Softball grabs six for the 2013 season

The JU softball team continued to ride its 2011 wave of success by signing six players for the 2013 season.

The new Dolphin faces for next season will be pitchers Taylor Rossman (Tallahassee, FL), Cecile Gómez (Lake City, FL), Victoria Brown (Plano, TX), and position players Sable Lee (Oviedo, FL), Emily Sanchez (Palmdale, CA), and Lauren Burchak (Woodinville, WA).

“We are excited for such a versatile and talented class for the 2013 season,” said head coach Ali Higgs. “There is a good mix of athletes from all over the country that I feel can come in and fight for a starting position. We have a very good class of seniors graduating this year and I feel that these six players have the ability to step right in and make an impact.”

Rossman, a pitcher at Florida High, had 206 strikeouts, a 0.81 era, and a 19-3 record as a junior last year. Her performance earned her first team all-state honors and team MVP.

“Taylor should make an immediate impact for us on the mound,” said Higgs. “She has great spins and deceptive movement. I’m excited to see what Taylor can do in our conference her freshman year.”

Gómez both pitched and played first base for Fort White High School. In a junior year that saw her named to the Gainesville Sun all-area big school softball first team, Gómez batted .391 and had a 0.84 era and 105 strikeouts in just 58 innings.

“Cecile brings yet another look to our pitching staff,” said Higgs. “She moves the ball and her perfectionist mentality helps her to pinpoint her locations. Gómez will also fight to hit into our lineup with her versatility giving us many options come game day.”

Brown, a senior at Plano West High School, pitches and plays first base. Last year she batted an impressive .486 with a .875 slugging percentage and dominated from the mound with 213 strikeouts. Her performance netted her all-district and academic all-district honors.

“To call her a utility player would be an understatement,” said Higgs. “She can pitch, hit, and play the outfield. Victoria will definitely see time on the mound, adding more of a power pitcher aspect to our staff.”

Lee is entering her final season as a centerfielder at Oviedo High School. She has started since her freshman year being named to the all-conference second team as a junior. In addition to playing softball, Lee has been a member of the varsity basketball and golf teams.

“Sable’s speed and athleticism will ensure a seamless transition in replacing senior Kayla Ouellet in centerfield, “said Higgs. “Her competitive nature will be invaluable for our offense.”

Emily Sanchez is a first base power hitter for Highland High School. As a junior, she led the league in homeruns with 13, batting average at .538, and slugging percentage at 1.138. The impressive season statistics led Sanchez to be named the Offensive Player of the Year and Golden League champion for the second year in a row.

“We expect Emily Sanchez to see playing time at the corners for us next year,” said Higgs. “Her biggest asset is her bat. She is a poised hitter who will add power and consistency to our lineup.”

Burchak is entering her final season at Woodinville High School as a first baseman. In her junior season she batted .405 with 10 home runs and a .857 slugging percentage. Her performance led to the silver bat award.

“We are looking for Burchak to come in and hit her way into our lineup,” said Higgs. “She has great presence and is a long ball threat in the box. I can also see her taking on a leadership role as a freshman.”

The 2012 Dolphins will kick off their campaign to repeat as conference champions Feb. 10 when they take on Buffalo in the three day opening weekend tournament in Jacksonville.

 2013 Softball Signees                        Pos.      Hometown (Previous School)                                                        

 Victoria Brown  
 P/IF  Plano, TX (Plano West High School)
 Lauren Burchak   
 IF  Woodinville, WA (Woodinville High School)
 Cecile Gómez 
 P/IF  Lake City, FL (Fort White High School)
 Sable Lee       
 OF  Oviedo, FL (Oviedo High School)
 Taylor Rossman    
 P  Tallahassee, FL (Florida High)
 Emily Sanchez   
 Palmdale, CA (Highland High School)