Valparaiso University softball head coach Kate Stake announced today that the program has added three more newcomers for the 2019 season. The Crusaders will welcome pitcher Jenna Edwards and infielder Megan Flores from the junior college ranks, while catcher/utility Maddie Henry joins the program as an incoming freshman.
These three players join the five who previously signed with the Crusaders in November – incoming freshmen Taylor Herschbach, Taylor Knight, Peyton Moeder, Taylor Tonoian and Jaina Westphal – to give Valpo eight newcomers entering the 2019 campaign.
Edwards, a left-handed pitcher from Winchester, Ky., was an All-Conference honoree at Chattanooga State C.C. in 2018 as a sophomore, recording 17 wins and tallying 154 strikeouts in 148 innings of work. She played as a freshman in 2016 at Kentucky Christian University, where she was named the AII Freshman of the Year and a Second Team honoree as she earned 13 wins and registered 200 strikeouts in 143.2 innings.
Edwards on Valpo: “I chose Valpo because it was everything that I was looking for to continue my academic and athletic career. During my visit, I saw the family atmosphere between the coach and players. That was a big focal point for me in my decision-making process, and Valpo has that not only between the players and coaches, but on the campus as a whole as well. I can’t wait to see the opportunities Valpo opens up for me, and I’m excited to join the Valpo family.”
Stake on Edwards: “Jenna is a tricky, left-handed pitcher who complements the rest of our pitching staff well. She'll give a different look than our returning pitchers and our incoming freshman. She has a lot of upside and I expect her to contribute right away.”
Flores, an infielder from Tucson, Ariz., stood out at the plate for Pima C.C., hitting .454 in 2018 as a sophomore with 37 RBIs, 36 runs scored, 16 doubles and 21 walks. She was named ACCAC Player of the Week on March 26 after helping the Aztecs to a 5-1 record the previous week by hitting .500 with a pair of home runs and 12 RBIs. Flores hit .329 with 33 runs scored and 32 RBIs as a freshman as well for Pima.
Flores on Valpo: “As soon as I stepped onto the campus, I felt at home. The coaching staff is great and the girls were very welcoming – something I really appreciate coming to a new place from far away.”
Stake on Flores: “Megan is typically a corner infielder who hits from the left side. She found a good deal of success in a very strong JUCO league in Arizona, and I think her skill set fits well with what we're looking to do here at Valpo.”
Henry, a catcher/utility player from Fredericksburg, Va., was a Second Team All-Conference honoree this past season at Stafford H.S., hitting .364 with a .426 on-base percentage and throwing out 64% of runners attempting to steal against her. Henry played travel ball for Team Glory Fastpitch, where she was coached by former Crusader Maggie Seidel, helping the team reach PGF Nationals twice.
Henry on Valpo: “I love the atmosphere of the school and the team, as well as the style of coaching and the level of play. I'm very excited to start studying and competing at Valpo.”
Stake on Henry: “Maddie is a very bright player whose travel coach played here at Valpo. Maddie fell in love with the school and the opportunities that Valpo affords, and I look forward to her developing in this program over the course of her time here. She'll bring depth to a variety of positions, particularly catching.”