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VHS’ Ellis signs to play with East Mississippi Community College

Published 12:11 am Saturday, May 24, 2014

It’s been a heck of a week for Chandler Ellis.

On Tuesday, she’d received a scholarship offer from East Mississippi Community College to play softball. On Thursday, she graduated from Vicksburg High. And, on Friday morning, she capped it off by accepting the offer from EMCC and signing a letter of intent to play in Scooba next season.

“It’s crazy that it’s all happened in one week,” Ellis said, adding that a combination of facilities and coaching led her to sign with EMCC over Mississippi Delta.

“Looking at East Mississippi online, I saw how nice the facilities were, and that was something that drew me in,” Ellis said. “And then their coaches have a real passion for the game. They were laid back, but also hardcore. That’s what I like.”

The small-school atmosphere of EMCC also appealed to her, she said.

“I just wanted to start off small so I can concentrate on school work. I’d probably get lost in a big JUCO,” said Ellis, who plans to major in child development. “And there’s not much to do around there, so I’ll get to focus on softball and school.”

Ellis only spent one year at Vicksburg High after moving from Neosho, Mo., last summer.

She played on the varsity basketball team, but has always been a softball player at heart. She’s been playing the game since she was 6 years old.

In her senior season, Ellis hit. 333 with three doubles and 10 RBIs. She was also the Missy Gators’ No. 2 pitcher and went 2-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 35 innings in the circle.

At East Mississippi, she’ll be used in a similar role as a corner infielder and backup pitcher.

“I was kind of nervous about pitching because I haven’t had a lot of experience or coaching. It’s just something I’ve done. I only have two pitches I can really use,” Ellis said. “I’m a quick learner, though, and I think they saw that. I’m not going to be their No. 1 pitcher. I’m going to be there just in case.”

Ellis had a whirlwind recruitment process with EMCC.

She had been in contact with most of Mississippi’s junior colleges before the season, but never received any firm offers until Mississippi Delta Community College made one last week.

Before committing, though, Ellis had a workout lined up with EMCC. She went there on Monday and got a scholarship offer the next day.

“It’s awesome to continue. Not to be done. I didn’t want to be done,” Ellis said. “I’ve always wanted to go and perform at the next level.”