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Gwinnett grads: Taylor on pace to set three school records

Rhea Taylor didn't know what to expect when she got to college.

She knew she wanted to play right away, but never could have expected the type of season she's having for the Missouri softball team.

The Peachtree Ridge grad leads the Big 12 conference in hits (68), stolen bases (45) and runs (50). She's third in the league in batting average (.398).

"I'm doing better than I thought I would," Taylor said. "I wasn't really sure what to think coming into college. I've kind of adapted to the everything with the new system."

Taylor is on pace to break three school records. She needs only two stolen bases to break the 20-year old school record held by Julie Link. The Tigers' leadoff hitter is also on track to set the school records in runs scored and hits.

"I know my ability and I always knew I would do well, but to be breaking records, I didn't expect that," Taylor said.

Taylor didn't waste any time adjusting to college softball.

In Missouri's first game of the season against Virginia Tech, the Tigers (39-12, 6-4) faced Angela Tincher, one of the top players in the country. Taylor went 2-for-3 with two stolen bases and knew she could compete at the college level.

"I knew I had to work hard," Taylor said. "I'm here for a reason, I didn't come to sit on the bench."

SOFTBALL

Hackett named co-rookie of the week

University of Charlotte freshman Katy Hacket was named the Atlantic 10 Softball Co-Rookie of the Week on Monday.

The Mill Creek grad held conference rival Saint Louis to just two hits in the first game of a doubleheader last Saturday and notched her first shutout with the 2-0 win. Hackett was also credited with a save in Game 2 of the series, pitching the final inning of the 5-4 win. On the week, Hackett struckout 12 batters and gave up three earned runs in 13 innings of work.

A two-time Daily Post Pitcher of the Year, Hacket is 11-10 this season for the 49ers with a 2.25 ERA. She is second in A-10 in strikeouts with 128.

Wiggins leads UGA in hitting

Georgia freshman Megan Wiggins leads the Bulldogs' softball team in hitting with a .313 batting average.

The Shiloh grad has 33 RBIs, 12 doubles and a .472 slugging percentage as the Bulldogs are 36-17 overall and 9-10 in SEC play.

Parkview grad Melissa Wood is batting .255 for the Bulldogs and leads the team in RBIs with 35. Brianna Hesson, a North Gwinnett grad, is hitting .237 with 12 RBIs.

Rogers continues to shine for Tide

Alabama's Brittany Rogers leads the Southeastern Conference in three statistical categories, including batting average.

The Dacula grad is batting .464 with 15 RBIs. Rogers also leads the conference in runs scored (52) and stolen bases (43).

FOOTBALL

Curran gets spring award

Georgia linebacker Rennie Curran received one of 17 springs awards handed out by the Bulldogs' football staff.

The Brookwood grad was awarded the Coffee County Hustle Award on defense, along with strong safety Quintin Banks.

Lankford shines in UAB spring game

Zack Lankford led all receivers with six catches in the University of Alabama-Birmingham's spring game.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Dacula grad also contributed with several key blocks from his tight end position.

Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting the achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com or via fax to 770-339-8081.