OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss softball team completed its 2014 class Wednesday as Elantra Cox, Grayce Majam and Paige McKinney each submitted National Letters of Intent, Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees announced.
Cox, Majam and McKinney bring the Rebels' 2014 class up to eight members. Cox is an outfielder from Henderson, Tenn., Majam is a middle infielder from Pine Valley, Calif., and McKinney is an outfielder from Southaven, Miss.
Cox has been an all-district and all-state selection each of the past three years (2011-13) and won the 2012 West Tennessee Hitters Award. A three-time MVP in high school, Cox has led Chester County High School to the state tournament each of the past three years. She was the Jackson Sun's 2011 Hitter of the Year, and as a junior she hit .488 with six home runs, 30 RBI and a whopping 38 stolen bases. Cox's summer league team, the Germantown Red Devils, finished second in the Amateur Softball Association Nationals, and was a top-five team in 2013.
Outside of softball, Cox lettered twice in cross country and has played basketball each year in high school. Cox has been active in her community by picking up trash and helping on the weekends at the homeless shelter.
"Elantra is a very electric player," Thees said. "She can absolutely take over a game single-handedly. She's probably one of the fastest players in the country. She was highly recruited and we're just really excited she's coming to Ole Miss because she can hit a home run on one swing or she can drop a bunt and nobody has a chance to get her out. I've gone to games where I've seen her get on base on a bunt, steal second, steal third and score on a ground ball to the pitcher. She is that fast, and in the SEC that's what you need. She's going to do big things for us."
Majam comes to Ole Miss as the No. 38-ranked recruit by Student Sports Softball. The 5-foot-5 middle infielder was named the Manzanita League Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013, and was tabbed the San Diego Union-Tribune Player to Watch and the San Diego Union-Tribune Prep Athlete of the Week (April 16, 2013) as a junior. Majam has also been named Mountain Empire High School's MVP each year. She played her summer ball with the So Cal Breakers.
Off the diamond, Majam has also been a member of the varsity soccer team each season at Mountain Empire and is involved with the Youth for Christ club, Pep club, renaissance and peer tutoring. Majam is part of a strong baseball/softball family in which each of her three sisters played Division I college softball, and her father, cousin, brother-in-law and uncle played baseball.
"We're looking for Grayce more in the middle infield," Thees said. "She has smooth hands, she's a lefty hitter, and she can do it all. She can bunt, she can slap and she can swing away. She is a true hitter from the left side, but she's quick enough to do all the other little things right. She's been playing for so long. All of her older sisters signed Division I scholarships and now she's going to be the only one in college at this time, so I'm excited because I think all her older sisters will be able to come and cheer her on. I'm really excited to have the Majams a part of our family, and Grayce's going to be a very, very special athlete here at Ole Miss."
McKinney has been named to the Mississippi 6A all-state team in each of the past two seasons. As a junior last year, she led Desoto Central High School in hits, batting average, runs scored, RBI, at bats, doubles, triples and strikeouts, as she went the entire season without striking out. A first team all-county selection last year, McKinney has been named to the Mississippi High School Athletics Association Fast Pitch Fab 15 in each of the past two years, and has been given the best defense award by Desoto Central in each of those two years as well.
Highly involved within her school and community, McKinney is a member of the National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (vice president in 2012-13) and Fellowship of Christian Students, among other organizations. McKinney has also lettered in soccer every year at Desoto Central.
"Paige is a lefty speedster from Southaven," Thees said. "She's playing shortstop right now for her high school - they've made it to the state playoffs and made it pretty far here in the state of Mississippi. For us, we're signing her as an outfielder. She can really cover some ground out there. But one thing we love here at Ole Miss is versatility. Paige is that. She can play infield, she can play outfield, she can run bases really well, she can drop a bunt and she can swing away. We're working a little more on her power, but she's going to really help us out in the outfield covering some ground."
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