Upstate Softball Signs Four During Early Signing Period
Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate softball program and venerable head coach Chris Hawkins has signed four student-athletes to national letters of intent to become Spartans in the fall of 2012.
Joining the program next fall as freshmen are Mellena Helms, twin sisters Jamie and Jessica Ujvari, and Jordan Wilson.
"I am really excited about the addition of these four players to our program," said Hawkins, now in his 18th season at the helm of the Upstate softball program and the owner of 600 career wins. "We have worked hard to add strong student-athletes who are quality individuals to our program. I look forward to being able to coach them next fall."
Helms (Concord, N.C.) is a standout infielder at Central Cabarrus High School. She was a 3A All-District 6 selection the last two seasons, as well as an all-conference player. She has earned two straight team Most Valuable Player awards. She led Central into the second round of the 3A state playoffs in 2010 and 2011.
Helms plays travel ball with the Carolina Cardinals and head coach Rick McHone. She led the team this past fall with a .452 batting average with two home runs, four doubles, two triples and 18 runs. Previously, she played for the Carolina Curve and head coach Jeff Fain, leading the team to the championship at the North Carolina 18U ASA state tournament, Hot Times Classic, Dynamite Classic and ASA Southern Nationals.
"Mellena is the true meaning of a utility player," said Hawkins. "She can play just about anywhere. She has really improved by leaps and bounds over last year. Academically, she is a strong student, which is something we stress and which is extremely important at Upstate. We are very excited to have Mellena choose our program."
Jamie Ujvari (Niceville, Fla.) was a standout pitcher at Pace High School who will play her senior season at Niceville High School. She averaged nine strikeouts per game as a junior last year and was the 2010 All-Area Pitcher of the Year with a 0.62 ERA and 15 wins. She posted the lowest ERA at the Kissimmee Klassic and is a two-time All-Area selection. She helped lead Pace to the District 1-5A championship and into the regional of the 5A state tournament. The team lost to Niceville which went on to finish second in the tournament.
Ujvari plays travel ball for the High Intensity 16U team coached by Dan Hensley. She averaged 10 strikeouts per game last summer and was named to the all-tournament team at the NFCA Top Recruit Tournament in Clearwater, Fla., this past October.
"Jamie is going to be a great addition to our program," said Hawkins. "She is a strong pitcher with an tremendous upside. Her work ethic is amazing. She will bring a lot of positive energy to our program. Jamie is the type of person everyone will like and gravitate toward."
Jessica Ujvari (Niceville, Fla.) was a standout catcher at Pace High School who will play her senior season at Niceville High School. A versatile player, she has also played first base in her career. She is a three-time All-Area selection and owns a career batting average of .400. She helped lead Pace to the District 1-5A championship and into the regional of the 5A state tournament. The team lost to Niceville which went on to finish second in the tournament. She has also lettered three years in golf and once in weightlifting.
Ujvari plays travel ball for the High Intensity 16U team coached by Dan Hensley. She hit 14 home runs and 12 doubles with 54 RBIs in five tournaments last summer.
"Jessica is a very good all-around player," said Hawkins. "She is a huge offensive threat and is fundamentally sound at catcher and first base. She has a lot of power and I fully expect our slugging percentage to increase with her in our lineup. She was recruited by a lot of big schools and we are fortunate she chose USC Upstate. Like her sister, she is a great person with a lot of enthusiasm."
Wilson (Belmont, N.C.) is a standout catcher at South Point High School. Although she received tremendous honors as a catcher after her junior year, she earned all-conference honors as an outfielder her freshman year and 3A All-State, all-region and all-conference honors as a shortstop her sophomore season. As a junior last year, she earned All-State honors and was named the Big South Conference Player of the Year. She also received all-region, all-conference and All-Gaston Gazette honors. A tremendous defensive catcher with a strong arm, she allowed just one stolen base in 16 attempts.
Wilson led South Point in hitting with a .581 batting average as a junior. She had five home runs, eight doubles, five triples and 36 RBIs. She was a perfect 28-for-28 in stolen base attempts and posted a 22-game hitting streak. She led the team in hitting as a sophomore in 2010, batting .556 with two home runs, 18 doubles, nine triples and 30 RBIs. As a freshman in 2009, she led the team with a .440 batting average, eight doubles, three triples and 18 RBIs. Overall, she is a two-time 3A All-State, all-region, All-Gaston Gazette selection, and a three-time all-conference pick. She also lettered in volleyball as an all-conference selection. She led South Point to the second round of the 3A state tournament in each of the last two years. An outstanding student as well, she is a member of the National Honor Society.
Wilson plays travel ball with Team N.C. coached by Buster Hill and Mike Ward. She hit .450 with six home runs, 10 doubles, three triples and 26 RBIs last summer. She posted a .996 fielding percentage and threw out 18-of-20 base runners. In 2010, she hit .404 with three homers, eight doubles and 22 RBIs. She threw out 10-of-15 base runners.
"Jordan is a very good athlete with a lot of offensive pop," said Hawkins. "A catcher with a very good arm, she will hopefully become the weapon everyone looks for in a softball player. She is a strong student with a great personality and should fit in very well with our team."