On Wednesday, high school softball star Addisyn Linton — a left-handed pitcher who Softball America considers a Top 50 recruit in the class of 2025 — announced her commitment to a school that surprised many.
Linton chose Clemson University. While it isn't a surprise that Linton committed to a team that finished the 2023 regular season with a 45-8 record and only missed out on the Women's College World Series because they faced three-time defending National Champion Oklahoma Sooners in the Super Regional, her commitment was shocking to some because of the schools she didn't select.
Addisyn Linton lives and plays high school softball in Eagleville, Tennessee — which is less than a three-hour drive from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. For this reason, many people — Tennesseans, especially — expected one of their state's best softball recruits to stay close to home, instead of choosing a school in South Carolina.
For Linton, the decision was a simple one. In an article from The Tennessean, Linton is quoted saying, "I was asked to come [to Clemson] on a official visit and I knew than while spending a few days I got to spend with [sic] coaches and players and the facilities... incredible it would be to be Clemson softball. The players and coaches are tight. They talked about being family and by the end of the day I felt like family and that's so important to me."
Linton also mentioned that the other schools she was considering were Tennessee, Florida State, Texas A&M, and South Carolina. Yet, since college coaches could only begin (official) contact with class of 2025 recruits on September 1st, it clearly didn't take Linton long to make her choice.
In addition to the familiar atmosphere and school culture, Linton — a two-way player who hit .543 with 18 homers and 59 RBIs, and went 12-3 on the mound with a 2.49 ERA and 141 strikeouts in 104 innings in 2023 — also noted how Clemson handles their current two-way superstar.
"Watching the player of the year Valerie Cagle have the success she's had with that coaching staff on both sides of the ball, it's amazing," Linton said.
Even though Cagle — who we ranked as the No. 1 college softball player to watch in 2024 — will have graduated by the time Linton is a freshman, she showed that a two-way player can achieve massive acclaim as a Tiger.
Not that Cagle's influence makes losing out on Linton bearable for Tennessee fans.
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