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SOFTBALL/VOLLEYBALL SIGNING DAY: Busby, Locey, Minnigan commit

On a day devoted nationally to the scores of prep football players signing to the next level, those in other sports often get overlooked.

In addition to the 20 Bi-City athletes who signed football scholarships on Wednesday, however, three girls signed in others sports.

At Shaw, catcher Hartley Busby signed to play softball at Darton College and Nia Minnigan signed to play volleyball at Fort Valley. Hardaway High's Amber Locey was the lone athlete for the Hawks to have a ceremony on Wednesday, signing to play softball at Andrew College.

During an introduction of Busby, Shaw softball coach Laurie McInroy said that Busby's hitting improved drastically as a senior. Her defense also improved, McInroy said, as Busby did not allow a single stolen base during region play.

Overall, Busby hit .329 with two home runs and recorded nine assists from behind the plate.

"It's just the first step," the coach said. "We're just scratching the surface of her potential."

Minnigan played volleyball all four years in high school, but only really began to come on as a successful player late in her sophomore year.

Coach Lindsay Johnson said that she eventually took over as a leader for the team.

As a senior, she recorded 316 kills, 78 aces, 24 blocks and 198 digs. Her kills total was a single-season record for Shaw volleyball.

"I hope that she takes with her how she developed as a young lady," Johnson said. "And I hope she stays as goal-driven as she is now. When she sets a path for herself, she goes after it, and that will help a lot at the next level."

Minnigan expressed how good it felt to set those goals and be able to achieve them.

"It feels great to have come this far and made it to where I am now," she said. "I've taken a lot away from Shaw over the last four years."

David Mitchell, 706-571-8571