Wildcat signs for softball
By Bart Moss
For the FCT
Haley Malone just started her senior softball season last week, but there is one thing she will not have to worry about – whether she will get a scholarship.
Malone signed a scholarship last week the day before the Tharptown Wildcats played their opening game. Malone will play for the Southwest Lady Saluquis in Memphis, Tenn.
“I am so happy,” said Malone, who will join former teammate Autumn Sutter at Southwest next fall. “This is what I have worked so hard for and spent so many hours playing this game. I am so fortunate to get my education paid for and continue to play softball.”
Malone began playing varsity softball in the seventh grade and has been an integral part of the program ever since. Malone has been named all-county and all-area several times. She has received numerous team awards, including Best Defensive Infielder (2011), Gold Glove (2013, 2015) and Hustle (2011).
“Haley is a joy to coach,” said Tanna Benford, Tharptown’s softball coach. “She always give her best effort. She is a hustler and a winner. Southwest is lucky to be getting a player like her.”
As a junior, Malone batted .400 with a .465 on-base percentage, a .622 slugging average, two home runs (including a grand slam) and a .930 fielding percentage.
“Haley is a very good athlete,” said Southwest Coach Keith Gentry. “She can play just about any position on the field, and she’s got a good bat too.”
Malone plays travel ball for the Sharks Fastpitch team. With the Sharks, Malone batted .462 with a .533 on-base percentage and a .615 slugging average and struck out just three times the entire season.