Softball signs seven players for 2013-14 season

 The Weber State University softball team will get a big boost for its 2013-14 season. The Wildcats recently announced the signing of seven players to National Letter of Intent.

Coach Tina Johnson said she is pleased with the signings and expects them to have an immediate impact on the Wildcats.

“We feel this is one of our strongest recruiting classes since restarting the program,” Johnson said. “These players will have an impact right away. We’ve addressed some immediate needs behind the plate, on offense and in the circle. In addition, we’ve added depth on defense, more power to our lineup and diversity on the mound.”

The seven signees come from Hawaii, California, Missouri, Idaho and Utah. One is a junior college transfer, and the six others are high-school players. The soon-to-be Wildcats are Kelsie Hee, Hailey Kofler, MacKenzi Corta, Sara Hingsberger, Christian Novak, Brianna Gatlin and MaCauley Flint.

Flint, the only local, is from Roy. She will join the Wildcats after she finishes her sophomore year at Salt Lake Community College. Flint is a 5-foot-7 pitcher with collegiate pitching experience and a three-time All-State MVP for the Roy High Royals. She was named the Scenic West Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year and SWAC MVP last year.

“We believe that MaCauley has the pitching tools and focus to really help solidify our pitching staff,” Johnson said. “We like that she is a local talent with experience pitching at the collegiate level.  She’ll bring a different look to the mound. She will have an immediate impact.”

Kofler is from Temecula, Calif., where she was first-team All-California Varsity League as a sophomore and junior, and second-team All-Riverside County as a junior. She is a middle infielder/outfielder.

“The big thing about Hailey is her bat,” Johnson said. “She can swing it, and we’re real excited to add her offensive power to our roster. She’s faced many of the top pitching prospects while playing travel ball, and she consistently drives the ball.”

Corta and Hingsberger are both four-year letterwinners from the same high school in Eagle, Idaho.

“I’m always looking for athletic, competitive, hardworking and intelligent players,” Johnson said. “MacKenzie is all those things plus more. Sara’s athletic look on the field appealed to me immediately. She’s one of those athletes that get it done.”

Hee is a catcher/infielder from Hawaii and was second-team All-State as a junior.

“Kelsie’s not flashy, but she makes her presence behind the plate known,” Johnson said. “She has a great arm and takes charge of the game with good leadership from behind the dish. She will bring more depth to our catching staff and a pop to our offense.”

Gatlin is from La Quinta, Calif., where she was named to the CIF All-Desert Valley League first team as a junior.

“Bri brings a lot of athleticism to the field,” Johnson said. “Bri adds more offense to our roster and will challenge for an infield position.”

Novak is a pitcher from Nevada, Mo. She earned first-team All-District all four seasons, first-team All-Region as a sophomore, junior and senior, and first-team All-State as a sophomore and junior. She helped her high school capture the Missouri state title as well.

“Christian has great potential as a pitcher,” Johnson said. “She’s a dedicated pitcher who loves a challenge, has command of her pitches and wants to be on the mound.”

In the meantime, the Wildcats’ softball team will participate in four non-conference tournaments in preparation for the inaugural season of Big Sky Conference softball.

The Wildcats are coming off a 21-31 season in 2012. They will open their 2013 season on Feb. 8 at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah, against Loyola Marymount University.

The Wildcats will make their home debut in a non-conference doubleheader with in-state rival Utah State University on March 13. The game against the Aggies will kick off a 12-game home stand, which will last until April 2.