GREENVILLE, N.C. - Freshman Alexa Cannon has joined the East Carolina softball program for the 2012 season, according to an announcement from head coach Tracey Kee Wednesday. Cannon, a Fuquay-Varina, N.C., native, is expected to contribute in the infield for the Pirates next spring.
She joins ECU a year after earning North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 4A Player-of-the-Year honors and a spot on the all-state squad. She guided Fuquay-Varina to an 87-27 record during her four seasons and consecutive trips to the NCHSAA state tournament’s final four.
“Alexa is a strong student-athlete whose offensive abilities and defensive versatility will aid in our quest to make our squad more diverse and powerful,” Kee said. “She’s a diligent worker who attacks her goals and dreams, and plays the game with a never-ending passion.”
Cannon was a four-year starter at shortstop for the Bengals and earned All-Tri-9 Conference honors each season. As a senior, she recorded the highest batting average (.506) and hit the most home runs (six) in the 15 year history of the school. She was named the 4A District 3 Player-Of-The-Year and Fuquay-Varina’s most valuable player at the end of the campaign.
Her sophomore season as a 4A all-district and all-state honoree, Cannon helped the team to the conference championship and a third-place showing in the NCHSAA 4A state championship after claiming the NCHSAA east regional title. A year later, Fuquay-Varina had a fourth-place showing at the state tournament.
Cannon gained additional experience playing summer travel softball for the Triangle Lightning club.
Also a standout in the classroom, Cannon was a four-year Honor Roll member and student council representative. A member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society, she received the Fuquay-Varina Distinguished Athlete Award in 2011.
Cannon joins Sarah Christian, Emma Mendoker, Sara Pacioni and Courtney Smith as freshmen on the 2012 East Carolina team. Christian was selected as the NCHSAA 3A Pitcher-of-the-Year and Most Valuable Player of the state tournament after leading D.H. Conley to the school’s first softball title. She finished the season with a 0.69 earned run average and 188 strikeouts in 142.2 innings pitched. Mendoker wrapped up her career with the ESPN RISE 2010-11 Gatorade Massachusetts Softball Player-of-the-Year award and a spot on the ESPN Boston All-State Team. She ended the campaign with a 23-2 record, 0.17 ERA and 300 strikeouts in leading Amherst High School to the state championship game.
The two California products also received postseason recognition with Smith selected as the Tri-County Co-League Most Valuable Player as well as the River Valley High School MVP. She tallied 11 wins to go along with a 0.92 ERA and conference-best 166 strikeouts. Offensively, she batted .431 and drove in 13 runs. Pacioni, the only non-pitcher in the group, received All-East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) honors. The San Ramon Valley High School infielder earned a place on the All-EBAL teams each year of her career.