2014 Softball Season Outlook: Catchers

Returning: Senior Nikki Bruce and junior Maddie Stein
New: Freshman Harli Ridling
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Just days away from the start of the 2014 season, Kansas softball will preview each position in a four-part series. The third installment of the 2014 season outlook includes Kansas’ catchers.

Head coach Megan Smith will utilize a combination of experienced veterans and a bright newcomer to tackle the duties behind the plate for the 2014 season. Junior Maddie Stein will split time between catching and playing first base, while Smith added freshman Harli Ridling to the roster to share the catching responsibilities. Also returning for KU behind the plate is senior Nikki Bruce.
Last season, Stein earned 2013 NFCA All-Region honors after dividing her time behind the plate, at first base and serving as the designated player. Stein made 18 appearances as Kansas’ catcher, while collecting 14 assists and not committing an error from behind the plate.
In her first season in Crimson and Blue, Ridling brings athleticism and arm strength along with offensive power, to the Jayhawk lineup. The Sentinel, Okla., native was a four-time all-state catcher and finished her junior season of high school hitting .733 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs.
Senior Nikki Bruce returns for her final season at KU. Bruce saw action in four games last season and recorded three at-bats.
KU softball opens the 2014 season on Feb. 7 at Central Florida and will spend the first five weeks of the season on the road before hosting the Jayhawk Invitational March 14-16 at Arrocha Ballpark.
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