Softball Inks Six New Players

Nov. 13, 2009


First-year head coach Megan Smith announced the signing of six new players to national letters of intent Friday to the University of Kansas softball team. Kendra Cullum, Colleen Hohman, Elsa Moyer, Ashley Newman, Ashley Spencer and Laura Vickers will all begin their softball careers at Kansas starting in the 2010-11 academic year.

Cullum, of Conroe High School in Texas, was named her school’s Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year and is expected to be a valuable utility player for the Jayhawks. Cullum has been named first team all-district every year in high school and is a three-time honor roll athlete by the Houston Chronicle. Cullum, who plays club for the Texas Peppers Tanel Gold, has also been named her high school team’s MVP and captain numerous times.

“Kendra is such a fiery competitor whose versatility will allow her to help us in several areas,” said Coach Smith. “She is extremely athletic and has an undeniable passion for the game. She has great leadership capabilities and her work ethic is a quality that will raise the bar in our program.”

Hohman will come to Kansas after an already successful pitching career at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Ill. The right handed pitcher posted a 0.68 ERA, 16-6 record and 250 strikeouts in 2009 to earn conference pitcher of the year accolades. She was also named All-State Honorable Mention in addition to being a two-time all-conference and academic all-conference selection.

“Colleen has the capabilities to make an impact both as a pitcher and a power hitter,” said Coach Smith. “She is a power pitcher who helped her team win the 18A ASA Nationals in 2008 and we look for her to have a tremendous impact as a Jayhawk.”

Moyer, an outfielder from Lake Washington High School, will become a second generation Jayhawk as her father, Rob Moyer, also attended KU. In 2008, Moyer, who hails from Kirkland, Wash., was named All-KingCo 4A First Team and NFCA All-West Region Second Team as an outfielder. At Lake Washington HS, Moyer has a .665 batting average, .690 on base percentage and a .862 slugging percentage for her career. She is also a member of the Washington Ladyhawks Gold club team.

“Although Elsa is from Washington, she and her family are Jayhawks through and through. We look to Elsa to provide more speed to our line-up and to add much needed depth to our outfield,” stated Coach Smith.

One of three in-state products, Newman is a native of Salina, Kan., where she attends Salina High School South. She is a versatile player capable of playing several positions. At Salina South, Newman has helped the Cougars to three consecutive state tournament appearances. She was also named all-league and All-State Second Team in 2009 after leading her team with a .488 batting average, 40 hits and 16 stolen bases. She is a member of the Wichita Mustangs Gold club team.

“Ashley comes from a great athletic family in the state of Kansas and we are extremely excited that she is a Jayhawk. She is another extremely athletic player whose speed and athleticism will make an immediate impact to our program. She is a solid defensive infielder who is versatile and can play many positions,” said Coach Smith.

Spencer, a right-handed pitcher in her second year at Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kan., went 24-1 with a 1.20 earned run average her freshman year and helped her team win the region title and place fifth at the national tournament. Spencer also proved to be a valuable asset at the plate posting a .356 batting average, four home runs and 23 runs batted in.

“Ashley will be a great addition to our pitching staff,” said Coach Smith. “She will come in with two years of successful collegiate pitching experience and will fill the void of Sarah Vertelka’s graduation. She has great movement on her pitches and does a great job of keeping hitters off balance.”

Rounding out the 20010-11 signing class is Olathe, Kan., native Vickers. A shortstop at Olathe East High School and a member of the KC Peppers Gold club team, Vickers was named All-State First Team and NFCA All-American Honorable Mention in 2009. In 2008, Vickers was the Kansas Sunflower League Player of the Year, KC Star Player of the Year and NFCA All-America Second Team. She was also the Sunflower League’s Newcomer of the Year her freshman season.

“We are extremely excited to keep one of the most talented 2010 graduates in the country in the state of Kansas. We look for Laura to bring power to our line-up and for her to strengthen our infield defense. She is a dynamic player who will be a huge asset both offensively and defensively,” said Coach Smith of Vickers.