With the conclusion of the 2011 softball season, the news looks great for Mississippi Valley State softball 2012. With 11 new faces looking to join the program, head coach Lee Smith along with assistant coaches Tyrone Robinson and Tiffany Johnson are very optimistic about the direction of the program and the expectations entering the upcoming campaign.
The class of 2012 includes pitcher Katrisha Arocha (Texas); outfielder Yasmine Battle (Ohio); utility player Natalia Covarrubias (Texas); middle infielder Alexandra Sullivan (Florida); catcher Xiomara Perez (Florida); infielder Kayla Mercado (California); middle infielder Jessika Sandoval (California); pitcher/infielder Kistia Kamaka (Hawaii); pitcher Alicia Lorenz (California); infielder Megan Martinez (Texas) and pitcher Cassandra Rivera (California).
Arocha (RHP, Atascosa, Texas) was a three-year letterwinner at Southwest High School. She was named first-team all-district in 2008 and 2010 while receiving district most valuable player honors in 2010. She was named Express News Player of the Week. On the season, she had an 1.06 ERA with 331 strikeouts and a record of 29-8 in 212 innings pitched. In the 2011 season, she compiled a record of 28-4 with over 200 batters struck out. She was an all-state selection, first-team all-district, all-area, and a Texas All-Star pitcher. She also played second base and left field for Southwest High while participating in cross country. When not playing for SWHS, she played travel ball for the Texas Bombers Gold team.
Battle (OF, Hamilton, Ohio) brings academic and athletic honors to the program. She received academic excellence and high honors in 2009 while being named to the high honor roll in 2010. On the field, she was named all-area honorable mention in 2009 and Greater Miami all-conference in 2010. She was also named MVP of the FAST Nationals in 2007 and 2008. During her senior season at Lakota West High School, she tallied 19 runs, 11 RBI and six stolen bases. She played her travel ball for Cincy Storm Gold.
Covarrubias (UTL, Cibolo, Texas) has the ability to play middle infield and outfield for the Devilettes. At Steele High School, she was named second-team all-district as a freshman and was also named an ASA All-Star and ASA All-American. As a senior, she compiled a .384 batting average and a slugging mark of .640. She scored 33 times and drove in 11 runs. In the class room, she was a two-time district all-academic selection while playing softball and basketball. During the travel season, she was also a member of the Texas Bombers Gold program.
Sullivan (SS, Crystal River, Fla.) will provide a solid glove in the middle infield. As a member of the Marion Military Institute program, she was a 2010 ACCC Central All-Conference Selection while ranking in the top ten in NJCAA Region 22 in hits, assists and RBIs. She batted .412 with three home runs and 34 RBIs during the 2010 regular season to help lead MMI to a 30-26 record and its first postseason appearance in just the program's second year of existence. She played her high school ball at Crystal River High School.
Perez (C, Orlando, Fla.) played two seasons as a member of the East River Falcons High School team. Her freshman and sophomore seasons at University High School, she was named offensive player of the year. Her senior season at East River, she was named first-team all-Metro, team captain, U.S. Army Female Scholar Athlete of the Year and an All-Metro Conference Academic Player with a 4.59 GPA. She played her travel ball with the Tampa Mustangs Gold team.
Mercado (SS/3B, Stockton, Calif.) played her high school softball as a member of the Bear Creek High School team. She had a batting averge of .413 with a slugging mark of .640. She scored 22 times and drove in 23 runs. She was named second-team all-League while placing second place in the home run derby. In 2011, she was a first-team all-League selection. She played travel ball with USA Elite Gold.
Sandoval (2B/SS,Los Angeles, Calif.) played high school ball at John Marshall High in Los Angeles. In 2009, she had a batting average of .449 with 44 runs batted in, six home home runs and 17 stolen bases. In 2010, she had four home runs, 35 runs batted in and a batting average of .581. During her senior season, she tallied 12 stolen bases, seven home runs, 27 runs batted in and a .429 batting average. Sandoval played travel ball for the SoCal Sliderz.
Kamaka (P/1B, Kapolei, Hawaii) comes to MVSU after playing at Midland College. As a pitcher in 2011, she had a 7-2 record striking out 26 and walking 13 with a 3.50 ERA. As a first baseman, she had a .435 batting average with 53 runs batted in, 77 runs scored and 14 home runs. She played her high school ball at Mililani High in Kapolei, Hawaii and played travel ball for Ho’onou. She was named honorable mention as a pitcher in 2007 and was the ASA 16U state champion most valuable player. At Midland, she was named All-Region twice.
Lorenz (P, Paradise, Calif.) played her high school ball at Paradise High School before moving on to Butte Community College. At PHS, she was named most outstanding athlete and an all-league selction. At Butte, she was a two-time all-Golden Valley Conference selection and was a recipient of the President’s Athlete Academic Achievement Award. She played summer ball for the Bobcats travel squad.
Rivera (P, Linden, Calif.) played high school ball at St. Mary High School where she tallied a .416 batting average and an earned run average of 1.50. In 2009, she was a first-team all-league and second-team all-area selection. In 2010, she was named team co-most valuable player while being a first team all-league and a second-team all-area pick. She also played travel ball for USA Elite Gold.
Martinez (3B/2B, Helotes, Texas) played high school ball at Tom C. Clark High School while playing travel ball for San Antonio Hitt Gold. Last season, she had a batting average of .449 while having a slugging mark of .629. She scored 17 runs while driving in 33 at the plate. She also had 13 doubles, a home run and drew 10 walks and stealing two bases.