FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas softball head coach Jamie Pinkerton adds seven new Lady Razorbacks to next year’s team after the early signing period, Wednesday, Nov. 9.
In his second recruiting class at Arkansas, Pinkerton invaded Kansas and Oklahoma with two of the incoming freshmen residing in Northwest Arkansas.
“I think it’s a solid class,” he said. “We’ve added depth to the pitching staff and catching core. We feel that we’ve filled needs at every position on the diamond.”
The Lady’Backs signed two pitchers, Miranda Dixon and Teighynne Hulsey, who both live in Edmond, Okla., and compete at rival schools. A 6-0 right-hander, from Edmond North, Dixon is a first-team all-state selection and was the Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior. Hulsey, a left-hander, is an all-stater from Edmond Memorial.
Pinkerton said he is thrilled about the additions in the circle for the Lady’Backs, who can also play other positions as well.
“She’s (Dixon) going to come in and immediately help with the pitching staff,” he said. “She can not only throw a high number of innings but also provide a good bat for our lineup. And as a left-hander, she (Hulsey) adds a new dimension to our pitching staff. She has good command of several pitches. She can double in the outfield, gives us power at the plate and she also runs well.”
The lone outfielder of the 2006 class, Jessica Bachkora, was a first-team all-state selection from Overland Park, Kan., and led the Notre Dame de Sion Storm to the District 14 Championship as a senior.
Pinkerton said Bachkora’s signing will benefit the Lady’Backs in centerfield, with senior Mindy O’Malley graduating in the spring.
“We’re really excited about her (Bachkora) because she will fill O’Malley shoes defensively,” he said. “She’s unique because she can slap, bunt, has extremely good speed and can hit the ball out of the ballpark. She’s a very good weapon that possesses speed and power.”
Infielder Brittany Robison was the first-team all-state shortstop from Owasso, Okla., who guided the Rams to the state championship game as a senior.
“She’s (Robinson) an athlete that will provide versatility and depth to the infield,” Pinkerton said. “She runs well and will add power to the middle of the lineup.”
Along with two hurlers, Pinkerton inked catcher Jessica Waddle. A Chickasha, Okla., native, Waddle is an all-state selection for the Fighting Chicks.
“She (Waddle) is a very good defensive catcher with a strong arm and should show promise in the offensive lineup. We’re excited about her size and power,” Pinkerton said.
The Lady’Backs added two Arkansans in infielder Hannah Cicioni, of Rogers, and catcher Jess Reed, of Fayetteville. As a junior, Cicioni was named to the all-state team after leading the Mounties to the state tournament as a freshman and sophomore. Reed led the Fayetteville Bulldogs to the 5A state semifinals and was all-state honoree as a junior.
“We feel we signed the best players in the state of Arkansas,” Pinkerton said. “We are real happy about getting Jess. She versatile she can play outfield, middle infield, catch and run. Hannah will provide excellent depth at the corners.”
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