Softball Signs Five New Additions
Nov. 11, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Kansas head softball coach Megan Smith announced the signing of five new players on Wednesday. Lexi Bryant, Chanin Naudin, Alicia Pille, Cassen Salamone and Maddie Stein signed National Letters of Intent to join the Jayhawks beginning in the 2011-12 academic year.
“We are extremely excited to add this group of talented players to the Jayhawk softball family,” said Smith. “It is important for us to bring in players that bleed crimson and blue and every one of these players have fallen in love with Kansas and are true Jayhawks. It is such a balanced and dynamic class with speed, power, solid pitching and defense. Each one of these players has the ability to make an immediate impact on our program and we cannot wait to see them in Kansas jerseys.”
Bryant, a catcher out of Orland Park, Ill., helped Carl Sandburg High School to its first 4A softball state championship in 2010. Bryant was an all-state first team selection in 2010 and was also chosen as the Illinois Athlete of the Year, while her teammates awarded her MVP honors after she set school records for single-season home runs (15), batting average (.504), RBI (46) and doubles (18). Bryant, who plays club for the Orlando Park A’s Gold, was also part of the Eagles’ conference champion teams in 2008 and 2009.
“Lexi will make an immediate impact on our program with her abilities as a power hitter,” Smith said. “She is a solid catcher with a strong arm and she brings an infectious positive attitude to all of her teammates. Her statistics and accomplishments speak for themselves and we cannot wait to see the impact she makes in Lawrence.”
A multi-sport athlete from Princeton High School in Princeton, Texas, Naudin guided the Panthers to the regional semi-finals in 2009 and 2010. In the third baseman’s junior season, Naudin was named all-district defensive player of the year and an all-area selection for the second-straight year. In 2009, she was named to the all-district first team as well. Naudin, who also lettered in soccer, cross country and track and field, had a decorated club career playing for the American Athletes and Texas Glory Gold. Her 2007 American Athletes team became the youngest squad to ever win 14U nationals.
“Chanin is a dynamic player who brings an immense amount of athleticism to the field. She is a dominant presence at third base and up at the plate, and I know she will have a great career in a Jayhawk jersey,” said Smith.
Pille is a pitcher from Royse City High School in Nevada, Texas. She helped the Bulldogs to a bi-district championship in 2010, a season in which she threw two perfect games and nine shutouts while averaging just over 16 strikeouts per game. Her team made a regional quarter final appearance in 2008 as well. Pille was named conference pitcher of the year in both 2010 and 2009 and was selected newcomer of the year as a freshman in 2008. The National Honor Society member plays for the Texas Rapid Fire Gold club team.
“Alicia exemplifies what it means to be a Jayhawk softball player with her fiery competitive spirit. She has great command of her pitches, keeps batters off balance and has a bulldog mentality in the circle.” Smith added, “From the first time I saw her pitch, I had no doubt that her work ethic and desire to be the best will make Alicia an impact player from day one.”
Another Texas native, Salamone comes to Kansas from Klein Oak High School where she was a part of two area championship teams (2008 and 2009). The 2008 squad also advanced to a regional semi-final. As a junior, Salamone, an outfielder who plays club for the Texas Eclipse Gold, was named all-district first team.
“Cassen brings speed to our outfield and to our offensive line-up as a lefty slapper,” Smith said. “She has proven herself against some of the best teams in the county while playing for the Texas Eclipse Gold.”
A catcher/infielder from El Reno, Okla., Stein helped El Reno High School claim three-straight regional championships. A four-time suburban all-conference selection, Stein also earned all-Big City third base accolades in 2009 and all-state as a catcher in 2010. A member of the Oklahoma Athletics Gold club team, Stein has won a 16U Canada Cup championship, AFA 16U national championship and USSSA 18U national championship.
“We are extremely excited to add a player with Maddie’s versatility and passion for the game,” said Smith. “Maddie will add a powerful left-handed bat to our offensive line-up and brings the ability to contribute at multiple positions.”