Central Connecticut softball coach Jeff Franquet has announced the signing of four student-athletes for the 2011-12 academic year. The group consists of four high school student-athletes, with a pair of pitchers and a pair of outfielders.
Coming to New Britain to join the Blue Devil outfield will be Kathryn Malcolm and Ashley Black. Malcolm is a Branford, CT, native who attended Mercy High School in Middletown, CT. Black is a product of Levittown, PA, and Harry S. Truman High School. Both student-athletes will be enrolling at Central as freshman in the fall.
Last summer playing for the Connecticut Eliminators, Malcolm posted amazing offensive numbers, hitting .473 with 15 home runs and 56 runs batted in.
According to Franquet, "Kathryn is one of the best players in New England. She brings so much to our program-speed, power, great arm strength, great hitter, and a good knowledge of the game. We believe that Kathryn has the ability to be an excellent player all four years at Central."
Black is a four-year varsity starter and was named Rookie of the Year as a freshman for the Truman High School softball team.
"Ashley will make an immediate impact in our outfield. She has great speed, and runs fly balls down really well. Ashley will give us another slapper in the lineup. We are looking forward to watching Ashley play in a Blue Devil uniform."
"Both of these players have the ability to lead us to championships."
The pitching staff will be bolstered next year by the addition of a pair of new arms. Laura Messina is a native of Marlton, NJ, where she stared in softball at Camden Catholic High School. In her high school career Messina has posted a record of 50-16 with a 1.00 earned run average and 803 strike outs, compared to only 41 walks.
"Laura is one of the best pitchers to ever come out of South Jersey. We feel like Laura's pitching abilities will help lead us to the NEC conference tourney. She is a workhorse on the mound, and will only get stronger and better once she is in our system."
Alyssa McCoart comes to New Britain from Lincoln, RI. McCoart has the ability to help the Blue Devils in the pitching circle and at the plate. The pitcher and first baseman posted a .750 slugging percentage at the plate last year for Lincoln High School. In the circle she posted a 1.25 earned run average and didn't make an error in the field.
"Alyssa has the ability to pitch and play first base. We feel like Alyssa has so much potential. Once she gets in our workout programs, and practice settings she will be very good. She is a good leader on and off the field, and will be a big part of the success of our program."
"We are so excited about this group who said yes to Central Connecticut, " Franquet said. "We are getting four outstanding softball players, but more importantly four great young women from good families. The magic of recruiting happens when both sides truly believe in each other. We wanted Ashley, Alyssa, Kathryn, and Laura to play for us, and they wanted to play for Central Connecticut."
Spring 2011 Transfers
In addition to the incoming class for the Fall, Franquet has added depth to his squad for this Spring with transfers Jordan Tingley and Courtney Collins. Tingley is a sophomore who spent last season pitching for St. John's University. Tingley posted a 2-5 record with a 7.73 earned run average in 17 appearances for the Red Storm.
Collins comes to New Britain from the University of Connecticut. The Trumball, CT, native spent a semester with the Huskies and will play as a freshman this season. Collins is a catcher who hits and throws from the right side.
"We are excited to have Jordan and Courtney coming to Central this season. Both student-athletes will added depth at their positions. Jordan will really help solidfy our starting roatition for the season, as we hope to compete for a spot in the Northeast Conference Tournament this year."
Franquet and the Blue Devils kick-off their season on Feb. 24, at the University of South Florida.