GREELEY, Colo. – University of Northern Colorado head softball coach Mark Montgomery announced today, the signing of eight players to National Letters of Intent for the 2011-12 season.
Kelci Cheney, Mikayla Duffy, Melissa Marcovecchio, Tianalia Faasua, Nicole Hudson, Kaitlin Flynn, Ashleigh Waterland, and Janelle Lopez have committed to the play for the Bears in the spring of 2012.
Kelci Cheney, 5-10, Pitcher, Terrell, Texas (Terrell High School)
Cheney has lettered in each of her first three years for the Tigers while leading the team to its first state playoff appearance in school history … Named the team's MVP in each of her first three years … Second team all-district as a freshman … First team all-district as a sophomore and junior … Named last year's District 15-4A Pitcher of the Year after throwing 107.5 innings, striking out 178 batters, and finishing with a 0.79 ERA … During her junior year, she pitched two perfect games and four no-hitters … Plays club softball for the Texas Glory Gold out of Dallas, one of the top club teams in the state.
"Kelci is a big, strong pitcher from Texas," said Northern Colorado head coach Mark Montgomery. "She throws a nice drop-ball which is good in Colorado's thin-air to keep the ball on the ground. She has great control and can really locate her pitches. We're excited to have her as a Bear and expect her to contribute right away to our rotation."
Mikayla Duffy, 5-7, Pitcher/1st Base/Center Field, Grand Junction, Colo. (Central High School)
Duffy was named to all-conference teams in each of her first three years with the Warriors … She was named to the All-Colorado team as a junior … Also has lettered twice in basketball … Duffy played club softball for the Colorado Stars and is currently playing for the Colorado Hitstreak … In her first three years as a Warrior, she batted .635 with 65 RBI and four homeruns … During her senior campaign, Duffy finished with a .646 batting average, including 12 homeruns and 65 RBI … As a pitcher during her senior year, she threw 12 complete games, three shutouts, 123 innings, struck out 137 batters, and finished with a 1.54 ERA ... She was also named to both the All-Colorado and 5A All-State teams her senior season.
"Mikayla is a fantastic ballplayer," Montgomery said. "Not only is she a great pitcher, but she can also play first-base and outfield. She is also one of the best hitters in the state of Colorado. We're really fortunate she wanted to come here and we look forward to seeing what she can bring to this ballclub."
Tianalia Faasua, 5-10, Catcher, Oceanside, Calif. (Oceanside High School)
Faasua has lettered in all for her first three years while playing softball for the Pirates … She is also a one-year letter winner in basketball, where she plays center … During her ju nior years, she batted .365 with 18 RBI and six homeruns ... She has also been named to the honor roll the last three years ... She plays club softball for the San Diego Breakers ... She is set to being her final season as a Pirate in the spring.
"Tianalia is unique because she's a left-handed catcher," Montgomery said. "A lot of people don't think that catcher is a left-handed position, but she will prove any doubter wrong because she has such a strong arm and is so quick behind the plate. She is also a power lefty-hitter and we expect big things from her during her career as a Bear."
Kaitlin Flynn, 5-11, Shortstop/3rd Base, Johnstown, Colo. (Roosevelt High School)
Flynn has lettered all four years in both softball and basketball for the Roughriders … During her time at Roosevelt, she has been named all-conference in both her junior and senior seasons … She finished her senior campaign with a .582 batting average and 15 extra base hits … In her final year as a Roughrider, she was named 4A All-State Honorable Mention ... She plays club softball for the Triple Crown Stars and coach Dave King … Has been named to the honor roll every year.
"Kaitlin if a very gifted infielder," Montgomery said. "She has great size and speed and can play just about any infield position. She has the chance to become one of the most prolific players in the history of our program."
Nicole Hudson, 5-4, Catcher/3rd Base, Westminster, Col
o. (Standley Lake High School)
Hudson was named last year's Maxpreps Colorado 5A Player of the Year as well as a member of the 5A All-Colorado Team … The four-year letter-winner also has been named to all-conference teams in each of her first three years … During her junior campaign she led the state with 12 homeruns as well as breaking the school-record … This year, she batted .405 with five homeruns and 24 RBI … After her senior season, she was named 5A All-State Honorable Mention ... She has helped lead her team to four-straight regional tournament appearances and two state tournament appearances … She plays club softball for the Colorado Warriors '93.
"Nicole won the 5A state player of the year last year," Montgomery said. "Which I think speaks volumes by itself. Not only does she player catcher for her team, but she's also a great third-baseman. She will get a chance to compete for playing time right away, and we're excited about seeing a player of her caliber at the University of Northern Colorado."
Janelle Lopez, 5-5, 1st Base, Right Field, Cedar Park, Texas (Cedar Park High School)
Coming into her senior season, Lopez has lettered three years in softball for the Timberwolves … Helped lead the T'Wolves into the state semi-finals with a walk-off homerun in one game and a two-run shot in another … Earned all-state honorable m ention … Played club softball for the Austin Storm .. During the Colorado summer tournament with the Storm, she hit .434 with 10 doubles, one homerun, and 37 RBI … She is also a member of the National Honor Society.
"Janelle is one of the best hitters in the state of Texas," Montgomery said. "She has tremendous hand-eye coordination and looks like she will bring some right-handed pop to our lineup. We're really excited about having her here on campus next season.
Melissa Marcovecchio, 5-0, 2nd Base, Broomfield, Colo. (Legacy High School)
Marcovecchio is a four-time letter-winner for Legacy High School … She was named to all-conference teams in each of her first three years as a member of the Lightning … Marcovecchio has also been named to all-state teams in her sophomore and junior campaigns as well as being named a team-captain l ast season … Her career best batting average is .591 and she has also lettered in golf … She has led Legacy to four-straight state championships … During her senior campaign, she batted .571 with six homeruns, seven doubles, and six triples … Named to both the All-Colorado and 5A All-State teams during her senior year ... Played alongside Duffy for the Colorado Stars … She now plays club softball for the Colorado Styxx.
"I think Melissa is a winner," Montgomery said. "Her high school team has won four-straight state-championships now, which I think speaks to the kind of player she is. She's one of the toughest outs in the state, and may be one of the toughest in the nation. She just always seems to get on base and has more power than people realize. It will be exciting to see what she does at Northern Colorado."
Ashleigh Waterland, 5-11, Outfield, Windsor, Colo. (Windsor High School)
Waterland was named team captain before the start of her senior campaign with the Wizards … She has lettered three times in softball and twice for gymnastics … She led the Wizards to the Final Four of the state tournament in both 2008 and 2009 as well as a conference championship last season … As a senior, she was named 4A All-State Honorable Mention ... She also is a member of the National Honor Society and an honor roll nominee … She also plays club softball with Flynn for Dave King and the Triple Crown Stars.
"Ashleigh is an extremely versatile athlete," Montgomery said. "Not only is she a tremendous softball player, but she just won the overall state gymnastics championship. She's big, strong, and fast, and should grow into an amazing player at Northern Colorado."