Valparaiso softball head coach Jordan Stevens announced today that nine players have signed to join the two-time defending Horizon League champion Crusader softball program as freshmen for the 2015 season.
"Our 2014 class is full of exceptional student-athletes who possess all the attributes we were looking for when we set out to bring in such a large class," said Stevens. "I couldn't be happier and more excited about how this early signing class shaped up. They are all go-getter types, who all have the urge to get better and are great competitors. I'm looking forward to this group donning the brown and gold as we continue to strive towards higher level of achievements year in and year out."
Kristen Ball is a 5'8" infielder out of Polytech [Del.] H.S. The Magnolia, Del. native was a Second Team All-State selection at second base as a junior after receiving First Team All-State honors as a utility player in 2012 during her sophomore year, when she also earned Second Team NFCA All-East Region accolades. Ball helped the Panthers to a runner-up finish in the state tournament last season following quarterfinal appearances each of the previous two years. Ball played travel ball for Pennsbury Gems and Wagner's Gold.
Madelyn Boyd is a 5'10" infielder/pitcher out of Appleton North [Wis.] H.S. The Appleton, Wis. native was an All-State and All-District choice as a sophomore in 2012, finishing third in the state in D1 in strikeouts in the circle, as well as tied for fifth state-wide in home runs. Also an All-Conference selection in 2011 as a freshman, Boyd sat out her junior year due to injury. Last summer, she played travel ball for Wisconsin Bandits, leading the team with a .403 batting average and returning to the circle with a 0.64 ERA to help her team capture fifth at nationals.
Brenna Boyle is a 5'8" infielder out of Andrean [Ind.] H.S. The native of St. John, Ind. earned Second Team All-State accolades last season as a junior, when she also was named a Second Team All-Area and First Team All-Conference honoree. Boyle led the area in home runs with eight, hit .301 with 31 RBIs and also posted a 15-5 record in the circle with a 1.50 ERA. She helped Andrean capture a state championship in 2012, hitting .309 with 30 RBIs and receiving All-Area Honorable Mention and Second Team All-Conference honors. Boyle played travel ball for Indiana Magic.
Lanie Callaghan is a 5'5" outfielder out of Kaneland [Ill.] H.S. The Elburn, Ill. native was a Third Team All-State selection as a junior in 2013. Callaghan has earned All-Conference honors each of the last two years, helping the Knights to conference titles in both 2012 and 2013, as well as a regional championship in 2012. Callaghan played travel ball for Kane County Xplosion.
Ashlyn Montgomery is a 5'6" pitcher out of Lebanon [Ind.] H.S. The Lebanon, Ind. native helped the Tigers to regional championships and semi-state appearances each of the last two years, as well as three consecutive conference and section titles. The three-time First Team All-Conference selection earned the league's Pitcher of the Year each of the last two seasons, posting ERAs of 0.89 and 1.01. Montgomery played travel ball for Indy Dreams Gold, which finished top-25 at ASA Nationals and qualified for ASA Gold Nationals and PGF Nationals.
Stephanie Moreno is a 5'7" infielder out of Murrieta Valley [Calif.] H.S. The Murrieta, Calif. native was a First Team All-League and Honorable Mention All-Inland Empire choice as a junior in 2013, hitting .393 with 21 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. She was also named Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Nighthawks to the league title, hitting .457 within league-only play. Moreno was also a Second Team All-League pick as a sophomore. Moreno played travel ball with Fury Fastpitch.
Taylor Nadler is a 5'7" outfielder out of St. Francis Borgia [Mo.] H.S. The native of New Haven, Mo. has been a four-year starter, earning All-District honors three times, as well as All-Conference and All-Region nods twice. She ranked third in the conference as a senior in 2013 in batting average, home runs, triples, runs scored, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. As a junior in 2012, she led the league in triples while finishing second in on-base and slugging percentages and home runs, and was named a St. Louis Metro All-Star MVP. Nadler earned overseas experience with America's Team in Italy in 2012, and played travel ball for St. Louis Esprit and Worth Prospects.
Jasmine Ramirez is a 5'7" infielder out of Millennium [Ariz.] H.S. The Phoenix, Ariz. native is a four-year letterwinner and was a Second Team All-Region choice in 2011, as well as a Second Team All-Area selection last year. She was also a Golden Glove award winner in 2011 and earned a Silver Slugger award in 2012. Ramirez will serve as team captain for her upcoming senior season. Ramirez played travel ball for Arizona Lil Saints.
Jenna Stauffenberg is a 5'7" catcher out of Bishop McNamara [Ill.] H.S. The Kankakee, Ill. native helped lead the Fightin' Irish to the 2A state title last season as a junior, hitting .406 with five home runs and 31 RBIs and earning All-Conference and All-Area accolades in the process. Stauffenberg hit the game-winning home run for Bishop McNamara in the state semifinal game. She played travel ball for Legends Fastpitch.