Nov. 24, 2009
CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina University softball team has signed seven players to National Letters-of-Intent, Head Coach Kelley Green announced today. Ashley Bagwell (Simpsonville, S.C./Mauldin), Brooke Donovan (Bear, Del./Paul M. Hodgson Vo-Tech), Tamara Hawkins (Woodruff, S.C./Byrnes), Elizabeth Kassuhn (Dupont, Wash./Steilacoom), Chelsea Pineda (Coolidge, Ariz./Coolidge (Yavapai College)), Jessica Winans (Afton, N.Y./Afton Central), and Desiree Zaragoza (West Covina, Calif./Walnut) will all join the 2010-2011 roster.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with our first full signing class,” Green said. “All seven of these new talents, along with our solid core of returning players, will help take Coastal to new heights. Not only are these additions great players on the field, but they are exceptional individuals with a high level of passion and possess a tireless work ethic.”
Bagwell, a 5’11” pitcher, is a three-year letterwinner and has helped lead the Mavericks’ to two Region II 4A Championships her sophomore and junior years. Her junior year, she had a 21-5 pitching record and an ERA of 0.50. She was ranked No. 1 in 4A and named the 2009 Mauldin Player of the Year, as well as being selected to the All-Region and All-State teams her sophomore and junior years. Bagwell also plays on the Carolina Elite Gold 18U Club Team and, during the 2009 season, had a 16-6 pitching record and 0.56 ERA.
“We feel Ashley will play a big role in the circle for us,” Green said. “She has great command of her pitches, mixes up speeds well and has a confident presence about her. We look forward to her wearing teal and black for the next four years.”
Donovan, a 5’3” shortstop/second baseman, is a four-year letterwinner and a member of the East Norriton Heartbreakers Travel Team. In 2008, the Heartbreakers were the ASA Eastern National Champions. Her sophomore and junior years in high school, she was selected to the All-State Second Team and was named Hodgson Rookie of the Year her freshman year.
“Brooke is an incredible athlete and has a great passion for the game,” Green stated. “She plays the game hard and is an exciting player to watch. Along with Jessie, Brooke is one of the best players in the Northeast and she will add a new dynamic to our lineup. ”
Hawkins, a 5’8” outfielder, is a three-year letterwinner at Byrnes High School and in 2007, the Rebels won the 4A Upper State Championship. She was named Best Offensive Player and selected to the All-Region Team her sophomore year. Her junior year, Hawkins was named to the All-Academic Team and currently plays on the Carolina Elite Club Team with Ashley Bagwell.
“Tamara is a hard working student-athlete with power and enormous potential to do great things at the next level,” Green commented. “With her positive attitude and athleticism, we expect big things from her throughout the next four years.”
Kassuhn, a 5’2” outfielder, is a three-year letterwinner and has helped lead the Sentinels to a fifth-place finish in the state her sophomore and junior years. Her sophomore year, she finished with a batting average of .429 and an on-base percentage of .576. She was named to the Tacoma News Tribune All-Area First Team and Nisqually League Most Valuable Player her junior year and led her team to the League and District Championships.
“Beth is the triple-threat offensive weapon we were looking to add in this recruiting class,” Green said. “She will solidify our outfield defense with her speed and athleticism.”
Pineda, a 5’10” catcher transfer from Yavapai College, she was voted Student-Athlete of the Year and helped lead the team to the 2009 NJCAA National Championship. In high school, Pineda was a four-year letterwinner and was named First Team All-Conference her sophomore and junior years. She was selected to the All-State Team her senior year and the South 3A Conference Most Valuable Player.
“Chelsea will add big game experience and leadership to our program coming from one of the best junior colleges in the nation,” Green continued. “She has excellent presence both in the box and behind the plate and we will welcome her power to our lineup.”
Winans, a 5’2” shortstop, is a three-time All-State First Team selection and The Daily Star Player of the Year honoree. She helped lead the Crimson Knights to the 2009 New York Class D State Championships and was selected Second Team All-American her junior year. Winans was named to the NFCA Louisville Slugger First Team All-East region and plays on the Bad Apples Club Team, which finished 13th at the 2008 ASA Nationals. In 2007, the Bad Apples were Eastern National Champions.
“Jessie will bring that great combination of speed and power to our batting order,” Green said. “She is just as talented on the defensive side of the ball with phenomenal range and a strong arm. We expect her to do special things here at Coastal.”
Zaragoza, a 5’3” outfielder, led the Mustangs in runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, batting average, stolen bases and home runs in 2009. She was also the San Antonio League leader in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and stolen bases. Zaragoza was the only player to hit home runs on her high school team during the 2009 season. Her junior season, she finished with a .468 batting average, a .681 slugging percentage, three home runs and five stolen bases.
“Desiree will look to make an immediate impact here at Coastal with her solid stick and speed,” Green said. “Her passion and work ethic are easily seen when she plays the game.”
The Chanticleers are set to open their season on Feb. 12 at the Carolina Cup, hosted by South Carolina. Coastal starts play at home on Feb. 26 at the Kickin’ Chicken Classic.