University of Rio Grande head softball coach Kristen Bradshaw has announced the signing of Clay High School standout Autumn Griffith for the 2014 season.
The 5-foot-4 Griffith, a pitcher/third baseman for head coach Jason Gearheart’s Panthers, has maintained a batting average of better than .400 throughout her prep career and has a career fielding percentage of .900.
“I’m very excited about signing with Rio and I’m ready to see where my softball career can go,” said Griffith. “Playing softball isn’t just a game to me, it’s a passion. As a little girl, I used to dream about playing softball in college. I can’t believe that my dreams are finally coming true.”
Griffith’s three-year prep career has been chock full of awards to this point.
As a freshman, she was named a Second Team selection to both the All-Southern Ohio Conference and Southeast Ohio Softball Coaches All-District teams, in addition to being named her team’s Outstanding Pitcher.
Griffith was a First Team All-SOC and All-District honoree in each of the past two seasons and was also the SOC Player of the Year last season.
Griffith was also an Honorable Mention All-State pick in Division IV as a junior by the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association.
“Autumn is a great all-around athlete,” said Bradshaw. “I think she’ll have an immediate impact in the circle for us next season. She does a great job of fielding her position as a pitcher and she’s a great infielder as well. As far as I’m concerned, she’s one of the best players in Scioto County and I’m so excited to add her to our roster.”
Griffith pointed to her positive attitude and strong work ethic as strengths she’ll bring to the program, but acknowledged she has plenty of room for improvement herself.
“I need to improve on my mental game, my ability to let things go,” she said. “It’s getting better, but there’s always room for improvement.”
Griffith, who plans to major in Nursing, elected to sign with the RedStorm after also receiving attention from Marshall University, Bowling Green, Tiffin and Bethany.
“I’d been on a few other campuses, but nothing really clicked for me,” she said. “When I came to Rio, it just felt like home. After my visit, my decision was 100 percent made.”
“My ultimate goal while I’m at Rio Grande is to grow stronger as a person, to learn how to be a true leader and, most importantly, to have fun and win some titles,” Griffith added. “With our coach, I think we’ll go far.”
Griffith is the daughter of Jon and Tammy Griffith of Portsmouth.