Smith Signs Versatile 2016 Recruiting Class

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball head coach Megan Smith and her staff announced that five incoming freshmen have inked National Letters of Intent (NLI) to join the Jayhawks on Thursday afternoon. The 2016 class includes a pitcher, a catcher and three infielders.
“The 2016 class is one of the most athletic classes that I have ever signed,” said Smith. “They are all versatile defensive players who can help our team in multiple positions, and they are all dynamic offensive players. This entire class has grit, determination, and they all play the game with a lot of fire and passion. They will truly be a fun group to coach and watch!”
Smith searched near and far to find the talented group of future Jayhawks. The 2016 class features student-athletes from as close as Missouri and as far away as Canada.
Becki Monaghan (Memorial Composite High School, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), Brittani Reid (Blue Springs High School, Blue Springs, Missouri), Mandy Roberts (Lee’s Summit West High School, Lee’s Summit, Missouri), Madison Sykes (Blue Springs High School, Blue Springs, Missouri) and Courtney Taylor (Lamar High School, Houston, Texas) all signed valid NLI’s to play for the Jayhawks starting in the fall of 2016.

Becki Monaghan // Catcher // Edmonton, Canada

Memorial Composite High School

  • Named Memorial Composite’s Female Athlete of the Year as a sophomore.
  • Softball Alberta’s Fastball Female Player of the Year.

Canadian Junior National Team

  • Helped Team Canada’s Junior National Team claim the gold medal at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championships in Vancouver.
  • Won gold in tier two Canadian Nationals and tied for the most home runs in 2013.

Travel Ball

  • Played travel softball with the Rivercity Hornets.
  • A member of Rivercity’s U21 Gold Medal Provincial Championship Team.

Smith on Monaghan: “Becki is a phenomenal athlete who will add a tremendous amount of power and versatility to our team. She is a true student of the game and a tireless worker. That, paired with her immense talent, truly makes her a special player. She also has the experience of playing with the Canadian Junior National Team, which will help her compete and succeed in the Big 12.” 

Brittani Reid // Infielder // Blue Springs, Missouri

Blue Springs High School

  • Helped Blue Springs High School to four conference championships (2012-15), three district championships (2012, 2014-15) and a regional championship (2015).
  • Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and Offensive Player of the Year in 2015.
  • Earned first-team all-conference honors at the conclusion of the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
  • Collected first-team all-district and first-team all-region honors as a sophomore and junior.
  • First-team all-state in 2015.
  • In 2015, she batted .505 with a .864 slugging percentage, while leading the team with 38 RBIs. She recorded 12 doubles, five home runs and two grand slams during her junior campaign.

Travel Ball

  • Played travel softball with St. Louis Espirit.  

Smith on Reid: “Brittani is a very versatile player who will bring true athleticism and energy to our team. She plays the game hard and carries herself with so much confidence and swagger. Defensively, she is extremely versatile and is able to play every infield position. As a hitter, she is able to hit for power and use her speed and aggressiveness on the bases. It will be fun to watch her join her sister, Alexis, as a Jayhawk.”

Mandy Roberts // Pitcher // Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Lee’s Summit West High School

  • A four-time all-conference selection (2012-15) who earned first-team honors twice and second-team honors twice.
  • A three-time first-team all-district honoree (2013-15) and a three-time all-region pitcher (2013-15).
  • Recorded a victory over Lee’s Summit in 13 innings with 21 strikeouts.
  • In another outing in the circle, she struck out 20 of 21 batters she faced.
  • Recorded 37 wins in 401 innings pitched, while striking out 467 batters in her career. Offensively, she recorded 65 RBIs and six home runs.

Travel Ball

  • Played travel softball with the KC Peppers.

Smith on Roberts: “Mandy has great command over her pitches and is able to move the ball really well. She has tremendous spin and movement on her pitches, and is extremely coachable. She also has a very calm demeanor and is very steady in the circle. Not only will Mandy strengthen our pitching staff, she will also be able to add her offensive talent to our lineup as well.”  

Madison Sykes // Infielder // Blue Springs, Missouri

Blue Springs High School

  • Earned First-Team All-Suburban Gold League honors in 2014 and 2015.
  • A two-time all-district honoree (2014-15).
  • Named the Blue Springs High School Team MVP in 2015 and Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.
  • Hit .417 last season in conference action and .467 during non-conference play.
  • Recorded the lone RBI for Team KC against Team USA during the summer of 2015.

Travel Ball

  • Played travel softball with the Originals.

Smith on Sykes: “Madison is a dynamic defensive player at multiple infield positions. She is a versatile and consistent offensive player who will also add some speed to our lineup. Aside from her playing ability, I am excited to have her leadership and calm and confident demeanor on the field. She is a true team player who is always striving to make herself and her teammates better.” 

Courtney Taylor // Infielder // Houston, Texas

Lamar High School

  • Most Valuable Offensive and Defensive Player and earned first-team all-district honors as a freshman.
  • During her sophomore season, was named Most Valuable Offensive Player and first-team all-district.
  • Named the district’s Offensive Player of the Year, Second-Team All-Greater Houston and Texas Writer’s Association All-State First Team her junior year.

Travel Ball

  • Played travel softball with Texas Sudden Impact Gold.

Smith on Taylor: “Courtney is a gritty player who will bring athleticism to our lineup both offensively and defensively. She is an aggressive infielder, and has great range and very smooth hands. Offensively, she is a tough competitor, who will add power and consistency to our lineup. Courtney is a fun player to watch because she plays the game with so much energy.” The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.