HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Abigayle Stokes, the reigning Morning News Softball Player of the Year, has known her college destination for almost two years now.

On Thursday, the Hartsville High School two-way standout made it official by signing with Lander University at the school gymnasium.

“It’s a pretty great feeling,” Stokes said. “I’ve been committed to Lander for a while now (since August of 2018) and finally signing the piece of paper shows that hard work and dedication does pay off.”

Stokes was brilliant at the plate and on the mound for the 4A state champion Red Foxes last season. She had a .495 average with 12 RBI and 11 stolen bases while also winning nine games in the circle with a 1.04 ERA in 33 2/3 innings with 36 strikeouts.

While she garnered interest from several schools, Lander was always at the top of the list, Stokes said.

“I was just waiting on them to offer me because I knew I was going there,” she added. “Lander has a very tight-knit family feeling. It’s a small town and the facilities are great. The coaches are very nice and they just welcomed me with open arms.”

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