STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State softball head coach Vann Stuedeman completed her signing class Tuesday morning with the announcement of Atlanta prep star Morgan Bell inking her National Letter of Intent. Bell was a four-year letterwinner for Mill Creek High School and was one of the 2013 Gwinnett Daily Post Super Six Softball selections. She is the fourth member of the 2014 signing class, joining Holly Ward, Claire Stucker and Calyn Adams.
“Morgan was a late commit, but we were really, really lucky to get her to be a Bulldog,” Stuedeman said. “We love our Georgia Peaches. We are continuing that tradition in Morgan.”
Bell, an Atlanta native who plays varsity softball in the fall due to the Georgia High School Athletic Association schedule, helped Mill Creek claim the No. 3 seed for the Class AAAAAA state tournament as a senior, when she hit .415 with 10 home runs, 10 doubles and a .508 on-base percentage. She also claimed the Georgia All-State Game home run derby title.
As a junior in the fall of 2012, Bell hit .374 with five home runs and 45 runs batted in while helping the Hawks to a 23-15-1 record. She added 26 runs scored and a .952 fielding percentage from primarily third base in earning Gwinnett Daily Post First-Team All-County and first-team all-region selections. The program finished in the elite eight at the state tournament.
"When I came here on my visit I fell completely in love," Bell said on why she chose to become a Bulldog. "I love the coaching staff so much and know they care about me and the team. I love the feeling of Starkville. You get the big-school feeling, and the small-town feeling. I’m so blessed to be able to be a part of the softball program for the next four years.”
As a sophomore at Mill Creek, Bell batted .326 with a trio of long balls and 26 RBI while earning All-Region 7-AAAAA Honorable Mention squad accolades. The Hawks finished second in the state.
“She is a pure hitter who can just rip the cover off of it,” Stuedeman said. “I’m glad she was able to wait for us to snag her. She’s going to be a great leader and she’s a great kid. I’m really looking forward to seeing her in the maroon and white.”
“I love that we have a Georgia Peach in this class,” assistant coach Beth Mullins said. “The ball just comes off her bat. The ball is smoked every time she hits it.”
Bell, who will make her Bulldog debut in the 2014-15 season, has gained additional softball experience with the Atlanta Vipers. The 2013 Vipers claimed the 16U ASA “A” national championship in Calif. Bell was a member of the 2011 adidas Futures Team Georgia. While playing for the summer club the Georgia Impact, she qualified for the 2011 ASA Nationals and finished in seventh place. The Impact also claimed the ASA 14U Hall of Fame Tournament championship.
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