Bloomington, Ind. - Indiana softball head coach Sara Hayes Nottger has announced that Kari Linn Bettenbrock (Clay City/Cory, Ind.), Rachel Carlson (Marian Catholic/Beecher, Ill.), Janetta Deaven (Central Dauphin/Harrisburg, Pa.), Jennilee Huddleston (Starr's Mill/Peachtree City, Ga.) and Ashley Turcotte (John F. Kennedy/Buena Park, Calif.) have signed letters-of-intent to attend Indiana University beginning in the fall semester of 2004.
"This is a very good offensive class with a lot of talent," said Nottger. "Three of these players have a GPA above 3.0, and we have five players from five different states. Four of the five will be able to play infield and outfield. It's a very versatile class. Their offensive production should be felt immediately, and they will be some of the top swingers in the Big Ten. They want to work with our staff. IU is a great academic school, and they want to experience IU."
A 5-7 infielder from Clay City High School, Bettenbrock is coming off an impressive 2003 campaign. Bettenbrock earned a spot on the Tri-River (TRC) and Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference (SWIAC) All-Conference team for the third straight year in addition to capturing the Varsity Leadership award for the second consecutive season in 2002. The Cory, Ind., native won the Golden Bat award in 2003 for the second time in three years after compiling a .492 batting average with a .522 on-base percentage. A 2001 and 2002 Scholar Athlete Award winner, Bettenbrock was named the 2001 Brazil Times Softball Player of the Year.
Bettenbrock excelled during the summer of 2003 as her squad finished fifth at the 16-U ASA Nationals. Bettenbrock helped the Indiana Magic capture the 16-U ASA & NSA state championships. The Magic also won the 2002 16-U ASA state championship.
In the classroom, Bettenbrock has earned three academic letters and received the Who's Who Among American High School Students award. She is a member of the National Honor Society.
"I liked the opportunities IU provided on and off the field," said Bettenbrock. "The campus is close to home, and the size of the campus suits me. I also thought the coaching staff was very energetic, competitive and had high goals that they plan on accomplishing."
Carlson comes to the Hoosiers from Marian Catholic High School in Beecher, Ill. A .365 career hitter with a .504 on-base percentage, Carlson was named ESCC All-Conference her junior year. Carlson also was named to the Times All-Area team and honorable mention Star All-Area team. As a sophomore, Carlson was honorable mention on the Times All-Area team.
In the summer of 2003, Carlson was a member of the third-place team at the ASA Nationals. Carlson's impressive summer stats included a .422 batting average, .475 on-base percentage with 45 stolen bases.
"I wanted to play Division I softball and attend a reputable school with a strong academic program," said Carlson. "My official visit showed me that Indiana University was the school I wanted to attend."
A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Deaven heads to Indiana from Central Dauphin High School. The 2003 Central Dauphin Defensive Player of the Year was a Patriot News Big Eleven first-team member in both 2002 and 2003. In 2003, Deaven carried a .410 batting average and sizzled during the summer of 2002, where she was a .383 hitter with 10 home runs, nine doubles and a .398 on-base percentage.
"I chose IU because the coaching staff is determined to succeed," said Deaven. "I also loved the campus."
Huddleston batted .365 with five home runs and a .508 on-base percentage in 2003. The Peachtree City, Ga., native was honorable mention all-state in 2002. Huddleston was also named the 2001 Defensive Player of the Year and 200 Rookie of the Year at Starr's Mill High School.
Huddleston has been equally successful in the classroom. A National Honor Society member, Huddleston has been a member of the Beta Club all four years of her high school career. Additionally, Huddleston was awarded Who's Who Among Young Americans and honored as the French III Student of the Year.
"IU is a very strong academic school," said Huddleston. "I love the atmosphere and the friendly people. The campus is beautiful and ideal for me. The coaches and players are great, and I love the idea of helping the program develop and grow."
Rounding out the class, Nottger dipped into the state of California to pick up Turcotte. A Buena Park, Calif., native from John F. Kennedy High School, Turcotte is coming off an outstanding 2003 season. Turcotte finished with a .350 batting average, .384 on-base percentage, three home runs and 10 doubles. This past summer, the three-year letterwinner pounded 13 doubles after hitting .372 with a .389 on-base percentage. In addition to her softball duties, Turcotte also starred on the school's volleyball team.
"I chose IU because it is an awesome school academically," said Turcotte. "I loved the campus during my visits. I also look forward to having a chance to compete in the Big Ten."
"We first look at quality of character," said Nottger. "We look at how hard the student-athletes work on the field and how well they communicate with their coaches. We look at their stability academically and look at their production and athletic ability. If we do our job recruiting, these factors should produce stability in the IU program which will allow us to take this program to the top 10 level."