Softball signs four players during early signing period

Nov. 16, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- - Despite not coaching an official game yet, Jacksonville first-year head coach Melissa Gentile is already making preparations for the 2007 season.

The Dolphins coaching staff announced the signing of four student athletes, including local products third baseman Ashley Forsyth (Jacksonville/FCCJ) and shortstop Patricia Melo (Jacksonville/FCCJ). The local duo will join catcher Simone Bruemmer (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and right-handed pitcher Ashley Iverson (St. Cloud, Fla.) at the JU Softball Complex in 2007.

"I am really excited about the versatility this recruiting class offers our program," said Gentile. "I expect Ashley and Simone to make a big contribution to our team over the next four years while Pat and Ashley (Forsyth) look to make an immediate impact as junior college transfers. I am confident that this class will bring us closer to our goal of winning an A-Sun Championship."

This recruiting class is the first under Gentile and assistant coach Amanda Lehotak. Gentile became the second Dolphins head coach over the summer after spending the last two seasons as an assistant at Eastern Michigan. Lehotak joins the Dolphins staff after coaching last season at Missouri Western State College.

Forsyth and Melo are currently sophomores at Florida Community College of Jacksonville. Last season, they helped the Stars to a 41-20 overall record and a second place finish in the state.

Forsyth earned second-team all-conference honors last season after slugging .318 with 27 RBI and nine doubles. In the field, she boasted a .966 fielding average with 64 putouts and 166 assists. Forsyth was also a three-year starter at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville under head coach Steve Houston. She helped the Conquerors to a district and region title during her senior season.

Melo was named first team all-conference, second team all-state and MVP of the FCCJ tournament as a freshman for the Stars. She was a four-year starter at Mandarin High School under head coach Nat Gonzalez. Melo batted over .300 every season and helped the Mustangs to a conference championship as a senior.

Iverson, currently a senior at St. Cloud High School, earned Osceola News Gazette "Player of the Year" honors last season after going 17-6 with a 1.51 ERA. She also became the school's all-time strikeout leader after fanning 220 batters.

Bruemmer is currently a three-year starter at Mattawan High School under coach Alicia Smith. Last season, Bruemmer batted .512 while driving in 43 runs and slugging three home runs. She also boasted a near perfect fielding percentage (.997) and played every game behind the plate. As a sophomore, Bruemmer helped the Wildcats to a district championship.

The Dolphins will open the 2006 season at home against Texas Tech on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 1 p.m.