Tigers rallied from the losers bracket to defeat Salt Lake Community College twice and win the school's first national title.

"Shelby is a kid we expect to come in and be an immediate impact at the top of our lineup," Hays said. "She played for the best junior college team in the country last year and was the best player on that team, so we are definitely excited to sign a player of her caliber. She has the tools and the speed to become a very dangerous hitter in this conference and we couldn't be happier that she is now a Red Raider."

One of the fastest players in the country, Johnson hit .425 over the past two seasons, including a .473 clip as a sophomore, while totaling 20 doubles and 16 triples to go along with six home runs. Despite hitting at the top of the lineup, Johnson was able to drive in 53 RBI with 36 of those coming in 2012.

Her impact might have been felt most on the bases, though, as she swiped 135 over just two seasons, including 83 this past year that ranked second in the country. She was thrown out only twice during that span as well, giving Tech another base stealing option to go along with returners Mikey Kenney and Kermitria Ward.

Johnson was named a first team All-American by the NJCAA both seasons and also earned the honor by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) as a freshman. The 2012 NFCA All-American awards will be announced in the coming weeks.

She is the second Tech signee this year to earn a first team All-America selection as Howard College's Olive Naotala also garnered the accolade over both seasons. The signing now gives Tech 11 newcomers, nine of which will be freshmen for the 2013 season.

The Red Raiders graduated a school record eight seniors from this season's 41-17 squad that advanced to the postseason for the third-straight year.