Auburn’s McKenzie Lawrence will play softball for Gardner-Webb.

Center fielder McKenzie Lawrence, who helped Auburn High School win a state softball title as a senior this year, said Friday she signed this week with the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Big South member Gardner-Webb.

Lawrence had signed with NCAA Division II member Wingate last fall. But Lani Ries informed Lawrence last month that she would be stepping down as Wingate’s head coach to become the associate head coach at Gardner-Webb.

Lawrence said she was released from her Wingate letter-of-intent earlier this month. She said she reaped a partial scholarship offer from Gardner-Webb.

“I basically went from at the D-II level getting a full ride to just paying a little bit more to get to go D-I and play schools like Radford and Longwood,” she said.

She hit .430 with 10 doubles, six homers, 30 RBIs and 42 runs as a junior in 2018, earning Class 1 all-state first-team honors.

She batted .300 with five doubles, seven homers, 25 RBIs and 26 runs this year, earning Class 1 second-team honors.

Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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