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Stamps Commits to Transylvania

   Allen County-Scottsville High School senior outfielder Taylor Stamps has become the 29th Patriot fastpitch player to sign to play college softball. Stamps officially committed to Transylvania University Friday afternoon at the high school library.

   Stamps explains that she was leaning in another direction before visiting the Lexington school.

   “I was seriously considering Shawnee but then I talked with the coach at Transylvania and he was straight-forward,” Stamps said. “He said that if I put the effort in and if he sees improvement and if I can benefit the team, I will play. He also said that I would be pushed. I also know that Transylvania has what I want to major in so I will get a good education. The atmosphere was nice and everyone was so accepting.”

   Stamps has played softball from the time she was four. She admits that she wasn’t the strongest of players when she tried out for seventh-grade softball at the James E. Bazzell Middle School.

   “I barely made the seventh-grade team and I didn’t play at all my seventh-grade year,” Stamps acknowledged.

   After hearing that she might just be a bench-player the rest of the way in school, Stamps was motivated to change the course of her softball career.

   “Going into my eighth-grade year, I said that it wasn’t going to be like that,” Stamps explained. “I started going to lessons at least three times a week and play a lot of travel ball. My travel ball coach, Anthony Bullington, made me into the player I am today. He didn’t let me give up. The next year, I was able to start varsity on the high school team. From that moment, I decided that I wanted to be able to play college ball. I knew I could do it.”

   Her efforts produced strong results. As a freshman in the spring of 2015, Stamps made 76 plate appearances in 27 games. She was fifth on the team in batting (.329), recorded 23 hits and 14 RBI’s. Stamps’ numbers would climb in her sophomore year---139 plate appearances in 36 games, 45 hits,11 doubles, a .352 batting average and a .479 slugging percentage (total bases/at-bats). Stamps was an All-Region Honorable Mention selection in the spring of 2016. 

   In her junior year, Stamps continued to show improvement on the diamond. Offensively, Stamps played in every game (32), pounded 46 hits, ripped 14 doubles, and drove in 34. She battled .438 which was second on the team. Her slugging percentage rose to .600. Defensively, the right-fielder recorded 48 putouts in the 55 chances that came her way. Her efforts earned her selection to the District 15 All-Season and All-Tournament teams, Region 4 All-Tournament Team, and Second Team All-Region.

   Stamps’ goal of college ball also meant that she would have to make some decisions, including whether or not to play year-round and this set aside some activities she was involved in.

   “Last year, I had the opportunity to play for the number one travel team in the state or do marching band,” Stamps said. ‘I loved band, it had been a part of my life since sixth grade. But, I had to make a decision as to what would benefit me in the long run. So, I let go of marching band.”

    Stamps---the daughter of Todd and Chelly Taylor-Stamps----believes her decision has been a benefit in several ways.  

   “I got to practice more, work more, see other players, and learn what I needed to work on to be better,” Stamps explained. “You play against the best teams in the country. You get to me new people. It was eye-opening as to what you will see in college.”

   Stamps---who will start final high school year with a career batting average of .376, 114 hits, 28 doubles, three home runs, and 71 RBI’s---will now turn her attention to helping AC-S improve upon last year’s Region 4 semifinal appearance.  

    “I think we have a good chance to win district and make it to the finals of the region,” Stamps said. “Our team is focused and ready. This year’s team is a team and it’s not about one person.”

   AC-S softball coach Robert Bunton adds that Stamps is a leader who has a promising future with the Pioneers.

   “Taylor is a great player,” Bunton said. “She has excelled on the field and she has excelled off the field. She is a true leader. I’m looking forward to seeing her be a student-athlete at Transylvania.”

   Looking ahead to Transylvania, Stamps expects to be challenged to develop her offensive and defensive skill set. Having played outfield since middle school, Stamps isn’t for sure if that will be her primary position with the Pioneers.  

   “Coach said that he didn’t know where I would play so I would need to work everywhere and on everything,” Stamps explained. “I will have to be ready for the outfield and the infield because I don’t really know where he will put me.”

   Transylvania is a member of NCAA Division III. Last year, the Pioneers advanced to the Super Regional round for the first time in school history before closing the season with a 35-13 record. Transylvania is a member of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Pioneers are coached by Shawn Hendrickson.