Johnson to play softball at Gulf Coast

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Abby Johnson is headed to Gulf Coast State College to play softball for the Lady Commodores.

The longtime veteran of the diamond, the lone senior on a team of young players this past season, Johnson inked a deal in February to play softball nest season for Scot Thomas, the former Virginia Tech coach now in his second year as skipper of the Lady Commodores.

“Abby has been on the varsity since she was in the eighth grade,” said coach Scott Collins, at the signing. “She is one of our all-time homerun leaders and has played four positions. She has improved each year and her senior year was her best.

“Our team and coaches are excited for her opportunity to get to play at Gulf Coast and we think she will be an asset to them,” he said.

Johnson pitched, played both second and third, and caught over the course of her career.

"She's matured her a lot over the years, both as a person and a player, and I feel she's ready for college ball,"  Collins said.

"She could play a lot of places, one of those people who can adapt to most any position," he said. "She's very athletic."

Johnson smacked three homers in her 23 games this past season, half of the team’s four-baggers.

She batted .410, scored 22 runs, had 32 hits, with 13 runs batted in. Four doubles and two triples added to her stats.

Johnson also took her turn on the mound, with 3 wins and 2 losses, in a total of 31 innings. Her earned run average was 4.29.

Johnson joins a team where two of her former Wewahitchka nemeses, catcher Gracie Price and infielder Cyrina Madrid, were on last season’s roster, when the Commodores went 23-22 and 8-12 in conference play.

Since 1996, the first season Virginia Tech fielded a softball team, coach Thomas has had 17 winning or .500 seasons in 22 campaigns,  led the Hokies to eight NCAA appearances, two ACC titles, and took Tech to the pinnacle of the sport in 2008, the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Thomas' 20-8 mark in his first year at Gulf Coast, 2019-20, was cut short due to COVID-19.

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