FAYETTEVILLE – Second-year head coach Mike Larabee announced the addition of nine Razorbacks’ softball players for 2011-12.
The future Razorbacks include Alyssa Bass (Magnolia, Texas), Kimmy Beasley (Foreman, Ark.), Victoria Brown (Houston, Texas), Ciara Clampitt (Burkburnett, Texas), Katie Harrison (Noblesville, Ind.), Clarisa Navarro (La Joya, Texas), Megan Pearson (Dayton, Ohio), Maddie Reese (Pittsford, N.Y.), and Devon Wallace (Double Oak, Texas).
"I am very excited about the 2011 recruiting class," Larabee said. "They are all very excited about joining the Razorback softball family and helping to build our team into a nationally competitive program. We have all positions covered with this class. We are bringing in two left-handed pitchers and one right-handed pitcher; one catcher, three infielders and two outfielders. They all have the athletic ability to come in and compete for playing time. Besides being outstanding softball players, they also possess a high level of character and integrity."
ALYSSA BASSAlyssa Bass is a three-year started at centerfield for Tomball High school in Tomball, Texas. She was named first team all-district as a freshman and sophomore and helped her team reach the playoffs each of her three years. She received first team all-state accolades by the Texas Sports Writers Association after her junior season. Bass and the Cougars were regional finalists in 2008 and she helped her team to become bi-district champions during her sophomore season. Bass also helped THS to the Texas 5A state finals in 2010. In 36 games as a junior, Bass had 43 hits with 31 RBIs and six homeruns.
Larabee on Bass…"Alyssa is a blue collar type of ballplayer. She will do anything on the field to help her team win and she has all the tools that a coach looks for in a ball player. She will run through a wall to catch a fly ball. She loves to play the game and it shows."
KATIE HARRISONKatie Harrison is a catcher and utility player from Noblesville, Ind., where she was named all-county and all-conference each of her three years so far at Noblesville High School. She has started each of her high school seasons and collected all-state honors as a junior as well as all-metro north honors her freshman season. Harrison helped the Millers to become sectional finalists each of the past three years while taking the title in 2008.
Larabee on Harrison…"Katie is a big time power hitter who can hit to all fields. She will hit for average and power. She does a nice job behind the plate and can shut down the running game and has a calming influence on the pitchers that she has caught. Katie will benefit big time from our strength and conditioning program."
CLARISA NAVARROClarisa Navarro is a freshman at Butler Community College where will play her first season beginning Feb. 11. While at La Joya High School, Navarro played baseball as a freshman where she helped her team to a district title and a bi-district championship. Each of her next three years, the shortstop helped the Coyotes’ softball team to district championships as well as regional titles her sophomore and junior seasons. She had a .693 batting average and earned first team all-district honors three years in a row. Navarro also played with the USA Women’s Baseball National Team.
Larabee on Navarro…"She is one of the best defensive infielders I have ever seen. Last summer, Clarisa played on USA women’s national baseball team where she played short and third and was also the closer on the mound. She can throw a baseball at 83 miles per hours. She has great instincts on the bases and loves to play the game."
MEGAN PEARSONMegan Pearson is from Dayton, Ohio, where she garnered first team all-conference honors each of her first three years. She helped the Elk to the sectional finals each year as well. Pearson was voted as the best defensive player of her team as a freshman and sophomore and was named the team’s most valuable player as well as best offensive player for her efforts as a junior.
Larabee on Pearson…"She is a real student of the game. She understands how the game should be played both on offense and defense. Megan is an outstanding defensive first basemen who has always been one of the top hitters and leaders on the teams she has played on. This girl bleeds Razorback red."
MADDIE REESEMaddie Reese is a four-year starter and letterwinner at Pittsford Mendon High School in Pittsford, N.Y. Reese was named first team all-county each of her first four years (including eighth grade) at PMHS. She helped her high school to earn the Monroe County league championship as an eighth grader, freshman and junior. As a junior, Reese helped the Vikings to a sectional and regional championship, as well as a state finals appearance.
Larabee on Reese…"Hard-nosed and fierce competitor are a couple of words that describe Maddie. She is going to do whatever it takes to get into the lineup. She is very versatile and plays great defense. She would live in our indoor facility if I would let her."
DEVON WALLACEDevon Wallace is from Double Oak, Texas, and was a consistent starter for Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas. She was named to the all-state team as well as district defensive player of the year as a sophomore. As a junior, she earned the same accolades and was named as her team’s most valuable player. She has a batting average of .472 with a season best 29 RBIs as a sophomore.
Larabee on Wallace…"I just fell in love with Devon the first time I saw her play. She went 9 for 13 with a cast on her thumb! She is a very athletic, power-hitting outfielder who will deceive you with her speed."
KIMMY BEASLEYKimmy Beasley helped Foreman High School to three state championships and three district titles while setting the Arkansas state record with 391 strikeouts as a left-handed pitcher. She has collected all-region honors each of her three years and received all-district and all-state accolades as a sophomore and junior. She was named as the state’s most valuable player for her efforts the same years.
Larabee on Beasley…"Kimmy is a left-handed power pitcher who can consistently throw in the mid-60’s. She has a great athletic frame and has been a dominate force in the state of Arkansas. I fully expect her to be consistently in the upper 60’s once she gets into our strength and conditioning program."
VICTORIA BROWNVictoria Brown is a right-handed pitcher from La Porte, Texas where she played for Clear Lake High School. She was named first team all-district and most valuable player as a junior with the Falcons. Her sophomore season brought second team all-district honors as well as a first-place ranking for the lowest ERA by the Houston Chronicle. In the summer of 2006, Brown was the youngest participant to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team. Brown boasts a 1.14 ERA with her travel team with 440 strikeouts.
Larabee on Brown…"Victoria is one of the hardest throwers in the nation! She will consistently hit upper 60’s to low 70’s. She throws a heavy drop ball and has a very nice changeup. She has only scratched the surface of her ability and has all the tools to become one of the most dominant pitchers in the SEC."
CIARA CLAMPITTCiara Clampitt joins the Razorbacks from City View High School in Burkburnett, Texas.
Larabee on Clampitt…"Ciara is a left-handed pitcher who won’t overpower the opposition but consistently has beaten some of the top travel ball programs in the nation. I love her presence in the circle; she has great movement and locates extremely well. She understands how to pitch and is not afraid to pitch inside."
"The three pitchers coming in will complement each other and our current staff," Larabee said. "I believe we will have an outstanding staff that will be very diverse and will give the opposition a lot of different looks. Our pitching coach Kyle Jamieson has done an amazing job with our current pitchers and I know he will take this group to an entirely different level."
The 2011 season for the Razorbacks begins Feb. 11-13 at the Louisiana-Lafayette tournament.