Valparaiso softball head coach Randy Schneider announced today that Hayley Bridwell, Jennifer Hermanson and Jessie Marinec have all signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period and will join the Crusaders as freshmen for the 2010 season.
Bridwell, a second baseman/outfielder out of Lemont [Ill.] H.S., hit .422 with 13 stolen bases as a junior at Lemont. She also plays ASA ball for the Beverly Bandits 18U Gold team.
“With the graduation of Karen Korb and Ashley Wolter next year from our outfield, we felt like we needed to add a player that has the ability to steal 20+ bases as a freshman and has the experience to make an immediate impact from the left side of the box,” said Schneider. “Hayley has that ability, and I’m truly excited about her future here as a Crusader. She fits what we’re all about as both a hitter and a runner, and her opportunity to spend one more year with the Beverly Bandits Gold team will prepare her even more for this level.”
Hermanson, a second baseman/outfielder out of Beecher [Ill.] H.S., hit better than .400 as a junior last year. She was tabbed a Second Team All-State performer by the Illinois Coaches Association. Hermanson’s addition next year will give Valpo three Beecher graduates, joining current sophomore Jill Jacobson and current freshman Alex Lagesse.
“Jennifer comes from one of the most successful high school programs in the state of Illinois,” said Schneider. “A big part of getting your program to a championship level is recruiting players that are used to winning championships, and we have tapped into a great situation at Beecher. When recruiting Jennifer, we were looking for a player versatile enough to play a number of positions, and Jennifer fits that description. She is very athletic and can move, both out of the box and on the basepaths.”
Marinec, a pitcher/shortstop out of Marist [Ill.] H.S., was named among the Top 100 Chicago area players by both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times prior to her junior season, but suffered a season-ending injury prior to the start of the season. She also currently plays alongside Bridwell in the Beverly Bandits Gold program, and previously helped the Alsip Crunch win a number of tournaments.
“Jessie is back and 100% healthy for her senior year,” said Schneider. “She is a contact hitter that has the ability to play a number of positions, including pitcher. She has power and speed to go along with her overall athleticism and will make an immediate impact in our program for 2010. With another year at Marist and with the Beverly Bandits Gold program, she will be prepared for the transition into NCAA Division I softball. Jessie is a player that can hit eight to ten home runs and steal bases, which fits the future of our program.”
“Overall, we are truly excited about our class of recruits,” concluded Schneider. “With the graduation of only four seniors next year, we feel this class will be an immediate fit into our program. Our goal for the future is to be strong, athletic and fast, and Jessie, Hayley and Jennifer are all very athletics players who meet our needs heading into the 2010 season.”