November 18, 2008

SOFTBALL ADDS EARLY NLI SIGNEES

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball added some new faces recently as the team received signed National Letter of Intent commitments from three student-athletes to play for the Islanders and head coach Jake Schumann.

The signees feature one high school player and two junior college transfers that will come in with two years of eligibility.

The first signee is Meagan McKinney, a senior shortstop at New Braunfels Canyon. McKinney has been a First Team All-District performer since her Freshman year. She posted offensive MVP honors in 2007 and 2008 for district 26-4A. She was also named to the 2008 Express News Super Team Selection and the Austin American Statesman All Cen-Tex team.

"Meagan, I feel is one of the best seniors in the entire state. She is what an MLB scout would call a ‘five tool player'." said coach Schumann. "She hits for average, power, has a plus arm and glove, and can run. She will step in at shortstop for us and will instantly be an impact player in our line up."

McKinney was recruited by the University of Georgia and Northwestern (IL) as well but, she chose the Islanders because she felt that it was a better fit for her academically and athletically.

The second commitment is Caley Jeter, a sophomore from Huntsville who is currently attending softball power Blinn College. Jeter was a JUCO All-American last season while playing shortstop, hitting .342 with 16 doubles and 5 triples. Perhaps the most impressive statistic for Jeter is that she struck out only two times in the entire season last year.

"Caley is an outstanding athlete and will give us some versatility defensively." said Schumann. "She is able to play every position and as a left handed stick with speed will be an asset that I can not wait to put into our line up."

Caley chose TAMUCC over conference rival Central Arkansas.

The third early signee for the Islanders is Brittany Tucker, a sophomore from Tucson, Arizona that is currently attending Yavapai Community College. Brittany was a JUCO All-American catcher last season, leading her team to the JUCO World Series. She hit .418 with a .753 slugging percentage, 71 RBI, 10 doubles, and 15 homeruns.

"Brittany is with out a doubt the best junior college catchers in the country." said coach Schumann. "Her skills behind the plate match up with any catcher that I have seen in the last 10 years and her ability to hit speaks for itself through her huge numbers. She is a program changer and someone that will help us get to the next level."

Brittany chose the Islanders over San Diego State.

In addition to the three NLI commitments (De La Garza, Jeter, and Tucker), Lauren Iverson has signed a financial aid agreement to attend the university. She is a sophomore from Grove, OK and is attending Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. Lauren is at NEO for her sophomore year after transferring from the University of Arkansas, where she played in 13 games and started in 3.

While at Arkansas, Lauren made the SEC Honor Roll as a freshman. She is a 2006 Oklahoma All-State selection and her Grove Ridgerunner team was the state runner-up her senior year. She holds school records in homeruns for a season and career and most doubles in a season while a prep star. Iverson currently plays the shortstop position but would likely move to one of the corner infield positions.

"You will not find a more softball savvy player out there. She is a tall, lean athlete with great feet and outstanding hands." said Schumann. "She can provide an instant impact offensively with her combination of power and ability to hit from gap to gap, as shown by her six homeruns this fall."

With the three signees and potential fourth player to be added to the list, coach Schumann sees things looking up for his program.

"When I took over this program before the 2007 school year my goal for the year was to be competitive for the 2008 season. We accomplished that." said Schumann. "When we signed last year's class for this season it was to compete for a conference title by signing pitching and a big class of freshmen. We will see how that pans out but with the way the fall went I think we can accomplish what we have set out to do.

"This class was meant to solidify our 2008 class and to add depth to our offensive arsenal with athletes that can produce in all phases of the game. Look for a different brand of softball from the Islanders this spring and into the future."