Spartan Softball Signs 12 During Early Signing Period
Spartanburg, S.C. – USC Upstate head softball coach Chris Hawkins typically has players from several different states on his roster. In 2012, he will have players from coast-to-coast and beyond as he announced the signing of 12 student-athletes to national letters of intent, the largest class he has ever signed, hailing from five different states.
Hawkins signed players from South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, California and Hawai'i for the 2012 season. Signing to play softball for Upstate are Morgan Brookshire, Casee Clauser, Lindsey Greeson, Cheyenne Griffin, Kaitlyn Jaeger, Maddison Kieffer, Dana Landers, Marche Llanos, Kara Lohr, Hayley Reinfeld, Shellie Robinson and Kendall Settlemyre.
"This is the largest recruiting class we have ever signed, and it is basically our recruiting classes for the next two years," said Hawkins, now in his 17th season at the helm of the softball program at Upstate. "When you start out in the recruiting process, you certainly don't plan on signing that many in one class. However, we kept seeing players that we liked and when they looked at us, they liked us. We were able to sign what I believe is a highly talented group of players who are expected to come in and contribute to our program in a variety of ways.
"We will have tremendous depth and our team speed has been improved with this class. Coach Pack (assistant coach Bryan Pack) has been relentless in heading up our recruiting efforts and I fully expect this group of recruits to keep us in a position to battle at the top of the A-Sun."
Brookshire (Enka, N.C.) is a four-year letterwinner for head coach Jennifer Kruk at Enka High School. She helped lead Enka to a No. 7 final ranking and an appearance in the semifinals of the 3A West Region tournament. She has started at first base the last two years and is a two-time all-conference selection in the Mountain Athletic Conference. She hit .437 with six home runs and an .805 slugging percentage as a junior en route to earning 3A All-State honors. A two-time all-district selection, she was the only sophomore to earn a starting spot in the lineup in 2009, finishing the year with six home runs. She was also a 2010 Wendy's High School Heisman nominee. She has played travel ball for the Foothills Heat. A standout on the field, she is also a standout in the classroom and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Clauser (Ladera Branch, Calif.) has been a four-year starting pitcher for head coach Tia Bollinger-Meza at JSerra Catholic High School. She posted 97 strikeouts in 94 innings pitched last season for the Lions. She struck out 17 to lead JSerra to a one-hit, 6-0 shutout of Westminster early in the season and came back later in the day and tossed another one-hitter in a 1-0 victory over Huntington Beach. She posted seven or more strikeouts in five games on the year. She earned first team all-league honors in the Trinity League as a junior after being named honorable mention all-league as a freshman and sophomore. A talented athlete, she played volleyball as a freshman and sophomore. Also a gifted student, she carries a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. She is the vice president of the JSerra Make-A-Wish Club and has been on the Principal Honor Roll every year she has been in high school.
In addition to her prep career, Clauser has also had an accomplished travel ball career playing for the American Athletics Gold. She helped lead the Athletics to a fifth-place finish at the 2010 ASA Nationals and was the winning pitcher in all of the wins in the tournament. She played for the Southern California Hurricanes from 2006-09. She earned co-MVP honors in leading the team to the championship of the Hall of Fame Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla., in 2008 and helped lead the team to a fifth-place showing in the 2007 ASA Nationals.
Greeson (Stanley, N.C.) has been a starter in the outfield and at shortstop since her freshman season for head coach Dale Starnes at East Gaston High School. She led the Warriors to the Mega 7 conference championship as a junior and into three-straight appearances in the North Carolina 4A state tournament. She is a two-time all-conference selection. A terror on the base paths, she ranked third in the state with 37 stolen bases as a junior in 2010. She led the team and the conference in stolen bases each of the last two years. She has hit .345 with 67 runs and a .487 on-base percentage over the last three seasons. She was selected to play in the PowerAde State Games as a sophomore and was selected to play for the North Carolina squad in the South Charlotte Sports Report All-Star Border Game.
A gifted athlete, Greeson also plays basketball and volleyball for the Warriors. She is a three-time all-conference selection in volleyball. A standout in the classroom as well, she has been a NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete for softball, basketball and volleyball throughout her high school career. A member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club, she has been active in several school organization community service projects, including Hope for Haiti and Operation Christmas Child. In addition to her prep career, she also played travel ball with the Carolina Elite.
Griffin (Moore, S.C.) is a versatile player who can play several different positions. She has been a three-year starter for head coach Brandi Aiken at Byrnes High School. She has led the Lady Rebels into the 4A state tournament the last two seasons. She hit .518 with 10 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 23 RBI as a junior earn route to earning all-area and all-region honors last season. She is a two-time all-region selection and a three-time all-area pick by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. She was named the Player of the Year by the Greer Citizen as a sophomore in 2009. A five-year letterwinner at Byrnes, she has earned all-tournament honors at a variety of tournaments during her prep career. In addition to her high school accomplishments, she also has been a key player on the Carolina Elite travel ball team.
Jaeger (North Port, Fla.) has been a standout starting shortstop for three seasons for head coach Chrystal Hunt at North Port High School. She has served as team captain each of the last three years. A talented offensive player, she has a career batting average of .404 and led the team in doubles a year ago. She is a two-time honorable mention Sun-Sentinel All-Area selection. She has earned the Coaches Award each of the last three years and has been a Scholar-Athlete selection throughout her prep career. In addition to her play at North Port, she has been a standout on the Sarasota Heat travel team, totaling 15 home runs in the last three years. She is also a gifted student in the classroom and carries a 3.8 GPA.
Kieffer (Middleburg, Fla.) has been a three-year starter in the middle infield for head coach Heather Stickman at Fleming Island High School. She earned the team's Best Offense and Best Defense awards in leading the Golden Eagles to the runner-up position in the District playoffs as a junior last year. She also earned Best Defense honors as a sophomore. She helped lead Fleming Island to a second-place finish in the District playoffs as a freshman in 2008 and an appearance in the Semi-Regional Championship Game for the first time in school history. She was a St. Johns River All-Conference selection. She has posted solid numbers for her prep career, hitting .340 with 27 doubles, 12 triples, 77 runs, 50 RBI and 21 stolen bases in three seasons with the Golden Eagles.
Kieffer is a gifted student as well, carrying a 3.5 GPA as an AP student. She was named a Medallion Bright Futures Scholar and has been a volunteer for several community service projects. In addition to her prep career, she has been a member of the Jacksonville Storm travel ball team.
Landers (Simpsonville, S.C.) is a four-time letterwinner and starting shortstop for head coach Joseph Terry at Mauldin High School. She helped lead the Mavericks to the 4A state championship as a junior in 2010. She hit .467 with 37 RBIs, 11 doubles and seven home runs en route to earning All-State and all-region honors.
Landers has had quite a career for at Mauldin. She earned the starting spot at shortstop as a freshman in 2007 and not only earned the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player award, she also was an all-region selection. It was a solid start to a standout prep career. She has earned four all-region honors and led the Mavericks to three straight appearances in the 4A state tournament. She hit .423 as an eighth grader in 2007, .396 as freshman, and .494 as a sophomore. A team captain each of the last two years, she has also earned the team's Most Valuable Offensive Player award the last three seasons.
In addition to her prep career, Landers has also had a standout travel ball career with the Carolina Elite. She hit .366 during the summer of 2008 and .395 in 2009 en route to earning a spot on the Colorado Sparkler All-America Team. She also played in the 16U Gold Nationals with the Gold Coast Hurricanes, leading the team to a ninth-place finish after hitting .469 in the tournament. She hit .451 as the Elite's top hitter this past summer.
A talented athlete, she has also played five years with the volleyball team at Mauldin, earning the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player (2009) and the Maverick Award (2008). A standout student with a 4.0 GPA, she is a member of the National Honor Society. She has also been active in the community, volunteering for Mauldin's C.A.N. program for leadership and mentoring, the Hope Academy, Special Olympics, Miracle League Softball and on several church mission trips.
Llanos (Kapolei, Hawai'i) is the first student-athlete from Hawai'i to ever play at Upstate. She has been a standout second baseman on the Kamehameha-Kapalama High School team. She has been a starter on the varsity squad since 2008. She has posted solid prep career numbers, including a .373 batting average, eight doubles, three triples, four home runs and 228 RBI. She helped lead the team to the 2008 state championship. She earned All-State honors in 2009 and was an IHL All-Star selection in 2010.
In addition to her prep career, she has been a solid player for the Mililani Prep travel ball team. She hit .444 with four doubles, five triples, three home runs and 26 RBI in 2010, leading the team to the championship of the Hawai'i Gold, Triple Cup and Triple Crown tournaments. The team won the Triple Crown Tournament in 2006, finished second in the Hawai'i State Tournament in 2007 and won the Paradise Cup in 2008.
Llanos is also an excellent student. She has been an Honor Roll student since 2005 and was recognized in the school's Academic Excellence program for having a GPA of 3.5 or better since 2005. She earned Kamahameha's Most Outstanding Leader Award for her leadership in school. She has been a member of the Student Government since 2009 and served as a volunteer with Feeding the Homeless.
Lohr (Lexington, N.C.) has been an All-State, all-region and all-conference selection as a second baseman for head coach Gene Poindexter at Central Davidson High School. She led the Spartans to the 2A state championship in 2008 and 2009 and a second-place finish in 2010. She is a three-time All-State selection, earning the honors in each of the last three years. She has been named all-region and all-conference three times as well.
Lohr has also been a standout in the classroom. She carries a 4.7 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. She serves as the Vice President of the student body and is currently ranked No. 1 in her class. In addition to her play on the softball team, she was a region qualifier in golf and a state qualifier in swimming. She also played travel ball for the Carolina Attitude.
Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla.) has been a standout outfielder and pitcher for head coach Brian Staubly at Douglas High School. She has started the last four years and helped lead Douglas to the 6A District championship the last three seasons. She was a Second Team All-State selection in 2010 after hitting .557 and leading Broward County with a 0.32 ERA. She struck out 132 batters and collected 14 wins.
Reinfeld collected 16 wins with 166 strikeouts and a 0.82 ERA in 2009, while also hitting .680. She led Douglas to the second round (Regional Finals) of the 6A state tournament. She hit .557 as a freshman in 2008 and won 18 games with 141 strikeouts and a 1.05 ERA. She was a first team All-Broward County selection by the Miami Herald and the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel in each of the last three seasons, as well as earning three-straight team MVP honors. In addition to her prep career, she has been a four-year starter on the Florida Fury travel ball team.
Robinson (DeLand, Fla.) is a highly decorated player for head coach Jenn Mitchell at DeLand High School. She has been a three-year starter at catcher and has posted strong numbers. She hit .579 with 16 doubles, two home runs, 32 RBI and 36 runs in 2010. She was a Second Team All-State selection and earned Volusia County Athlete of the Year and County Player of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel. She was named the Brighthouse Networks Player of the Year and was named to the All-Central Florida Defensive Team. She was a First Team All-Central Florida and all-area selection by the Orlando Sentinel.
Robinson hit .479 with nine doubles, 13 RBI and 24 runs as a sophomore in 2009. She earned All-Area Player of the Year, County Player of the Year and Second Team All-County honors from the Orlando Sentinel. She also earned Second Team All-State honors. She was an all-area selection as a freshman in 2008 after hitting .457 with six doubles, three home runs, 25 RBI and 36 runs.
Robinson is a standout in the classroom. She carries a 3.58 GPA and is an Honor Roll student. She also plays volleyball and soccer, earning four varsity letters and all-area honors for each sport. She plays summer travel ball for Team North Florida and has also played for the Florida Wildfire.
Settlemyer (Hickory, N.C.) has been a standout second baseman for head coach Jennifer Cook at Fred T. Foard High School. She has started at second since her freshman year. She led the team to the conference championship in 2008 and has been an all-conference and team MVP in each of the last two seasons. A standout in the classroom, she has earned Scholar Athlete honors in 2009 and 2010. She has also lettered on the basketball team as the starting point guard since her freshman season.
Settlemyer is a member of the Beta Club and is a Junior Marshall with a 3.92 GPA. She has also been active in several school organizations, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club, Art Club, Helping Hands Club and Copas Crazies. She plays travel ball with the Carolina Curve, leading the team offensively with a .475 batting average in 2010. She helped lead the team to the championship of the 2010 ASA Southern Nationals.