Lobo Softball Welcomes Gray & Johnson in Early Signing Period
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/18/2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- University of New Mexico head softball coach Erica Beach, and assistant coaches Lyndsey Angus and Lisa-Ann Wallace, are pleased to announce that Jade Gray and Chelsea Johnson have each signed a National Letter of Intent to play at UNM starting the 2014-15 season.

Beach says both future Lobos give the Lobos more depth and options for lineups.

Gray is a 5-foot-6 versatile athlete who has been a catcher all through high school. She'll likely play behind the plate and in the infield.

Jade Gray will join the Lobos in 2014-15.

The Albuquerque, N.M., native is a four-year letterwinner in softball for Volcano Vista and has been the team's starting catcher since her freshman year. Gray has helped the Hawks win two District 5A Championships, two Albuquerque Metro Championships and back-to-back 5A State Titles (2011 and 2012).

Individual accolades for Gray include: three-time All-District; three-time All-State; Albuquerque All-Metro First Team in 2012; New Mexico 5A-Division 1 Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and Volcano Vista Most Valuable Player in 2013.

Gray has played club ball with Arizona Hotshots Gold - Ewing/Householder since 2009, helping her team compete at nationals a number of times and winning the ASA Arizona State Championships twice -- 14U in 2010 and 16U in 2011.

"Jade is a strong and athletic kid who is a versatile player. She will add power to our lineup as well as compete behind the plate and could even see time in the infield or outfield," Beach said. "She is one of the best players in her class in New Mexico and it is great to have the best of New Mexico playing in Lobo uniforms. Jade is a fantastic person as well as an impact player who will be a great addition to our Lobo family."

A standout on the field and in the classroom, Gray has made the honor roll three semesters, and in 2011, was First Team Academic All-District. She intends to major in business.

Gray chose UNM because she likes the coaching staff and feels she can be successful as a Lobo.

Johnson is a 5-foot-7 power hitter out of Riverside Poly High School in Riverside, Calif. She plays catcher and first base, and chose New Mexico based on her official visit.

"It felt like a home away from home for me," Johnson said. "I loved the atmosphere on the field and with the coaches and team."

A four-year letterwinner for the Bears, Johnson was named Big VII Second Team All-League in 2011 and 2012 before earning Inland Valley First Team All-League honors in 2013. As a junior, she hit .425 on the season and rightfully earned her team's Slugger of the Year Award.

Johnson helped the Bears to the 2013 Inland Valley League Championship. She plays club ball with Teamsmith 18 Gold.

Like Gray, Johnson also excels at academics. She is a three-time Scholar Athlete and was named to the Inland Valley League's All-Academic Team last spring.

"Chelsea is coming to Albuquerque from Southern California and will be providing even more power to our lineup," Beach said. "She is a strong catcher and also has the ability to play first base. Chelsea is a strong athlete with a great attitude and we cannot wait to see her in Cherry and Silver next year."