UMass Softball Announces Six-Member Signing Class
Nov. 26, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - Massachusetts softball coach Elaine Sortino announced the signing of six players to National Letters of Intent on Friday.
The class includes utility player Cote Clark, infielder Jena Cozza, infielder Caitlyn Hickey, pitcher Tara Klee, pitcher Dakota Smith-Porter and catcher Ashton Wince.
Clark is an outfielder/utility player from Irvine, Calif. who has been playing for seven years after moving from Chile. She currently plays for the 18U Firecrackers Gold squad and has been a three-year starter at Beckman High School.
"Cote is a versatile player with infield and outfield capability," Sortino said. "She has great speed on the base paths and can help us in a number of areas."
Cozza is a three-sport standout at MacArthur HS in Levittown, N.Y. She was named Fifth team All-State as a shortstop and is one of the top power hitters in Nassau County. She is coming off a spring season that saw her hit .419 with five home runs and 24 RBI.
"Jena is a strong middle infielder with good range and great offensive capability," Sortino said.
Hickey has been a reliable middle infielder and first baseman at Ramapo HS where she hit .411 with a .657 on-base pct. and a .630 slugging pct. The Franklin Lakes, N.J. resident has been the leadoff hitter all three years, while also serving as team captain last season.
"Caitlyn is a solid infielder with good hands, range and versatility who can play multiple positions," Sortino added.
Klee has been one of the best players to attend Hamburg (Pa.) HS. She enters her senior season as the career leader in home runs, ERA (0.77), strikeouts (743) and shutouts, while also compiling nine no-hitters and a perfect game. She plays her club ball for the Pennsylvania Chaos Gold team.
"Tara is a talented young pitcher with tremendous potential who also happens to be a good hitter," Sortino stated.
Smith-Porter has been at the forefront of Turners Falls' dominance of Division III softball in the Commonwealth, leading the Indians to back-to-back state championships following a runner-up finish in 2010. She hit .549 in 2012 following a .485 season as a sophomore.
"Dakota brings talent in the field and at the plate," Sortino said. "We are looking to continue her development as a pitcher while being able to use her as a strong hitter in the lineup."
Wince is a talented catcher from Manassas, Va. who plays travel ball with the Vienna Stars Gold. She is a three-time all-state selection and a second-team All-Met choice by the Washington Post. She has thrown out 80 pct. of would-be base stealers while hitting over .400 all three years at Paul VI Catholic HS in Fairfax, Va.
"Ashton is a solid catcher and a great stopper behind the plate with some offensive firepower," Sortino said. "We are also looking for her to bring power to the middle of the order."
This group is the largest signing class at UMass in three years.