GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG softball head coach Janelle Breneman announced the 2018 signing class on Tuesday. Delaney Cumbie, Kamryn Graves, Gabi Howard, Hannah Kincer and Samantha Lagrama will join the Spartans for the 2018-19 academic year.
“I am pleased with the quality individuals that comprise the class of 2018,” said Breneman. “They are dedicated students that possess the love for the game, and I am thrilled they will wear the blue and gold. We will graduate a large talented senior class this year but I like what these young ladies will bring to UNCG and the softball program in August next year."
Cumbie is a right-handed infielder and catcher from Dunn, N.C. Under coach Sterling Holmes’ guidance at Cape Fear Christian Academy, she garnered 2015 and 2016 NCISA 1A All-State Team honors and helped the Eagles win the 2015 state championship and the Sandhills Athletic Conference the last four years.
“Delaney is an incredibly talented athlete who will also be a great addition to our infield,” said Breneman. “Her athleticism will allow her to play up the middle on the infield, and she will see time behind the plate. She's an aggressive hitter with the ability to drive the ball for power as well as be a gap to gap threat in the box."
Cumbie has played for both Team South Carolina and Carolina Cardinals under coaches Dave and Leah Majeski (Team South Carolina) and Rick McHone (Carolina Cardinals). She started on a Cardinals squad that won the 2017 American Softball Association Class A National Championship along with current UNCG freshman Hannah Stiltner (Megan, N.C./Eastern Alamace) while also helping them win numerous local and regional championships. A multi-sport athlete she has lettered in volleyball and basketball each year of high school and earned the Cape Fear's female athlete of the year in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. In hoops she was selected to the 2017 all-conference third team and all-tournament team. She also made the all-tournament team in 2016 for volleyball as a regular season and conference tournament champion. Planning to be a kinesiology major, she is the 2017-18 student council president and a member of the Beta Club and Key Club and has been selected to Head Master’s List since 2014.
Graves is a right-handed outfielder from Winston-Salem, N.C. Under coaches Ethan Albright and Amanda White, she was named the MVP for Page High School, All-Guilford County District and All-Metro 4A Conference the last three years, all-state in 2015 and 2017 and Greensboro New & Record All-Area the last two seasons.
“Kamryn will replace some graduated speed into our lineup and is a real threat on the bases,” said Breneman. “In the box she possesses extremely fast hands and will add gap power to the mix. Defensively she is quick and her arm strength and range will allow her to play any outfield position."
Graves has played with the NC Lady Blues from 2013-16 under Albright and Team NC since with coach Brett Carter. With Team NC she assisted the team to the 2017 America Softball Association North Carolina State Championship and Scenic City Showcase Championship. Her mother Erica graduated from UNCG in 2008. Undecided on a major she earned NFCA All-American Scholar Athlete in 2015 and 2016 and is a member of National Honors Society.
Gabi Howard is a right-handed third baseman that has the versatility to play other positions around the infield. The Greenville, S.C. native has been named all-region and High School Sports Report and South Carolina Coaches Association of Women's Sports All-State each year in high school, including being named the 3A Player of the Year her sophomore season. Greenville News has also named her to the all-state team twice. Under coach Alicia Rhinehart she has helped the Blue Ridge High School Tigers to two region and district championships and an upper-state championship.
“We are excited to add Gabi to the depth of our strong offense,” said Breneman. “She brings a ton of power at the plate and has the skillset to compete immediately. Howard will also be a great addition at third base because she moves well and has a smooth glove. Also with a strong arm she will be an asset to our pitching staff."
Howard has played for Team South Carolina for five years under Dave and Leah Majeski along with Cumbie and helped the team to win a World Fastpitch Connection World Series Tournament. A multi-sport athlete, she lettered both years in playing volleyball, was named all-region for both seasons and broke the school blocks record (90) in her freshman season. She is a four-year member of the school’s Spanish Club and plans on majoring in business.
A right-handed pitcher, Kincer will also play all-around the infield as a utility player for the Spartans. A Chattanooga, Tenn. native she was named all-region as a freshman and Chattanooga Times Free Press Best of Preps her sophomore year. She helped the Girls Preparatory School Bruisers and coach Susan Crownover win a Division II-AA state championship in 2014 and runner up the last three years that included two regional championships.
“Kincer's athleticism as a multi-sport athlete adds to her qualities on the softball field,” said Breneman. “She is skilled in the circle and corners. Her offensive abilities will allow her the opportunity to play several roles as a Spartan. With graduating two senior pitchers, we are excited about adding Hannah to the depth of a dynamic pitching staff in 2018.
Kincer has played for the Frost Falcons under coach Steve Frost for seven years, helping the Falcons to win state championships in 2013 and 2015, runners-up in the 2017 American Softball Association Nations and a sixth-place finish in the 2017 Triple Crown Sparkler Power Poll. A standout in three sports, she played basketball for two years and in a four-year career in volleyball was named most improved player in her sophomore season and coach’s award her senior campaign. She has been involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for four years and other religious clubs. She plans on majoring in Kinesiology.
Lagrama is a right-handed catcher from Thomasville, N.C. Coached by her father Edwin, she has lettered each year at Southwestern Randolph High School and earned N.C. Softball Coaches Association All-Mid-Piedmont Conference, Courier Tribune All-County, All-District 5 and All-State 3A honors. She was also named the most outstanding player and offensive player of the year for the Cougars.
“Both Samantha's power at the plate and strong arm as a catcher will be exciting to see as a freshman,” said Breneman. “I enjoy seeing her presence in the infield and her strong communication with her pitchers. We are enthusiastic about seeing her compete at this level and foresee her being a run producing Spartan."
A teammate of Cumbie and Stiltner with coach McHone's Carolina Cardinals, she has played with the squad since 2014. In addition to the 2017 American Softball Association Class A National Championship, she helped the Cardinals win the title the previous year. She has lettered all four years in basketball and earned all-conference honors this year in her lone season of competing in tennis. She helped the Cougars win the 2014 Courier Tribune Christmas Invitational Women’s Basketball Championship. Planning to major in kinesiology, she is a member of Beta Club and has won class awards in biology and art/ceramics.
This marks the third consecutive year Breneman has signed a group of five in a recruiting class. The Spartans begin the 2017 campaign Friday, February 9, at the Kickin’ Chicken Classic hosted by Coastal Carolina.
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