CHARLOTTESVILLE — A pair of Eastern Hancock senior standouts cemented their collegiate futures by signing their national letters of intent.
Karlee Gray, a member of the Royals’ Mid-Hoosier Conference dynasty in cross-country and track and field, picked Culver Stockton in Canton, Missouri.
Darby Shaw, the school’s first female student-athlete to be recruited by an NCAA Division-I program, committed to Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne to continue her softball career.
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This past fall, Gray played a significant role for coach Rex Putt as one of four seniors to lead the Royals to a historic fourth straight MHC team championship in cross-country.
As a freshman, she helped the team reach semistate in the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s state tournament. In four-year career, the Royals have reached the regional four consecutive years.
At the 2015-16 MHC cross country championship, Gray posted a career-best time of 22 minutes, 10 seconds to secure sixth place and all-conference recognition.
Gray is a sprinter for coach Jerry Cain on the girls track and field team. In the past four seasons, the Royals have amassed a record of 147-20.
The team has won the MHC championship three years in a row and are chasing a fourth straight this spring.
Shaw has solidified herself as an ace pitcher for the Royals, compiling an 8-2 record last season with a 1.17 ERA.
Class 2A Eastern Hancock is ranked No. 14 in the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association poll this year.
Led by coach Sue Anderson, the squad has a 39-13 record in three seasons.
A threat in the circle and at the plate, Shaw hit .524 as a junior with 17 RBIs and nine doubles. Her batting average was the second highest in Hancock County in 2014-15. As a sophomore, she hit .403.
Shaw’s ERA was second only to Greenfield-Central’s Darcie Huber last year. She pitched 65⅔ innings with 69 strikeouts for Eastern Hancock.
In 2013-14, the Royals’ workhorse carried a 3.34 ERA and a 9-6 record with 46 punch outs in 79⅔ innings.
The all-conference first team selection powered the Royals to a 19-5 finish last season to earn all-county honors for a second time. She tossed a no-hitter last spring en route to the Royals’ sectional runner-up finale.
Eastern Hancock’s most recent sectional title was in 2012-13.