The Schoolcraft College softball team welcomed nine new players on Monday, February 17, at the first mass-signing day in the program’s five-year history.
Head coach Rey Linares, who’s helped build the program from Day 1, said the incoming class is deep and versatile.
“It's another outstanding class of very talented contributors with a diverse mix of power, speed and finesse,” Linares said. “Although they will bring several contributions, initially I would say this group’s strength is in fact strength and power. Each of these players are very capable offensively with the ability to drive the long ball and will always challenge opposing pitchers.”
In addition to offense, Linares said pitching was a focus as well because all the pitchers on this year’s team are sophomores, so they will be moving on after this season.
“Recruiting pitching is always a priority,” Linares said. “Aside from pitching, we focused on maintaining our defensive depth and the ability to execute an aggressive offense. This group of signees should do well at filling those needs.”
Here’s a profile of each new player, with comments from Linares.
Summer Sullivan / Graying, Michigan / Pitcher / Outfielder / St. Mary Cathedral High School (Gaylord)
All-Conference; All-District; Regional Dream Team; Academic All-State; cross country runner
“Summer is a force on the mound and very good at getting hitters to chase pitches and dictating the flow of the game. Offensively she possesses a very powerful bat with outstanding on-base and slugging percentages.”
Samantha Kerr / Riverview, Michigan / Pitcher / 1st Base / Riverview High School
All-State; Dream Team; All-District; All-Regional; All-League; team captain; scholar athlete; National Honor Society Student-Athlete; marching band; wind ensemble
“Sam's unique pitching ability of keeping opposing hitters off balance has earned her multiple honors through her high school career. Sam also possesses a very powerful bat that will be a challenge for opposing pitchers to keep quiet.”
Natalie Conn / Livonia, Michigan / Pitcher / 1st Base / Livonia Stevenson High School
Team MVP; 4 Year Honor Roll student-athlete
“Natalie has a solid collection of pitches at her disposal that will force opposing hitters to be at their best. As with our other two incoming 2020 pitchers, Natalie comes fully equipped with a very powerful bat.”
Autumn Reed / Livonia, Michigan / Middle Infielder / Livonia Stevenson High School
All District; 4 Year Team MVP; Hometown Life Prep Athlete of the Week; team captain; Class A ASA State Champion; scholar athlete
“Autumn is an incredible addition to our program and is honestly one of the top three middle infielders I have come across in my 27 years of coaching fast-pitch softball. This young lady is unequivocally a force in all aspects of the game. She had opportunities to choose to play among several colleges that were recruiting her and we are extremely happy she elected to stay close to home and become an Ocelot!”
Mikayla Demyan / Belleville, Michigan / Catcher / 1st Base / Belleville High School
All-Conference; All-District; Offensive MVP; Honor Roll Student-Athlete
“Offensively Mikayla hits and drives the ball hard with power and has an outstanding career slugging and on-base percentage, resulting in multiple offensive MVP honors. Her defense as a catcher is outstanding.”
Hailey Warra / Livonia, Michigan / Catcher / Outfielder / Livonia Stevenson High School
Scholar Athlete; Honor Roll student-athlete
”A very hard-working student of the game, Hailey is a natural leader and communicator. She always leads by example and gets the job done whether it's catching, playing outfield, hitting or supporting her teammates. Hailey is also another strong hitter.”
Madison Clark / Southgate, Michigan / DP / Riverview High School
Multisport student-athlete; Most Improved honors
“Madison is a very powerful batter. Opposing defensives will have to work hard at stopping the balls Madison hits into play.”
Alicia Laster / Lincoln Park, Michigan / Outfielder / Lincoln Park High School
Multisport student-athlete; team captain; Student Council; perfect attendance
“Alicia brings outstanding defensive range and speed to the outfield. Offensively her speed will cause havoc on the basepaths.”
Lauren Kroll / Brownstown, Michigan / Utility / Airport High School
Multisport student-athlete; Team Captain; Honor Roll student-athlete
“Lauren’s versatility both offensively and defensively will be excellent contributions to the team. She can drive the ball or sneak in a bunt from both sides of the plate while using her speed to stretch out hits. Defensively Lauren has the ability to very effectively play multiple positions.”
The Ocelots are looking to build on a 26-18 record from last season. They’re off to a promising start after going 4-0 in preseason exhibition doubleheader scrimmages against Grand Rapids and Muskegon earlier in February.
The regular season starts March 2 at the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
“It will be a nice challenge and test for our team with 10 games that week against college softball teams from various regions of the country,” Linares said.