ROCKINGHAM — A pair of Richmond Senior High School softball teammates celebrated their college signings together in the school’s media center on Tuesday.
Seniors Kenleigh Frye and Allyiah Swiney, both four-year varsity players for the Lady Raiders, signed their National Letters of Intent in front of friends, family, classmates and teammates.
“I’m happy for both of them, they have earned it,” head coach Mike Way said. “I hope that their final high school season is a little more normal than the last two have been.
“While I know travel ball is important to them, I think if you ask those who have been through it, you would find that the high school memories are the ones that mean the most. I’m looking forward to their senior season.
Frye, who plays infield, signed with Wingate University. She had verbally announced her commitment to the Bulldogs in April.
“I’m really excited that I’ve officially signed and can’t wait to be able to play at Wingate with my teammates,” Frye said. “It was great being able to sign on the same day as Allyiah because we grew up playing together and having people that have been there through it all meant a lot.”
Earlier this fall, Swiney, an outfielder, reopened her recruitment before committing and signing with Campbell University.
“The best part of my journey was just enjoying the process,” Swiney explained. “After de-committing, I was able to show that I could overcome that challenge and that it wasn’t going to stop me. Now I will still get to play Division I softball and the game I love.”
After their junior season in the spring, Swiney and Frye were both named to the All-Sandhills Athletic Conference team. It was Swiney’s second nod and Frye’s first.
Assets on both offense and defense for the Lady Raiders, Frye’s 18 runs scored were second in the conference last year, while Swiney’s 17 runs were tied for third. Swiney (.750) and Frye (.711) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the SAC in slugging percentage.
Both Lady Raiders also had 10 stolen bases on the season, which was atop the SAC stat sheet.
The two have been through a rollercoaster career at Richmond, helping the team make it to the third round of the NCHSAA state playoffs as freshmen, before seeing the pandemic shorten their sophomore and junior campaigns.
“We have been teammates since as long as I can remember,” Swiney recalled. “It was only right that we signed together since we started together.
“And it’s been a heck of a ride and I can’t wait to play with each other one last time before our collegiate careers take off.”
Frye will join a Wingate program that went 21-18 in 2021 and also rejoin former Richmond teammate Savannah Lampley, along with some other players she knows through travel ball.
“I look forward to being able to play with some girls that I grew up playing with, along with the new girls that I haven’t played with yet,” Frye said of her future at Wingate.
“And in this upcoming season (at Richmond), I hope to help the team achieve our goal of making it deep into the playoffs.”
Last season, the Camels finished with a 28-19 overall record, including a 15-3 record against Big South Conference opponents.
Campbell also won the Big South Conference Championship, beating USC Upstate in a three-game series, before being eliminated three games into the NCAA Stillwater Regional.
“I chose Campbell because I knew it was somewhere I could grow in and outside of the game,” Swiney said. “It felt like home and the coaches are outstanding.”
Frye and Swiney will start their final year with the Lady Raiders in late February and early March when the new season gets underway.