FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – First-year University of Arkansas softball coach Mike Larabee announced his seven-athlete signing class for the 2010-11 season this week.
The future Razorbacks are Macy Burr, Sierra Bronkey, Amanda Geile, Jayme Gee, Ashley Martindale, Chloe Oprzedek and Jennifer Rambo.
"Our coaching staff is very excited about the athletes that will be joining our Razorback family in the fall of 2010," Larabee said. "It is a very versatile and athletic class with a combination of great speed and power. Besides being an outstanding group of athletes on the field, they are also players that will get the job done in the classroom and will bring a strong work ethic and character to our program. I believe that all of our recruits will be able to come in and compete for playing time as freshmen."
Burr is an outfielder from Plano Senior High School in Plano, Texas. As a junior, she earned TCGA all-state honors as well as boasting the highest batting average on her team (.496). In 36 games that season, Burr broke the school on-base percentage record (.574) and tied a school record with 57 hits.
"One of the fastest, if not the fastest, player in the entire 2010 class nationwide," Larabee said. "Macy will play outfield for us and will cover a lot of ground. She is going to be able to put a lot of pressure on the defense bunting, slapping and swinging away."
Gee is a catcher from The Woodlands College Park High School in the Woodlands, Texas. Gee has been the starting catcher on the varsity team for three seasons and has hit over .300 each season including a .444 batting average last season including a .542 on-base percentage and a .800 slugging percentage. She is the career leader in doubles, RBIs, triples and slugging percentage at the Woodlands.
"Jamie is what I call a shut down catcher," Larabee said. "With a pop time consistently in the upper 1.6’s she will shut down the opponents running game. Jamie is a right-handed hitter with a lot power who puts in a lot of time working on her swing."
Martindale was a vital piece of the Benton High School run for the 2008 Arkansas 6A State Championship, leading the team in batting average and stolen bases. She earned all-conference, all-state and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s all-Arkansas honors after batting .452 with 33 hits in 23 games as a junior.
"Ashley is another speed burner that will put a lot of pressure on the defense," Larabee said. "It was evident the first time I saw Ashley play that she has a passion for the game and I loved her enthusiasm."
Oprzedek, a three-year varsity starter for Providence Catholic High School, is an infielder out of Lockport, Ill. Last season, she helped lead Providence to a fourth-place finish in the East Suburban Catholic Conference after they finished second in 2008. For her efforts, she was named to the all-area and all-conference first teams. Oprzedek led her team in batting average (.405), triples (4) and doubles (13) as a team captain her junior year.
"Chloe is an amazing defensive infielder who will give us depth at shortstop, second base, and third base," Larabee said. "Over the last couple of years I’ve seen web gem after web gem while watching Chloe play. Offensively Chloe is a triple threat from the left side who will also keep the defense on their toes."
Geile is a utility player from Parkway South High School in Manchester, Mo. As a junior she helped her team to a second-place finish at the Missouri State Championships along with a district title. For her efforts that season, she was named first-team all state, conference player of the year and the St. Louis Post Dispatch Player of the Year. Geile finished the year with a .489 batting average, 40 RBI, 44 hits and 13 home runs which tied a state record.
"We are counting on Amanda coming in and being an impact player for us offensively," Larabee said. "Amanda will be a corner outfielder who has improved quite a bit over the last year on her defense. The one thing I love about Amanda is her ability to hit in clutch situations. Amanda has had a lot of success in the pitchers circle and will be given an opportunity to compete there as well."
Bronkey capped her high school career by helping Edmond Santa Fe High School to a fifth-place finish at the 2009 Oklahoma 6A State Championship. She finished the year with a .433 batting average, 37 RBI and 10 home runs on her way to player of the year honors. A four-year starter and letterwinner, Bronkey helped lead her team to a runner-up finish at the state championships her freshman year.
"Sierra is a lefthanded power hitting infielder/outfielder that understands hitting at a very high level," Larabee said. "She has the ability to hit the ball hard to all fields and is what I call a professional hitter. We feel that Sierra has the ability to be a middle of the lineup hitter early in her career."
Rambo is a utility player from Spokane, Wash., who has been a three-year starter for Gonzaga Prep High School. As a junior she earned first team all-league honors while leading the league in batting average (.596) and second in slugging percentage. Rambo has compiled a career batting average of .558 and a career slugging percentage of .913 while adding 77 hits and 44 RBI.
"A great combination of power and speed from the left side of the plate," Larabee said. "Jennifer loves the game and has an incredible work ethic. In basketball terms, Jennifer would be classified as a gym rat. Jennifer can play every infield and outfield position which will open up a lot of opportunities for her to come in and contribute."
The Razorbacks are set to open their season at the Metrodome Classic, Feb. 12-14 in Minneapolis, Minn. For more information about the Arkansas softball team, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.