FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2002
Softball Inks 14 Student-Athletes In First Signing Class

April 12, 2002

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University softball coach Jeff Franquet has signed 14 student-athletes to national letters of intent for the 2002-03 academic year, as announced on Friday by the first-year head coach. JU will field its first-ever fast pitch softball team beginning in 2002-03. Highlighting the inaugural signing class are Jacksonville native Amanda Deen (Baldwin High School) and California Junior College All-American Bridget Starry (San Diego, Calif.). The Dolphins also signed three players from Florida Community College of Jacksonville (FCCJ) - Sonja Cadarette (Jacksonville, Fla.), Ronda Campo (Kirkland, Wash.) and Monica McGee (Starke, Fla.) - while 12 of the 14 signees are from the state of Florida.

Deen starred at Baldwin High School where she was a three-time all-city player and earned all-state honors in 2001. She has already set school records with 27 no-hitters and 1,020 strikeouts, while earning Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Scholar-Athlete honors. Starry, who was also recruited by Cal-State Fullerton, California and San Diego St., earned National Junior College All-America honors as a freshman after leading Palomar College to a 26-3 record, including a 12-0 mark in league play. She was also voted the state player of the year as Palomar finished fourth in the California State Championships.

Cadarette, Campo and McGee have led FCCJ to back-to-back 40-win seasons as the Stars are currently ranked fourth in the state with a 44-12 mark. All three are NJCAA Academic All-Americans and expected to make an immediate impact at JU.

"Because we are starting the program from scratch, we will count on our junior transfers to provide leadership, both on the playing field and in the classroom," said Franquet, who came to JU after two seasons as head coach at Central Florida Community College. "Our first signing class will be the foundation of the program. Therefore, they will be expected to lead by example academically and athletically."

Other top signees include second baseman Lisa Dronkers (Green Cove Springs, Fla.), who led Green Cove Springs to the 4-A State Championship last season after hitting .464, and pitcher Jenny Clark (Spring Hill, Fla.), who led Central High to back-to-back district 3-A championships. Dobson is a three-time all-district selection and was named to the All-First Coast Team as a junior, while Clark is a three-time All-Suncoast Conference selection who recorded 216 strikeouts as a junior. Franquet also signed two players from powerhouse Palm Harbor High - Katie Dobson (Clearwater, Fla.) and Janine Palumbo (Palm Harbor, Fla.) - which won the 1999 Florida 4-A State Championship and has been one of the top teams in the country the last four seasons. Dobson is a three-time all-state pitcher who went 17-2 as a junior with 226 strikeouts and a 1.36 ERA. Palumbo, who is slated to be the Dolphins' starting catcher, is a three-time all-state selection who hit .440 as a junior and helped lead Palm Harbor to a 33-4 record en route to the state championship.

Lauren Donnelley (Jacksonville, Fla.) of Stanton Prep and Ashley Houston (Glen St. Mary, Fla.) of Trinity Christian also signed with the Dolphins. Donnelley is a career .300 hitter who helped lead Stanton to the 2001 Gateway Conference Championship, while Houston helped lead Trinity to the 2-A District Championship as a junior, while earning defensive player-of-the-year honors at second base.

2002 Jacksonville University Softball Signees

Name              Pos.    B/T   Ht.   Cl.    Hometown/High School/Last School
Jill Bandhauer    C/OF    R/R   5-7   Fr.    Crystal River, Fla./Lecanto
Sonja Cadarette   3B      R/R   5-7   Jr.    Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood/FCCJ
Ronda Campo       IF      R/R   6-0   Jr.    Kirkland, Wash./Woodinville/FCCJ
Jenny Clark       P/OF    R/R   5-4   Fr.    Spring Hill, Fla./Central
Amanda Deen       P       L/L   5-6   Fr.    Jacksonville, Fla./Baldwin
Katie Dobson      P       R/R   5-6   Fr.    Clearwater, Fla./Palm Harbor
Lauren Donnelly   C/1B    S/R   5-6   Fr.    Jacksonville, Fla./Stanton Prep
Lisa Dronkers     IF/OF   R/R   5-5   Fr.    Green Cove Springs, Fla./Clay
Ashley Houston    IF      S/R   5-2   Fr.    Glen St. Mary, Fla./Trinity Christian
Crystal Howland   IF/OF   R/R   5-5   Fr.    Live Oak, Fla./Suwannee
Dianna Korcak     SS/OF   L/R   5-3   Jr.    Clearwater, Fla./Countryside/CFCC
Monica McGee      IF      S/R   5-4   Jr.    Starke, Fla./Bradford/FCCJ
Janine Palumbo    C       R/R   5-3   Fr.    Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor
Bridget Starry    P/IF    R/R   5-9   Jr.    San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo/Palomar College