ECU softball scores top-notch transfer

Published 11:13 am Thursday, January 16, 2014

ECU Wire Services


GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina head softball coach Beth Keylon-Randolph announced the signing of freshman transfer Lydia Ritchie, completing the Pirates’ 2014 roster.

“It’s exciting to get a transfer of her quality after winter break,” said Keylon-Randolph. “It was a nice surprise because we have a very good pitching staff now. She is going to add more depth and give us more options.”

A Pikeville, Tenn., native, Ritchie arrives at ECU after spending the fall 2013 semester at Division III Berry College in Georgia. Primarily a pitcher and occasionally an outfielder, she lettered four years at Bledsoe County High School, where she broke every major school pitching record over her four-year prep career. In addition to being nominated for Tennessee’s Gatorade Player-of-the-Year, she was also named the AA District Player-of-the-Year twice, was a four-time all-district selection. As a senior, Ritchie hit .437 and struck out 270 batters to go with a 24-4 record in the circle, en route to earning all-state recognition and being named both the team’s MVP and best offensive player.

“I’m really excited about Lydia because she’s had a tremendous prep career,” Keylon-Randolph added. “She’s had a lot of success, pitched in a lot of big games and is someone who really wants the ball. She’s just a competitor.”

Off the field, Ritchie is heavily involved with the community, which includes time with the Special Olympics, Red Cross and LEAP after school program. Her excellence also carried into the classroom, as she was named the valedictorian of Bledsoe’s graduating class in 2013.

“Giving back is something that not only our team, but our university takes pride in,” Keylon-Randolph said. “Supporting the people who support us is very important. That’s what we preach and want to do as much as possible.”