Francis Marion University softball coach Stacey Vallee has announced the addition of two junior college transfers for the upcoming 2019-20 school year: 5-9 middle infielder Brooke Ward of Manning and 5-6 middle infielder Bailey Perdue of Clayton, N.C.
Ward comes to FMU from USC Sumter, where she played for the past two seasons. As a sophomore, she batted .325 with 25 runs scored, seven doubles, a triple, and 26 runs batted in, while also stealing eight bases in nine attempts. She made seven appearances in the pitching circle and recorded a 1-0 mark.
In her first year with the Fire Ants, she hit .387 with 23 runs scored, six doubles, two triples, four home runs, and 19 RBIs.
Ward is a product of Laurence Manning Academy, where she played under the direction of coach Maria Rowland. She was an All-State selection in both 2016 and 2017. She also played volleyball and basketball, and was a member of the Laurence Manning Beta Club and National Honor Society.
During her prep career, she played travel softball with the Carolina Connection, The Fury, and SC Bandits.
"Brooke will be able to help fill some of our missing pieces in the infield due to our losses to graduation," Vallee said. "She has experience at shortstop and we hope to see what she can do there as well as possibly a few other positions. Coming in as a transfer, she already has the experience of playing at the collegiate level, which will help some of our younger players adjust to college life. She is excited to be a Patriot, and I love her eagerness to learn and want to get better."
Perdue played last season at Louisburg College and batted .402 with 41 runs scored in 48 contests and 11 doubles, four triples, and 19 RBIs. She registered a .474 on-base percentage and was a perfect 14-of-14 in stolen bases. She played on a 38-11 Hurricanes squad that captured the Region X Tournament title and advanced as far as the Elite Eight of the NJCAA National Tournament.
She spent her freshman season at NCAA Division III Roanoke College and batted .250 with four RBIs in 27 games.
She is a product of Clayton High School, where she played for coach Kelli Stephenson. She also played club ball with the Cape Fear Storm.
"Bailey is another transfer that will help aid in replacing the loss of our seniors from last year. She also plays infield with experience at shortstop, second, and third. We are eager to see where she lands for us in 2020. She has experience playing on a successful team, and we hope she brings that drive to win to our program as well. She is a good student and we are happy to have her in our program, both academically and athletically."
Vallee previously announced the addition of nine players for 2019: catcher-outfielder Sarah Harkins of Waxhaw, N.C.; middle infielder/outfielder Jaiden Kiser of Maiden, N.C., catcher-third baseman Kyla Koch of Chapin, S.C.; infielder Megan Matsil of Indian Trail, N.C.; outfielder and corner infielder Carson Shannon of Bishopville, S.C.; outfielder/catcher Alexus Shreve of Moncks Corner, S.C.; and right-handed pitchers Rachel Davis of Mechanicsville, Va., Madison Lamb of Cades, S.C., and Savana Rossen of Leesville, S.C.
This past season, Francis Marion posted a 31-19 mark and placed sixth during the Peach Belt Conference regular season.