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Two Loyd Star softball players committ to Co-Lin

Photo by Chris King /Makenzie Smith and Abigail Thornton (bottom row) are joined by assistant coach Brooke Keene, pitching coach Bobby Waterbury, Loyd Star athletic director Billy Vaughn, and head fast pitch coach Jan Delaughter (top row) as they sign to Co-Lin.

Photo by Chris King /Makenzie Smith and Abigail Thornton (bottom row) are joined by assistant coach Brooke Keene, pitching coach Bobby Waterbury, Loyd Star athletic director Billy Vaughn, and head fast pitch coach Jan Delaughter (top row) as they sign to Co-Lin.

Loyd Star standouts Makenzie Smith and Abigail Thornton have committed to play for Copiah Lincoln Community College for the 2017-2018 academic school year. Smith and Thornton have been key assets in establishing and maintaining Loyd Star’s reputation as one of the most respected softball teams in the 2A division. With the leadership and experience of Smith and Thornton, they anticipate another successful year under head coach Jan Smith Delaughter. 

Standing at 5-foot-11, pitcher Smith has been dominant on the mound during her time at Loyd Star. In her four years pitching for the Lady Hornets, Smith has totaled 324 strikeouts, 97 bases on balls and a 1.26 ERA.

“Co-Lin is close to home and they have a good softball program,” Smith said about choosing Co-Lin.  “I’ll be able to spend time with my family.” 

Her head coach is supportive of Makenzie and is optimistic about Makenzie’s softball future at Co-Lin.

“Makenzie will be a great asset to Co-Lin,” Delaughter said.  “She shows great character on and off the field while being continuously respectful. Her dedication to the game and her pitching ability have kept us in many games.” 

Smith’s dedication runs so deep that she traveled frequently to Clinton to receive coaching lessons from Bobby Waterbury, a well-known softball mentor. Makenzie is the daughter of Greg and Jeanie Smith. She has three siblings: Gracie, Dane, and Natalie.  They attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Thornton is proof that great things come in small packages. Measuring at 5-foot-2, Abigail is known for her work ethic, defensive skills and spot-on arm.

When asked about why she chose to play for the Lady Wolves, Thornton stated that she favored the coaches, the academic excellence and the entire Co-Lin atmosphere. Thorton’s record shines as brightly as her future. She batted a .240 average, had an on-base percentage of .318 and a .354 slugging percentage. 

“Abigail is a great combination of dependability and determination,” Delaughter said. “She is one of the best defensive players I’ve ever coached. She has a large range and an accurate arm. She doesn’t throw many away.”   

Abigail is the daughter of Michael Thornton and Paula Thronton. She has one sibling Mitchell. They attend Clear Branch Baptist Church. Abigail’s passion for the game will continue to shine when she transitions from high school to college. 

Smith and Thornton share a strong bond and that bond will continue at the softball field at Co-Lin. Both desire to pursue a career related to their passion of sports. Smith plans to become a physical therapist, while Thornton wishes to become an athletic trainer. Both Smith and Thornton will be great additions to the Co-Lin Lady Wolves softball program.