Softball Signs Six To Join Hoosiers Squad In 2014-15
Nov. 13, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head softball coach Michelle Gardner has signed six to the 2015 squad. Rebecca Blitz, Mena Fulton, Emily Kirk, Rachel O'Malley, Sarah Thompson and Taylor Uden will all join the Hoosiers after signing National Letters of Intent today, Nov. 13.
"I would like to officially welcome our newest members to the Hoosier softball family," said Gardner. "I am extremely excited about this group of athletes. They have all competed at the highest level and will have an immediate impact on our program. We look forward to the future of this group and expect them to help propel us to the next level."
The first of that class is Rebecca Blitz, an outfielder out of Mountain Brook High School. Gardner notes Blitz's speed on the base paths as a valuable asset to the Hoosiers lineup, "this speedster from Alabama will solidify our outfield," said Gardner. "Her versatility at the plate will put pressure on opposing defenses."
The Birmingham, Ala. native is a 2013 All-State selection and hit .541 as a junior with an impressive .566 on-base percentage and swiped 40 bases on the year to aid Mountain Brook to a program-best winning percentage in school history in 2013.
Also joining the mix is Mena Fulton, a three-time All-Conference Indiana selection and three-time Herald Times Player of the Year recipient from Bloomington South High School. Fulton earned 2013 first team ICGSA All-State honors after setting multiple school records during her junior campaign and leading her squad to a 2013 Sectional Championship. She owns a career .472 batting average with 26 homeruns, 100 RBI and a .557 OBP. "Mena is an extremely talented utility player from Bloomington," said Gardner. "She swings a strong bat and offers great flexibility defensively."
A product out of Stony Brook High School, Emily Kirk is a three-time All-District selection and helped her high school program to back-to-back District Championships in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, Kirk shined in the circle with 239 strikeouts and a 1.8 ERA. Gardner notes her ability is not limited to just the circle, but she brings athleticism to the plate as well, "Emily has the potential to be a dominant pitcher in the Big Ten," said Gardner, "but she also adds a strong bat to our line up, hitting over .400 in each of her high school seasons."
Rachel O'Malley is another signee that will join the Indiana program for the 2014-15 season. O'Malley hails from Elk Grove Village, Ill. where she has played three seasons at James B. Conant High School. O'Malley landed on the Chicago Sun-Times Top 100 Players list after earning ICA All-State, All-Conference and All-Northwest Area accolades. A two-year captain, O'Malley has helped James. B Conant to two MSL Championships and an undefeated season, the only perfect campaign to be recorded in MSL history, and has maintained a career batting average of .412 with 18 career homeruns. "Rachel is a infielder who brings defensive versatility," said Gardner. "She is the type of player who can fit in and play anywhere on the field."
Sarah Thompson, a Greenwood, Ind. native, is a three-year starting outfielder for Center Grove High School. Through three seasons, she has maintained a .496 batting average and a .516 on-base percentage while accruing 162 hits and 100 runs scored in just 78 games. Thompson is a three-time Academic All-Conference selection and was named All-MIC Conference in 2013 as well as an All-District in 2012 and 2013. "Sarah is a triple threat at the plate from the left side," said Gardner. "She is quick and covers a lot of ground in the outfield."
Rounding out the signing class is infielder Taylor Uden. Uden is a three-time All-District selection from Raymond S. Kellis High School. During her junior season, she was named second team All-State and first team All-Section after hitting a school record .632 batting average and posting a .664 on-base percentage. She also drove in 40 RBI that season on 54 hits, including a single-season program record 22 doubles, and scored 49 runs. "Taylor primarily plays shortstop, but her athleticism and versatility allows her to play anywhere in the infield, " said Gardner. "She has great range and a strong arm, and she brings some power to the plate as well."
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