HBCU Softball

This is the post excerpt.

Hello and I would like to welcome you to my HBCU Softball Blog.   My name is Byron Mayfield and I am from Tocoa Falls, GA.  Having daughters that played softball growing up at HBCU colleges, I have developed a love for it and continue to follow the MEAC,SWAC, CIAA, and SIAC around as well as following them via the internet.   This year with the help of some softball family friends we will develop a weekly story on teams as well as in the coming weeks developing a pre-season all HBCU Team as well as an HBCU Division I team and a Division II team.   All of this will be helped by the hard working SID’s in the conferences.  Thanks and I look forward to communicating with each and everyone of you.  If you have a story of interest or would like to contact me, you can do so at bmayfield_21@yahoo.com.

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2021 Division I Pre-Season Team

1st Team

P- Kayla Owens (Jackson State)
P- Skylar Sullivan (Alabama State)
P- Alexa Veaomi (Alabama State)
C-Luz Aguilasocho (Howard)
1B- Joirea Dumas (North Carolina Central)
2B- Camille Navarro (Howard)
3B- Alyssa Garcia (Prairie View A&M)
SS- Kaley Anthony (Alabama State)
OF- Jazzmaine Hammond (Norfolk State)
OF- Shanice Akins (Arkansas Pine-Bluff)
OF- Cameron Andrews (Southern)
Util- Kalita Dennis (Howard)
Util- Diavionne Dewalt (Prairie View A&M)
DP- Alaena Selden (Delaware State)

2nd Team

P- Skyler Swain (Norfolk State)
P- Naomi Reyes (Texas Southern)
P- Aubrion James (Southern)
C- Haylee Bobos (Morgan State)
1B- Kyra Lunford (Prairie View A&M)
2B- Lily Potter (Norfolk State)
3B- Alex Massie (Alabama State)
SS- Anne Gerwitz (Arkansas Pine-Bluff)
OF- Kindall Dreams (Alabama State)
OF- Nadia Blevins (North Carolina Central)
OF- Imani Moore (Norfolk State)
Util- Crimson Davis (Texas Southern)
Util- India Wells (Grambling)
DP- Daryn Haslam (Texas Southern)

2021 Division II Pre-Season Team

1st Team

P- Shaniya Thomas (Claflin)
P- Jamea Lyons (Tuskegee)
P- Bre’Zhay Chambers (Claflin)
C- A’Niya Jackson (Johnson C. Smith)
1B- Aniya Jones (Winston-Salem State)
2B- Kayla Wright (Tuskegee)
3B- Jada Ames (Claflin)
SS- Shayna Byers (Savannah State)
OF- Alleshia Pullen (Winston-Salem State)
OF- Stacie Smith (Savannah State)
OF- Destiny Beckham (Shaw)
Util- Kendra Gibbons (Tuskegee)
Util- Davis Watkins (Miles)
DP- Chaston Huntly (Claflin)

2nd Team

P- Brooklyn Bilyard (Virginia State)
P-Kayla Phillips (Fort Valley State)
P- Anastasia Morrison (Winston-Salem State)
C-Breanna Harvey (Bowie State)
1B- Moanna Pinner (Kentucky State)
2B- Jocelyn Lozano (Savannah State)
3B- Samantha Cunningham (Virginia State)
SS- Myracle Hawkins (Tuskegee)
OF- Alex Miller (Lincoln, MO)
OF- Ashley Thomas (Claflin)
OF- Jahara Buggs (Fort Valley State)
Util- Emily Williams (Lincoln, MO)
Util- Cecelia Tennessee (Tuskegee)
DP- Danielle Stradford (Winston-Salem State)

Catching up with Claflin University Softball

COVID-19 ended softball for HBCU teams during the 2020 season, but we have reached out to several institutions regarding a Q & A with some players and coaches to give HBCU Softball fans an inside edition to some programs.

Today, we have Bre’Zhay Chambers and Chaston Huntly along side their Head Coach, Marty Kinard.

First up for a Q & A, we have Bre’Zhay Chambers.


Bre’Zhay,  tell us about yourself:

My name is Bre’Zhay Chambers a rising junior pitcher from Rock Hill, SC.  I major in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.

Your Freshman campaign ended in a walk off loss to Winston-Salem State at the 2019 CIAA Championships,  tell us how that motivated you and your team going to 2020? 

After taking that big loss against WSSU, it motivated my team and I to work even hard on the field and become more determined to reach our 2020 goal as a team.

You were off to a good start in 2020, with a couple of CIAA Pitcher of the Week honors.  How will that motivate you as you go into the 2021 season?  

Having had a great start to the season in 2020 it motivates me to have the same mind-set, focus and reach the goals in the 2021 season.

Your 2020 season ended a couple of days before the CIAA Round Up due to COVID-19 pandemic, tell us how that felt for your and your teammates?

We were disappointed,  the team and I were very pumped up and excited for the CIAA Round Up and the rest of the season. 

What have you been up to during the COVID-19 quarantine?

During quarantine, I have been working out and working at my local Food Lion.

Where is your favorite place to eat near campus? 

My favorite place to eat near campus is A-Town wings and Tokyo Grill.

Thank You Bre’Zhay for your time,  next up we have Chaston Huntly.


Chaston,  tell us about yourself. 

My name is Chaston Huntly, I am a rising senior majoring in Sports Management with a minor in Business.  I am on pace to graduate early.  I was born and raised in Lexington, SC with my parents Ken and Dez and my youngest sister Chandler.  I have been playing softball since I was 4 years old with the guidance of my father and support from my mother and sister. I have played on some of the best lower states teams in North and South Carolina.  I was an all-region player 4 years in a row at Gray Collegiate.  

You had a really good Freshman season and were off to a good start in 2020,  talk to us a little about the success you have had.

Coming in as a Freshman,  I was not expected to hit clean up in the line up knowing that there were several upperclassmen that were still present. I proved that I was capable of handling the job and it led me to earn All CIAA honors, D2 CCA NCAA Atlantic All Region honors, and a batting average of .391 which was good enough to be named Offensive Player of the Year at Claflin. 

Even though we were runner up in the 2019 Championship,  the pressure was on me with 2 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd down 4-2.  I was able to deliver a base hit to right field to tie the game at 4.  Although we did not win,  that was a moment I will never forget.

Looks like you had another great moment early on during the 2020 season,  with a walk off home run at home versus Anderson.  What was that feeling like?

At that moment Anderson was ranked in Division II Softball and for us to sweep both games and to hit a walk off home run was exhilarating.

What are you and your teams goals for the 2021 season?

Both goals would be to play together, become a closer family, and to have a winning season, and win the CIAA Tournament.  I also would like to leave with a ring!!!

What have you been up to during the COVID-19 quarantine?

During the first half of quarantine I attended summer school classes and still currently working. I have picked up more frequent running, working out, journaling, and most of all bonding with my family.

Favorite place to eat near campus?

My favorite place to eat near campus is Tokyo Grill.

Thank You Chaston for taking the time to answer some question for us,  next up we have Head Coach, Marty Kinard.


Talk to us about what your mindset was to hear the news of the cancellation of the 2020 season due to COVID-19?  It hurt!  It was the hardest thing I have had to do in my coaching career was to tell our group that the season was cancelled.  It’s a young group who had so many goals and we were starting to make strides on and off the field, we had just had a good team bonding and team dinner.

How has COVID-19 changed recruiting?

It is different, a lot more time consuming have to watch videos and multiple games as well as call/text recruits, but we aren’t complaining we are doing the best we can given the situation.  Just can’t wait to get back to the ballpark to see some live action.

You had the opportunity to coach in both the CIAA and the SIAC,  what have the differences been for your program?

Well you know there are a lot of similarities.  The CIAA welcomed us with open arms and it was fun to come in and be the new kids on the block, we had a group who really embraced the opportunity.  I still talk to a lot of the coaches in the SIAC, so I am thankful for the relationships that we made over there.  I will tell you this though,  it can be tough to play on the road in the CIAA.

You picked up ALL HBCU transfer Makayla August,  how will she impact your program?

Yeah, Makayla will be a great addition to our program,  she brings a lot of experience and knowledge for the game.  I am thankful that she can reach her goals here at Claflin by being accepted into our Graduate Program.  She is a great young lady, who will fit right in.

Tell us about some players you are excited about moving into the 2021 season?

To be honest with you,  all of them!  There is no single person to pinpoint!  We were really young in 2020 and some of those Freshmen were really starting to come along and adjust to the college game.   That Freshmen now Sophomore class is going to be good for a long time.  The now Juniors and Seniors were apart of that run to the CIAA Championship, so they are motivated.  They are all a hard working group,  you don’t have to ask them to put in the extra work, they want to succeed and be better and for that I am thankful to have them in our program.

What are you looking for your team in 2021?

Well first and foremost, for them to be back on campus and on the field in good health.  I also want to see them continue to grow and reach their goals on and off the field. I know it’s easy to say a CIAA Championship and trust me that’s one goal, but we have to continue to work hard and put ourselves in position to do so.  Those things aren’t just handed to you, you have to work hard for them and get through some obstacles along the way.  I’ll say this again,  this is a special group of young ladies who are great in our program on and off the field,  so I’m excited for the future for them!



Catching up with Fort Valley State’s Destiny Fitzpatrick

COVID-19 ended college softball early during the 2020 season as many HBCU Softball programs were either beginning conference play or about to start conference play.  We are helping our HBCU Softball fans get to know some of our student-athletes with a Q & A session as the 2020 summer comes to an end and we begin to prepare for 2021.

Today, we are excited to have Destiny Fitzpatrick of Fort Valley State University for you for a Q & A.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Destiny Fitzpatrick from Lagrange, Georgia.  I’m an upcoming sophomore.  I have a twin brother.  I’m majoring in early childhood/special education.

You just finished a semester and a half at Fort Valley State.  Tell us about your experience and why you chose FVSU?

Although I only finished a semester and a half I still had a great first year at FVSU. It was my first time being away from my family and I feel like I did quite well.  I chose FVSU because I feel like the school would better prepare me for life in the real world.

You and your team just finished playing a game at Crossover when you got the news of the cancellation of the remainder of the season. How did you all handle the news?

We were devastated by the news.  We were moving in the right direction and to hear the news that our season was over sucked.

You guys were in to line to make a run in the SIAC East,  what was it going to take to win the East?

Hard work and dedication!  We have a talented group of girls.  We set our goals high.  From the beginning of our season our coach told us if we want to win then we need to do put in the work.  Nobody is going to hand it to us.  And that’s exactly what we did.  We worked every single day to get better. 

Who were you looking forward to playing the most?

Albany State and Tuskegee

What does HBCU Softball mean to you?

To me HBCU Softball means the opportunity for me to play the game I love and help me grow as a person. It also taught me to be strong and defeat any odds against me.  Showing I can play something I love and also get an amazing education without sacrificing who I am.

How was it adjusting from high school softball to college softball?

As I transitioned from high school to college I had to make major adjustments which includes balancing my school work and playing a sport.  I had to balance my class schedule with morning workouts as well as afternoon practice. 

What are you future plans after college?

After college I plan to start my teaching career. I plan to teach 2nd grade at an elementary school.  Later on in life I will be opening my own day care.

When someone visits Fort Valley, Georgia and Fort Valley State University,  where do you recommend they eat at?

I would tell them to go to American Deli.  They have a great philly cheese sandwich.

We want to thank Destiny for taking the time to answer some questions for us.  We hope you have a great summer and we wish you and your Fort Valley State softball team the best of luck during the 2021 season!

Catching up with Virginia State’s Brooklynn Bilyard

COVID-19 ended college softball early during the 2020 season as many HBCU Softball programs were either beginning conference play or about to start conference play. We are helping our HBCU softball fans get to know some of our student-athletes with a Q & A session as the 2020 summer comes to an end and we begin to prepare for 2021.

Today, we are excited to have Brooklynn Bilyard of Virginia State University for you for a Q & A.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m Brooklynn Bilyard. I graduate from VSU in May with my Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice!  I’m returning in the fall for my Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Criminal Justice and Psychology.  My goal is to Federal doing detective work or forensic psychology.  I’m the oldest of 9 children!  Some of hobbies include softball, hiking, and photography.

You transferred to Virginia State, tell us about your experience there.

I love VSU.  Since transferring the students, my coaches, and my team have been extremely welcoming and helpful.  They made my last two years of college fun and exciting. Some of my closest friends have come from my team but also through my time studying at VSU.

What is your thoughts on HBCU and how it has grown since you have been at VSU?

I love the overall environment and experience this HBCU has given me! This school has taught me so much about myself and life.  I do feel HBCU’s should get more recognition the they receive on both the college experience they provide and the academic success that students receive.

You were a few days away from the CIAA Round Up when COVID-19 ended your season,  tell us how that felt for you and your team?

We were excited to play in the Round Up.  We played a lot of tough teams this past season prior to the Round Up getting ready for the teams that we would face during our conference.  It was upsetting to have the season being taken from us but we all understood that it was best for everyone to stay safe and healthy during this crazy time. 

You were also a few days away from playing Winston-Salem State and Claflin at that Round Up,  were you all looking forward to those 2 games?  Any team more than the other?

We love playing both teams.  Both teams have so much determination and will to win it makes playing them so much more fun and exciting!  They both are super challenging teams to play against!

Speaking of Claflin,  you were the winning pitcher when ya’ll upset them at the CIAA Tournament in 2019, sending them to the loser’s bracket and ending their 19 game CIAA win streak.  How was that feeling?

I had numerous emotions.  Exhausted, excited, relief, emotional, stressed, and happy.  Claflin has some of the best hitters in our conference and pitching to them during the tournament was nerve wrecking and challenging. As a pitcher, challenging situations help us grow and that’s one reason I love play them because they don’t make it easy.

Will you be returning for your final year of eligibility which was granted by the NCAA?  If so, what are you looking forward to the most?

I will be returning for my final year of eligibility.  I’m most excited to be back at school with my team and to come back stronger than last year.  I miss my team and coaches more than anything and being from them this long has been challenging!

What have you been up to during the COVID-19 quarantine?

I actually had shoulder surgery.  I started having shoulder pain at the end of February and had torn my labrum in March right before the CIAA Round Up and was told that I could continue to play and finish the season due to it being my Senior year but COVID-19 sent us home and it luckily worked out in my favor.  I had surgery and found out that I tore my labrum and had multiple pieces of broken cartilage stuck in my shoulder joint.  I’ve been doing PT since then and will be throwing again soon.

What are your future plans after college?

After getting my masters my goal is to work for the government.  I would love to do detective work or forensic psychology.  Both interest me so much!

When HBCU visit Petersburg, Virginia and Virginia State University,  where would you recommend that they eat at near campus?

I love Wabi Sabi! It’s a sushi place right down the road from school.  Or Charlotte’s Chicken and Waffles is delicious! I’ve also heard very good things about Shut Yo Mouf in downtown Petersburg.

We want to thank Brooklynn for taking time to answer questions for us and we hope that she continues to rehab successfully.   HBCU softball also thanks Virginia State University and their softball program!






Catching up with Tuskegee Softball’s Cecelia Tennessee

COVID-19 ended college softball early as many HBCU Softball programs were just getting into conference play.  We had the opportunity to ask some student-athletes questions as we head into the summer of 2020 and look forward to softball again in 2021.

Today, we have Cecelia Tennessee of Tuskegee University for a Q&A.

HBCU Softball:  Tell us about yourself.

Cecelia: My name is Cecelia Tennessee and I’m a senior from Houston, Texas. I’m the oldest of 5 children. I am majoring in occupational therapy and I plan to graduate in Spring of 2021.

HBCU Softball:  You transferred to Tuskegee, how has your experience been there on and off the field?

Cecelia: When I transferred, I was excited to meet some of the girls who were apart of the three peat team and I was very eager to be apart of something great. My first year on and off the field we weren’t very connected with each other and that showed on the field.  The result of that season was hard to look at.  I played third, short, and second. I’ve never pitched but I would’ve if it would’ve put us in a position to win.

HBCU Softball: Your 2020 season ended early due to COVID-19, what was that feeling like for you and your team?

Cecelia: It hurt! We had great momentum.  The energy of the team was amazing and we were looking forward to seeing what new talent we had up against us at the SIAC Crossover.

HBCU Softball: Having reached the SIAC Championship game in 2019, what were your team goals in 2020?

Cecelia: To win!! We gained a lot of confidence and trust within each other through that whole season especially coming off the season we had the year before. We knew that our strengths and weaknesses were in each team we played and we went into each game trying to go play to the best of our ability to get a ring. Even though the outcome not what we wanted it gave us a boost to go even harder next year. In 2020, our goal was to win it all for Coach Colvin and fall short like the year before.

HBCU Softball: After the passing of Coach Colvin, how did that bring the team closer?

Cecelia: Coach Colvin was a great coach.  He was one of those people that could tell something was off with you when you got out the car.  For me and a lot of my teammates that were far from home he has a strong support system so his passing led us closer to each other. We’d call and ask each other about our well-being more often. Together as a team we knew that we had to bring this championship home in his name.  Coach D became our head coach and has been taking great care of us.  It was comforting to have someone who was here and worked with Coach Colvin take over the program.  It’s like we became a family.

HBCU Softball: In 2019 & 2020, you all played a big game early on in the season against Claflin who both times were ranked #1 in our polls.  2019 you defeated them in come from behind fashion and in 2020 beat them 10-0.  What is your teams mindset heading into that game knowing they are #1 at that time?

Cecelia: It has always felt like they were our rivals and we are always pumped but at the same time my teams mindset was no different than any other game. They were just another team with same goals as us which was to win.  We treated it like a regular game despite Claflin’s winning status and in the end we prevailed.

HBCU Softball: What are you and your teams goals for 2021?

Cecelia: Our goal is to pick up where we left off in 2020 and become stronger.  We know that everyone will be coming back from the unfortunate halt in sports trying to be that number one team and we have to out work them.  My personal goal is to be a good teammate on and off the field and in the dugout. I want my teammates to have as much confidence in me as I have in them to get the job done.

HBCU Softball: What have you been up to during the COVID-19 quarantine?

Cecelia: I’ve changed my diet completely which has helped a lot with my endurance.  I’m taking in more healthy proteins and eating more greens.  I’ve also been working at Amazon trying to save up money to buy a new car.

HBCU Softball: What are your future plans after graduation?

Cecelia: After graduation I plan to pass my boards and become a traveling occupational therapist and work with kids. My first stop will be to Seattle because I’ve always wanted to live there. It would be a great place to get my non-profit organization that will help support low income families with children with disabilities up and running.

HBCU Softball: When someone visits Tuskegee University, where is a must go place to go and eat near campus?

Cecelia: There aren’t many places in Tuskegee to eat that you wouldn’t find anywhere else but I’d definitely recommend C&K or Bizzy B’s especially since they always show much love and support to the athletic programs on campus.  I would definitely recommend a drive around the lake to someone new to Tuskegee it’s very therapeutic.

We thank Cecelia for her time and wish her and her Tuskegee teammates nothing but success in all their future endeavors on and off the field.