Nov. 22, 2013
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina softball program will welcome in five players in its 2014 recruiting class, announced Friday by head coach Kelley Green.
Caitlyn Cheek (Inman, S.C.), Kailey Mellen (Tucson, Ariz.), Annie Robinson (Woodbury, N.J.), Timi Tooley (Joliet, Ill.) and Katelyn Wagner (Whittier, Calif.) all committed to CCU during the early signing period and will join the Chanticleers as freshmen for the 2014-15 season.
"This will be another exciting group to coach," Green said. "The 2014 class is a great mix of power and speed. With such an impactful senior class graduating this year, we will look for these rookies to step up in a big way immediately. They have some big shoes to fill, but I believe they are the perfect group to rise up to the challenge."
Cheek, a centerfielder from Inman, S.C., is a three-time all-region pick for Chapman High School. As a freshman in 2011, she batted .308 with 32 hits, four doubles, three triples, three home runs and 15 RBIs. After hitting .371 in 2012, Cheek upped her average to .461 last season, totaling 41 hits, including 13 doubles, two triples and three home runs, and 25 RBIs. She also had 27 stolen bases, giving her 66 steals in four seasons since starting as an eighth-grader, while helping Chapman reach the upper state championship game all four years. Cheek, whose nickname is "KK", is also a four-time all-region selection in volleyball.
"'KK' is a dynamic player who will combine both speed and power to be the type of player that is capable of producing at least a run a game," Green said. "She is fearless in the outfield and snags hits away from opposing hitters."
Mellen, an outfielder and middle infielder from Tucson, Ariz., has earned second team all-region honors each of the past two years for Mountain View High School. Last season as a junior, she batted .405 with 32 hits, including 10 doubles, one triple, one home run and 13 RBIs. During her sophomore season, she had a .463 average with 19 hits, four doubles, one triple and eight RBIs.
"Kailey has outstanding presence from the left side," Green said. "She has the ability to hit for a high average with solid power numbers. She is an all-around athlete who will primarily play the outfield, but also brings experience in the infield."
Robinson, a first baseman from Woodbury, N.J., is a two-time first-team all-South Jersey and three-time first team all-county selection for Gloucester Catholic High School. As a junior this past season, she batted .431 with 47 hits, including eight doubles and 12 home runs, and 61 RBIs. She averaged a career-best .581 in 2012 with 15 doubles and nine homers. As a freshman in 2011, she hit .401 with nine doubles and four home runs. Overall in three seasons, she has totaled 32 doubles, 25 homers and 137 RBIs, while helping Gloucester Catholic to a 71-18 record, three trips to the state semifinals and one state title.
"We are very excited to add Annie to our lineup," Green said. "She has tremendous power and will be a huge run-producer for us. She is not only a force at the plate, but also brings with her a solid glove."
Tooley, an outfielder and second baseman from Joliet, Ill., earned all-Southwest Prairie Conference and third team all-state honors last year for Plainfield Central High School. She batted .376 with seven doubles, three triples and two home runs while totaling 26 RBIs and five stolen bases. As a sophomore, she hit .323 with six doubles, five triples, 25 RBIs and five stolen bases. In two seasons as a starter, Tooley has helped Plainfield Central to a 55-15 overall record and two regional championships.
"Timi is a versatile player who plays with a high level of energy," Green said. "She has strong defensive fundamentals and is capable of playing both the outfield and infield."
Wagner, a first baseman from Whittier, Calif., is a three-time all-Olympic League and two-time all-area selection for Whittier Christian High School. As a junior during the 2013 season, she batted .526 with 40 hits, including 11 doubles and two home runs, while totaling 29 RBIs to earn first-team all-league and second team all-area honors, along with being selected team MVP. In 2012, Wagner had a career-high 35 RBIs and was named second-team all-league and second-team all-area and, as a freshman in 2011, she had four home runs and 28 RBIs and was selected second-team all-league.
"With her fast hands and sound mechanics, Katelyn Wagner will be an offensive weapon for us," Green said. "She is strong with confident presence and will be a big asset to our lineup."