@JUsoftball Signs Six Student-Athletes in Class of 2018
(Photo credit: Skip Tapp)
(Photo credit: Skip Tapp)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University Head Coach Ali Higgs announced the signing of six student-athletes in the class of 2018 to join the Dolphins in the fall of 2014.

High school seniors Brooke Hardy, Danielle Baker, Kristen Griffith, Jordan Daniels, Courtney Smith and Allie McCourt each signed National Letters of Intent to start at JU next year. This class consists of three Floridians and three Northerners.

Brooke Hardy, IF/OF/UT (Tewksbury, Mass.)

Hardy, from Tewksbury, Mass., is a member of the Tewksbury High School softball team under Head Coach Leo Dirocco. As a junior in 2013, the second-baseman and shortstop earned a .563 batting average, hit four homers and grabbed 30 stolen bases, 35 runs and 28 RBI.

She was named a two-time Merrimack Valley Conference All Conference First-Team selection and a two-time Lowell Sun All Conference First-Team honoree. She was also named to the Boston Herald All Scholastic Second-Team during her junior and sophomore seasons. In the latter season in 2012, Hardy hit .606, stole 31 bases and earned 37 runs.

In club, she previously played for the R.I. Thunder Gold, but currently competes for the East Coast Firecrackers Gold, where she hit .466, racked up 40 stolen bases, tallied 55 runs and bombed 40 RBI in 2013.

Hardy is the daughter of Jim and Laura Hardy. She has one older sister, Andrea.

Danielle Baker, SS/UT (Clermont, Fla.)

The shortstop from central Florida plays under Head Coach Ashley Butler at East Ridge High. During her junior and sophomore seasons in 2013 and 2012, respectively, Baker helped propel her team to the regionals. Currently, she also plays for Team North Florida.

Baker is the daughter of Scott and Carol Baker. She has three siblings: Kyla, Blake and Abby.

Kristen Griffith, P/1B (Mount Airy, Maryland)

Griffith is the lone pitching addition to the Fins lineup in this crop of signees. Coached by Matt Cannistraci at South Carroll High School, Griffith is a three-time Scholar Athlete recipient, a three-time varsity letter-winner, and a three-time All Chesapeake First-Time honoree.

As a junior in 2013, Griffith tossed three no-hitters and helped her team to its third straight winning season at 11-7. She also recorded 160 strikeouts and maintained a 1.51 ERA. At the plate, Griffith hit .491, tallied nine doubles and three homers, and earned 17 RBI. During her sophomore season she hit four triples and 18 RBI, while as a freshman she contributed to the Cavaliers' first winning season since 2002 with a 10-9 record. Griffith plays for the Tri-State Thunder.

Griffith is the daughter of Thomas and Kathleen Griffith. She has an older sister, Kaitlyn, and a younger brother, Evan.

Jordan Daniels, IF/OF/UT (Green Cove Springs, Fla.)

Daniels currently plays at Bartram Trail High School under the guidance of Jen Harmon after playing three seasons at Clay High School under Head Coach Matt Lewis. As a sophomore in 2012, the shortstop was named to the All County First-Team in Clay County. As a freshman third baseman in 2011, Daniels was awarded the Clay High School Offensive MVP award. Previously competing for two seasons with the Jacksonville Players, she now competes with the Florida Storm.

Daniels is the daughter of Ken and Carey Daniels. She has one younger sister, Paige.

Courtney Smith, OF (Callahan, Fla.)

Smith competes at West Nassau High School under the direction of Head Coach Randalyn Bryant. The centerfielder is a two-time all-county team member who during her sophomore season in 2012 won districts. As a freshman in 2011, Smith hit .337, improved to .383 as a sophomore and maintained a .346 as a junior. Smith plays for the Florida Storm.

Smith is the daughter of David Smith and Tracey Richardson. She has two older sisters, Brittany and Sydney, and one younger brother, Cole.

Allie McCourt, OF (Long Valley, N.J.)

McCourt, hailing from New Jersey, plays for the West Morris Central High School Wolfpack and is coached by Courtney Bertos. As a junior in 2013, McCourt was named the WMCHS Best Offensive Player of the Year after helping lead her team to the New Jersey North 2 Group 3 sectional championship. The centerfielder hit .532, held a .589 OBP, went 35-for-37 in stolen base attempts, tallied 42 runs and brought home 14 runners.

In her first three seasons, McCourt has been named a two-time Daily Record First-Team honoree, WMCHS MVP, and WMCHS Rookie of the Year, among other honors. McCourt competes for the NJ Inferno.

McCourt is the daughter of Richard McCourt and Lynne White. She has one younger sister, Cassidy.