Pittsburg State Head Softball Coach Annette Hunt-Shepherd announces the signing of 10 student-athletes in the early signing period. Avery Beard, Riley Campbell, Meredith Cook, Bailey Marcotte, Devon McCreath, Cheslyn Mitchell, Alex Perez, Madison Putman, McKenzie Rynard and Molly Stiens will all be playing for the Gorillas beginning in the 2012 season.
Beard is a 5-10 switch hitting middle infielder from Wichita, Kan. She attends Derby High School where she earned second-team all-league honors at second base. Beard is coached by Christi Weve. Last season she hit .458 with 19 RBI and a .549 on base percentage. She plans to major in biology. She is the daughter of Cornell and Jill Beard.
"Avery is an excellent middle infielder and verstile at the plate," Shepherd said.
Campbell is a 5-8, right-handed infielder from McPherson, Kan. She attends McPherson High School and is coached by Cody Stucky. She has earned second-team all-league honors at third base for the last two seasons. Campbell plays travel ball for the Wichita Storm and is coached by Dave Millspaugh. The Storm took first place at the 2010 Colorado Sparkler, Pike's Peak Division. She plans to major in education at PSU and is the daughter of Steve and Amy Campbell.
"Riley is extremely strong and athletic," Campbell said. "She has power at the plate and a very strong arm on the infield. She will be a great infield utility player for us."
Cook is a 5-3, right handed outfield and secondbaseman from Overland Park, Kan. She attends High School and Blue Valley Northwest and is coached by Kim White. She has been named an Eastern Kansas League Scholar-Athlete. Cook plays travel ball for the Diamond Devils and is coached by Jeff Hein. The team played in the 2010 Fireowrks Tournament and qualified for 2010 Northern Nationals. She plans to major in nursing or special education and is the daughter of Tom and Melinda Cook.
"Meredith's speed and strong arm will be a valuable asset in the outfield," Shepherd said.
Marcotte is a 5-4 right-handed infielder from Riley, Kan. She attends Riley County High School and is coach by Al Blubaugh. The team won the 2010 regional title. In 2010, Marcotte earned All-Mid-East League honorable mention honors in both softball and volleyball. Marcotte plays travel ball for the Manhattan Lasers, coached by Jim Franke. The team earned the 2010 USSSA Class B State Title and the ASA Class B Heartland World Title while on the way to a 44-9 record. She plans to major in psychology and minor in Spanish. Marcotte is the daughter of Carole and Terry Marcotte.
"Bailey's speed and athleticism, combined with her strong work ethic will make her a wonderful utility player," Shepherd said.
McCreath is a 5-7 thirdbaseman and centerfielder from Maize, Kan. She attends Maize High School and is coached by Jenny Meirowsky. In 2010, she finished the season with a .468 batting average and a .724 slugging percentage with 28 RBI and 35 runs scored. A first-team all-state selection, she helped the Eagles to the 2010 6A state title. She also lettered in golf and basketball. McCreath is the daughter of Alex and Dana McCreath and plans to major in Chemistry at PSU.
"Devon is a verstaile athlete who can play infield and outfield," Shepherd said. "She is very athletic, has a good glove and she packs a lot of power at the plate. A state champion, she will add depth to our team."
Mitchell is a 5-8 outfielder and pitcher from Riverton, Kan. She bats left and throws right. She helped the Lady Rams to back-to-back state titles with a combined 46-4 record over the last two years. She was a first-team class 4A all-state selection in 2009 and a Class 3A first-team all-state selection in 2010. In 2010, she recorded a .605 batting average and scored 50 runs in 23 games and stole 24-of-26 bases. As a pitcher she earned a 8-1 record and a .81 ERA. She also earned All-CNC league honors in volleyball and basketball. Mitchell plays travel ball for SEK Elite 18 Gold coached by Brian Mitchell and Brent Sills and the Olathe Rockets coached by John Moppin. She plans to major in elementary education and is the daughter of Brian and Kim Mitchell.
"Cheslyn is very strong and athletic," Shepherd said. "She has a powerful bat and strong arm in the outfield. A two-time state champion and two-time all-state selection, she will impact our program right away."
Perez is a 5-7, right-handed utility player from Torrance, Calif. She attends North High School and is coached by Howard Miller. Her team earned Dvisional CIF titles in 2008 and 2009 and was a finalist in 2010. She was named all-area second team. Perez plays travel ball for USA Athletics 18 Gold coached by Mike Rogers. The team finished fifth in the Colorado Sparklers Tournament and competed in 18 Gold ASA Nationals.She is the daughter of Darlene and Rene Perez and plans to major in mechanical engineering at Pitt State.
"Alex is a versatile and athletic player," Shepherd said. "She can play multiple positions and swings a nice bat. Alex will add depth and speed to our team."
Putman is a 5-7, right-handed outfielder and third baseman from Wichita, Kan. She attends Maize High School and is coached by Jenny Meirowsky. The team earned the Kansas Class 6A state title in 2010. She had a .396 batting average in 2010.
"Madison is a strong, athletic, good natired player," Shepherd said. "She has great field vidion and a strong arm. A state champion, she brings a strong work wthic and great bat to our program."
Rynard is a 5-6 catcher from Raymore, Mo. She attends Raymore Peculiar High School and is coached by Tracie Terry. She has been a two-time first-team all-district, conference and region selection at catcher. She finished her high school career with a .406 batting average and a .962 fielding percentage. She is planning to major in physical education and is the daughter of Andy Rynard and Robin Rynard.
"McKenzie is an outstanding player," Shepherd said. "She brings great experience and leadership behind the plate and can also play a corner position. She has a powerful bat and will look to make an impact right away."
Stiens is a 5-5 middle infield/outfielder from Maryville, Mo. She attends Maryville High School and is coached by Jacqui Conn. She was a three-time second-team all-conference performer and earned three second-team all-district awards as an infielder. Stiens currently plays travel ball for Team Power Gold coached by Mickey Fleeman. She plans to major in biology and is the daughter of Mark and Kim Stiens.
"Molly is a strong and versatile player," Shepherd said. " She can play infield or outfield and will look to contribute right away."
"This class is very strong and extremely talented. They all have a team first mentality and will contribute greatly to the rebuilding of our program. Each player fills a need and will impact our program immediately."
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