Newell, who played catcher and designated player, hails from Ridgeland and attended Park Place Christian Academy while Hatcher, a first baseman, hails from Eupora and attended Eupora High School. The Lady Bulldogs finished the season 20-22 and 10-18 in the MACJC.
As a sophomore, Newell batted .308 with 32 hits including five doubles and 15 RBI. She scored 18 runs with only four strikeouts all season. As a freshman, she batted .291 with 23 hits including one double and one homerun with 11 RBI. She will be listed as a utility player at MUW.
As a sophomore, Hatcher batted .406 with 52 hits including 19 doubles, two homeruns and 25 RBI scoring 28 runs. She had only six strikeouts this season. From her freshman to sophomore year, she more than doubled her batting average from .181 as a freshman and increased her runs by 25 from 3 to 28 and hits by 39 from 13 to 52. She'll be a first baseman at MUW.
"I wasn't ready to hang my cleats up yet and go into the real world," Newell said of her decision to go to MUW. "God led me to this direction so I took the opportunity.
"I thought their campus was really pretty," she added. "When I went for my visit I felt like they really work together as a family, and that's what I was looking for."
Newell played mostly in the infield last season so moving back to catcher where she played most of her time in high school was big for her this season. "From freshman to sophomore year I gained a lot of leadership," Newell said. "I got to come out and prove what I learned last year. Coming from high school to college it was way different."
She said she wished the Lady Bulldogs could have kept the momentum from early in the season until the end. "We started out so good, and we worked as a team," she said. "Adversity came, and we didn't make the playoffs. We made a statement that we were really good. We almost had a chance to beat the record for most wins, but we fell short. I can't remember one game where we gave up on each other."
Newell will be a general studies major at MUW.
Hatcher is pleased to be able to continue her career as well. "It was an opportunity to play for another two years, and I wasn't ready to give up softball yet," said Hatcher.
"I came from a small town," she said. "The MUW campus wasn't as big as other universities that you could go to so it was the same kind of atmosphere that it was here. It wasn't too big, and I feel that people will get to know each other more."
Hatcher is pleased with her play this season. "I definitely improved from freshman to sophomore year," she said especially with the big jump in batting average.
"I felt we started out strong," she said of the Lady Bulldogs' play this season. "We never gave up on each other. We tried our hardest."
She will be majoring in exercise science at MUW.