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The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Hailey Jones recognized by ASUN

Treasure Franklin
Hailey Jones

As the Atlantic Sun Conference announced the 2024 softball preseason information, junior Hailey Jones was named to the ASUN Preseason All-Conference team as an infielder. Additionally, UNA earned their highest preseason ranking at third in their Division I era. 

In her 2023 season, Jones started in all 52 games. She batted a .313, with 52 hits, and she effortlessly pumped out 12 doubles throughout the season. Her runs batted in, or RBI, hit a high of 32. In the field, Jones had a collective 128 putouts and 69 assists. 

In her 2022 season, Jones played in all 60 games. She batted a .306, racking in 60 hits. She totaled 14 doubles, one triple and four home runs, and she also brought in 30 RBI’s.  

Notably, this recognition is not new for Jones. In 2022, she was selected to make the ASUN All-Freshman team, and she was a third team all-conference selection in 2023. 

She has been playing softball and dominating the field since she was four. At Summertown High School, Jones helped lead her team to two Tennessee Class 1A State Championships. She was an all-state selection in both 2018 and 2021, and she earned all-district honor titles in 2018, 2019 and 2021. 

The upcoming 2024 season will be Jones’s third year playing for UNA. She’s excited to take on the season with her teammates and further those lasting bonds. Her goal for her season is to grow both on and off the field. “I want to be more of a vocal leader on and off the field and become more consistent in pressure situations.”

Jones gave credit to UNA’s unyielding support in providing her with the opportunities to play and compete at the highest level. She said, “By providing top notch coaching, facilities, and a chance to compete at a high level this program has given me the opportunity to develop my skills, build lifelong friendships, and pursue my passion for the sport.” 

UNA’s head coach, Coach Cozart, acknowledges Jones as being a “dream” to coach, as well as her being the “true definition” of what a UNA softball player entails. “She is just as great a person as she is a player, too,” said Cozart. “She is one of the hardest working players on the team and that is exactly what you need from one of your best players.” Coach Cozart further honored Jones’s leadership and work ethic, stating that those qualities push Cozart to be a better coach. 

North Alabama softball is known for their strong support of each other, which plays a great part in how well they work together on the field. This support also stems from such knowledgeable and experienced coaches. Jones said, “My coaches and teammates who have helped me become successful at UNA have had a major impact on my love for the game.” 

Heading into the season, the team is prepared to face a challenging schedule. They will begin on Feb. 9 by competing in a tournament at Troy, playing against Samford, Troy and UT Martin. 

Jones said, “Our team goal is to finish at the top of the conference.” With a dedicated coaching staff and committed athletes, the Lions are confident in a rewarding season.

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About the Contributors
Tristan Gregory, Staff Writer
Treasure Franklin, Deputy Chief Photographer
Treasure Franklin is a junior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is a member of the LaGrange Society, Student Government Association (SGA), and is in the Cole Honors College, as well as the Presidential Mentor's Academy. She is currently serving as a Staff Photographer; she has previously served as the website editor, and she has been a volunteer photographer/writer with The Flor-Ala since August of 2021.

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