Having success on the softball diamond can lead to individual players’ success as well. That is certainly the case with Sylvan Hills shortstop Janae Canaday who will take her softball talents to Jonesboro next season to play for the Arkansas State Lady Red Wolves softball squad.
Sylvan Hills coach Justine Gladden said that Canaday is well deserving of her opportunity at the next level.
"Quiet leader," Gladden said. "She wasn’t a loud talker, she just led by example."
Canaday made an impression on Gladden, who just finished her first year at the helm of the Lady Bears, in the very first game of the year, a 22-0 win over Maumelle when she hit homeruns in her first tow at-bats of the season.
"I thought man what kind of stud do we have here," Gladden said.
Even though those pair of homers represented two-thirds of her power output for the year, she led the club in long balls and according to Gladden, did so much more as the season progressed.
"She made an impact in some way in every game," Gladden said, "especially on defense."
Canaday should make an immediate impact in Jonesboro as well for a team that when she arrives will have but two seasons of competition in their history, but they have been very productive, winning seasons.
"She can play anywhere on the infield," Gladden said.
The Lady Red Wolves, who are a club team and do not have full funding from the university, competed last weekend in the National Collegiate Softball Association World Series in Columbus, Ga., where they went 3-3.
ASU won two games in pool play against Central Florida and Air Force, and suffered a 3-2 loss to Ohio State. They beat Navy in tournament play before losing in walk-off fashion against Antelope Valley, the eventual champion. They were eliminated by Illinois.
ASU coach Chris Powers said he was looking to add depth to a thin roster. He signed two players and is looking to add two or three more.