Softball Signs Seven To Class Of 2014
Nov. 11, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - UMass softball head coach Elaine Sortino announced on Wednesday the signing of seven high school seniors to National Letters of Intent. The group is comprised of versatile talent that can play numerous positions. The Minutewomen's Class of 2014 will make their debut for the 21-time Atlantic 10 champions in the spring of 2011.
Samantha Gray (Skowegan, Maine), Paige Hansen (Concord, N.H.), Tiffany Meeks (Salinas, Calif.), Maggie Quealy (Plainville, Mass.), Caroline Raymond (Downingtown, Pa.), Candace Waldie (North Andover, Mass.), and Lindsey Webster (Northridge, Calif.) will infuse Sortino's squad with talent and depth to help offset what will be the loss of seven seniors from the 2010 team.
"This class really has the potential to contribute to all aspects of the program - offensively, defensively, pitching, infield, outfield," Sortino said. "We are replacing a very strong class with a very strong class of potential, competitiveness, athleticism, and versatility."
"Sam can catch and play on the corners," Sortino said. "As she develops offensively, she will contribute to the middle of our order. She is strong and going to develop a lot of power."
The 5-9 righthanded batter and thrower has played the last three seasons for the Skowegan Area High School varsity team, leading the Indians to a 43-18 record over that time. Her club claimed the Eastern Maine Championship her freshman year and again this spring. As a sophomore in 2008, Gray was captain of her team and named KVAC & Morning Sentinel first team All-Star and was a Morning Sentinel Player of the Year Nominee. As a junior in 2009, she was again a captain and repeated as KVAC & Morning Sentinel All-Star and KVAC Player of the Year nominee.
Gray has also participated in field hockey, soccer, and basketball in her career, being named field hockey All-Rookie and soccer All-Academic. She has also been an Honor Roll student every year of her high school career.
"While she pitches for her high school and is the Gatorade Player of the Year, we are looking at Paige to, if she has to, do some pitching, but she is a tremendous hitter," Sortino said. "She's very athletic and is as fine an outfielder or infielder as anybody else."
The 5-10 righthanded thrower and batter has started for three years at Concord High School, leading the Tide to a 53-13 record in those years. Hansen has split her time between pitching and the outfield throughout her career. She put together a career year in 2009 as a junior, batting .437 and slugging .648 and driving in 20 runs. In the circle she was just as good, posting an 18-2 record with a 0.48 ERA, 14 shutouts, and 182 strikeouts in 145 innings. Hansen led her team to a 21-2 record and the State Championship in 2009, garnering her Gatorade Player of the Year honors, as well as Varsity Magazine Player of the Year, Concord Monitor and Union Leader Player of the Year.
Hansen has also competed in hockey and soccer in high school. She is also an honor roll student.
"Tiffany gives us depth in the middle infield," Sortino said. "She can play on either side of the bag. She has great fielding skills and deceptive power at the plate for a player her size. Tiffany is also a very good hitter."
The 5-7 righthanded batter and thrower has played the last three years for Notre Dame High School in Salinas, Calif. She has led the Spirits to the CCS Tournament each season and to the CCS Championship title in 2008. After splitting time at the corner outfield spots and second base as a freshman, Meeks has played primarily second base the last two seasons. She has been named All-League first team the last two seasons. Her 2009 season was especially successful as she was named league MVP, All-County first team, All-County MVP, and Best Offensive Player. Meeks slugged eight home runs this past spring after hitting .500 in 2008.
Meeks also participated in volleyball as a freshman, winning the Coaches Award. An honor roll student, she is also a member of the California Scholastic Federation.
"Maggie pitches for her high school, but she has also caught, played the corners, and even played some left field," Sortino said. "Maggie is a very strong potential power-hitter. We are looking for her to be somewhere in the middle of the UMass order in the future."
The 5-7 righthanded batter and thrower has played the last three seasons for King Phillip High School in Wrentham, Mass., leading the Warriors to a 60-8 record in that span. She played primarily right field as a freshman and catcher as a sophomore before pitching for her club as a junior and early on in her senior year. Quealy has been named a Sun Chronicle All-Star and Hockomock All-Star for three-straight years. As a junior in 2009, she was also named Boston Globe All-Scholastic, Boston Herald All-Scholastic, and was Hockomock Most Valuable Player.Quealy batted .435 with seven home runs as a freshman, posted a .446 average with eight homers as a sophomore, and this past spring batted .345 with four home runs and was walked 45 times for a .765 on-base percentage.
Quealy has played the last two summers for the Rhode Island Thuder Gold team and now competes for the Rhode Island Thunder Black/Elite team.
Quealy has also competed for the varsity field hockey and track & field (shot put) teams at King Phillip.
"Caroline is very competitive and has tremendous potential to become a dominant force in the circle," Sortino said.
The 6-0 righthander has pitched from Downingtown West High School the last three seasons, leading her team to three-straight Chesmont League championships. As a freshman in 2007, she was named second team All-Chesmont League and second team All-Area. As a sophomore in 2008, Raymond was named first team All-Chesmont League, first team All-Area, and All-Southern Pennsylvania. The accolades continued in 2009 as a junior when she was again named first team All-Chesmont and All-Area, while also being named All-Area Player of the Year, first team All-Southern Pa., first team All-State, and was a Gatorade Player of the Year nominee.
This past spring, Raymond posted a 20-1 record in the circle with a 0.21 ERA and 295 strikeouts in 133 innings. For her career, she is 35-3 with a 0.64 ERA and 509 strikeouts in 273 innings. She plays for the Pennsbury Gems Gold summer softball team.
The Honor Roll student for three years in a row also competed on the junior varsity soccer team.
"Candace is probably the most versatile player in this class," Sortino said. "She brings speed, power, and she can play anywhere besides pitcher. She catches, she can be a middle infielder, and outfielder."
The 5-7 righthanded thrower and batter has started at catcher for North Andover High School the last three seasons, with the Scarlet Knights going 47-19 during that time. She was named the team's Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2007 when she hit .333 and was team MVP in 2008, when she batted .414 with three home runs and 42 RBI, and 2009, when she batted .397 with three home runs and 21 RBI. In 2008, Waldie was named the Cape Ann League Player of the Year and Eagle Tribune All-Star. She also earned Cape Ann All-Star honors in both 2008 and 2009.
Waldie has played the last five years for the Northeast Hurricanes summer softball team and the New Hampshire Elite for one year.
An all-around athlete, Waldie is also an accomplished field hockey player. She was named Cape Ann League Player of the Year for the second year in a row in 2009, while also earning Boston Globe All-Scholastic, Boston Herald All-Scholastic, and Eagle Tribune All-Star honors. Waldie also holds the school shot put record of 34 feet, seven inches.
"Lindsey is most notable for being a dominant force in the circle, but she is also a very strong hitter," Sortino said. "She can play the outfield as well as anyone. She can do a lot of things for us."
The 5-10 righthander has pitched the last three seasons for Bishop Alemany High School, earning numerous accolades. As a freshman in 2007, Webster was named first team All-Mission League as a leftfielder. The following two seasons, in 2008 and 2009, she took home Mission League Most Valuable Pitcher honors. In all three years of her high school career, Webster has been won the CIF Exceptional Achievement Award, been named Daily News All-Area, and been a Honor Roll and Scholar Athlete. In 2008, Webster recorded 242 strikeouts in the circle, while batting .370 with six home runs. As a junior last year, she took her game to a new level, striking out 305 batters while batting .551 and hitting six home runs. Shhe plays for the Victory Gold summer team.
Webster has also competed in volleyball for Bishop Alemany. As a freshman she won the Coach's Award and in 2008 won the Best Offensive Player Award.
Webster is a member of the National Honor Society and is currently serving as vice president of her senior class while also writing for the school newspaper.
"It is exciting for us to have such a national class from across the country," Sortino said. "I am thrilled to have these kids and I am really looking forward to being their coach. They are really solid students and have good families."