Kansas softball signs dynamic recruiting class

LAWRENCE, Kan. –Head coach Megan Smith enters her eighth season at the helm of Kansas softball this spring and inked her eighth Jayhawk signing class on Wednesday afternoon. Smith and her staff announced that five incoming freshmen have signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) to join the Jayhawks in 2017.
The 2017 class includes Shelby Gayre (D’Hanis High School // D’Hanis, Texas), Brittany Jackson (Lake Ridge High School // Mansfield, Texas), Sydnee Ramsey (Westmoore High School // Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) and Tarin Travieso (Antonian College Prep High School // San Antonio, Texas) all  who signed valid NLI’s to play for the Jayhawks starting in the fall of 2017.

“We are so excited to sign these five dynamic athletes, not only because their talent will help us continue to elevate our level of play, but also because they already embody the Jayhawk Way,” said Smith. “They are all hard workers who play the game with enthusiasm and passion and they all value one of our program’s core values – family.  These players and their families have already been a big part of the Jayhawk softball family and now we can celebrate that it is official.”

Smith’s eighth signing class will help fill spots in KU’s lineup after graduating a senior class of four at the end of the upcoming season. This year’s signees include a catcher, a pitcher/utility, infielder and an outfielder hailing from Texas and Oklahoma.

Also joining the Jayhawks in 2017 is Addie Balderston, an outfielder from Wildwood, Missouri. Balderston rounds out the dynamic 2017 recruiting class that has committed to playing for Smith and her staff starting in the fall of 2017. 
Shelby Gayre // Catcher // D’Hanis High School // D’Hanis, Texas
D’Hanis High School

  • Earned four letters in softball at D’Hanis High School.
  • Named district MVP, MaxPreps All-America and Texas Sports Writer’s Association first-team all-state honors during the 2016 season.
  • Also collected USSSA Select 30 First-Team All-America honors in 2016.
  • In 2015, she was named to the UIL State All-Tournament team and earned first-team all-district accolades.
  • Garnered newcomer of the year honors as a freshman in 2014.

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  • Played for Firecrackers DFW 18U Gold.

Smith on Gayre: “Shelby is a gritty player who will provide power to our offensive line-up and add versatility on defense. She will make an immediate impact because of her talent, but also because of the kind of person and player that she is. She is a positive leader, a great teammate and one of the hardest workers on the field.”
Brittany Jackson // Outfield // Lake Ridge High School // Mansfield, Texas
Lake Ridge High School

  • Batted .765 in 2016 and recorded a hit in 19-straight games.
  • Named first-team all-district, offensive player of the year and district offensive MVP accolades and also first-team all-academic honors in 2016.
  • Earned first-team all-district and offensive player of the year honors in 2015.
  • Collected newcomer of the year recognition as a freshman and earned MaxPreps all-state accolades. 

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  • Played for the Texas Glory Shelton Gold. 

Smith on Jackson: “Brittany is going to be our spark plug in every aspect when she arrives next year. She is a dynamic player who will use her speed and athleticism to elevate our team on both offense and defense. I know that Brittany will be a fun player to coach and to watch because of her attitude and love for Kansas and the game.”
Sydnee Ramsey // Infield // Westmoore High School // Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Westmoore High School

  • Helped Westmoore High School to regional championships in 2014 and 2016.
  • Named player of the year in 2014 and 2015.
  • Earned all-district player of the year honors in 2016.
  • An all-district and all-conference selection each year of high school.
  • During her senior season, batted .530 and was named to the all-state team.

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  • Played for the Athletics Madden. 

Smith on Ramsey: “Sydnee is going to make a big impact on our team both as a power hitter and as a talented infielder. I am excited for her to join our infield because she is extremely athletic, has great hands and has a commanding presence on the field. She is also a very coachable player and a selfless teammate.”
Tarin Travieso // Pitcher/Utility // Antonian College Prep High School // San Antonio, Texas
Antonian College High School

  • Helped Antonian College Prep to district titles in 2014 and 2015 and were state runner-ups in both of those seasons as well.
  • Claimed newcomer of the year honors in 2014 and most valuable player honors in 2015 and 2016.
  • Has earned all-district and all-state three times in her prep career.
  • Named to the All-Area Super Team in 2015 and 2016.
  • Recorded 123 strikeouts during the 2016 season while tallying 41 RBIs and 48 runs scored, which is second most in San Antonio for high school softball.

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  • Played for the Texas Blaze 18U Gold.

Smith on Travieso: “Tarin is the most versatile player in this class. She will able to contribute to our success as a pitcher, a hitter and a solid defensive player. Her being a left-handed pitcher who mixes speeds very well will be a great addition to an already solid pitching staff. She also will bring such a positive attitude to our team.”
Addie Balderston // Outfielder // Lafayette High School // Wildwood, Missouri
Lafayette High School

  • Lettered in softball at Lafayette High School and also played basketball, lacrosse and tack and field.
  • Earned the softball Hustle Award all four seasons with the Lancers.
  • Named the softball team Most Valuable Player at the end of the 2016 season.
  • Earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2012.
  • Owns the school record in stolen bases with 104, which ranks ninth in the state of the Missouri.

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  • Played for the Midwest Prospects.

Smith on Balderston: “Addie is an elite-level athlete who will add pure speed to our line up and to our outfield. Her being such a nationally competitive crossfit competitor is evidence that she will contribute toughness, strength and grit to our team.” 
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