Garner Cleveland: Sports

Rachel Willis to play softball at UNC Wilmington

Rachel Willis signs with UNC Wilmington with her parents (seated) Bobby and Kerry Willis, (standing, from left) former West Johnston softball coach Warren Singleton, current West softball coach Laura Jefferson, Rachel’s brother, Jacob Willis, West Johnston athletic director Jimmy Williams and travel coach Mark McCollum.
Rachel Willis signs with UNC Wilmington with her parents (seated) Bobby and Kerry Willis, (standing, from left) former West Johnston softball coach Warren Singleton, current West softball coach Laura Jefferson, Rachel’s brother, Jacob Willis, West Johnston athletic director Jimmy Williams and travel coach Mark McCollum. cbest@newsobserver.com

Parents: Bobby and Kerry Willis

High School: West Johnston

Travel Teams: Carolina Wildcats, Wayne County Hurricanes

Also Considered: Campbell, Queens, Mount Olive, East Carolina

Why UNCW? “I like the coaching staff and on my visit I could tell the team was really together. And it’s a great atmosphere at the school. ”

Major: Physics or Biology

Notable: Rachel is a three-year varsity starter for the Wildcats who has played mainly third base and shortstop. She’ll catch and play the outfield at UNC Wilmington. Some of her more memorable moments at West are included in the Wildcats’ run to the 4A eastern regional championship series in 2012. “Nobody was expecting us to do anything, we won at Cape Fear and just kept winning from there,” Rachel said. As a junior this past spring, she hit .522 with 14 doubles, five triples and four home runs for West. She wants to improve on hitting balls in every part of the strike zone as she gets ready for college play. Academically, she has her eyes in a top 10 finish in the Wildcats’ class of 2015.

Compiled by D. Clay Best

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