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Richardson Announces Signing of 7 for 2014-15 Academic Year
Liberty first-year softball head coach Dot Richardson has announced the addition of seven student-athletes to the Lady Flames softball program. Jessica Cicerchia, Cassie Gingerich, Madison Kotchey, Remi Losey, Alexia Taylor, Abby Tincher and Tori Zavodny have all signed commitments to attend Liberty and play softball, beginning in the 2014-15 academic year.
The Class of 2014 includes two student-athletes from Florida, and one player each from Connecticut, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Two of the signees have older siblings who have played or currently play Division I softball.
Jessica Cicerchia (OF, Seymour, Conn.)
Jessica Cicerchia has been a three-year starter on the infield for Christian Heritage School. She is a three-time Western New England Prep School Girls Softball All-League player and has been named an All-Star three times. Cicerchia was named team MVP as a sophomore and junior, leading the team in batting average. She led her team to an HVAL title in 2012, and was named to the NCSAA Girls' Varsity Fastpitch Northeast Super Regional team as a junior.
In addition to her achievements in softball, she has played both varsity basketball and varsity soccer for four years. Cicerchia was named team MVP in three separate sports as a junior. She currently serves as class vice president, in addition to being a member of National Honor Society and a four-year member of the high honor roll.
"Jessica's personality, perseverance, confidence, and leadership presence will be an asset to our program," Richardson said. "She is an athlete that leaves everything on the field and her passion for being at Liberty is going to fuel this team in great ways. We will be relying on her willingness to do whatever it takes to deliver."
Cassie Gingerich (OF, Tipp City, Ohio)
Cassie Gingerich has excelled as an outfielder at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, Ohio, helping her team to a pair of conference titles and a regional championship. As a junior, she batted .467, and was named to the NFCA All-North Region first team. Also in 2013, she received first team all-conference and all-area honors. She is a three-time recipient of the Coach's Association Scholar-Athlete award. Gingerich was named her team's Freshman of the Year on Tippecanoe's 2011 regional title team, and batted .366 as a sophomore.
Gingerich is a four-year member of the school's basketball team, and is in her second year as team captain. She is a member of National Honor Society, a three-year Top Scholar Award recipient, four-year member of the student senate, senior class treasurer and an FCA Student Leader. Her mother, Melody, played softball at Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.
"Cassie is an athlete with a strong will to succeed and to make a difference," Richardson noted. "Her size, quickness and great instincts in the outfield will contribute to the success of our defense. Her speed from the left side will also add another arsenal in our offense. Cassie plays with passion and it is this drive that will bring our program to new heights."
Madison Kotchey (INF, Hummelstown, Pa.)
Madison Kotchey has had a standout career at Lower Dauphin High School, being named Mid-Penn MVP at first base during each of her first three years of high school. After batting .489 as a freshman, she hit .562 as a sophomore, earning first team all-state mention in 2012. She was also named to the Big 11 during her sophomore season. As a junior, she was voted second team Big 15.
Kotchey, a three-year honor roll member, also plays basketball at Lower Dauphin.
"Madison is a strong athlete and carries a big bat at the plate," Richardson said. "You can see in Madison's eyes and in her demeanor that she has a competitive drive to excel. In the pursuit of excellence, this type of quality is essential. She will make an impact to our program in a huge way. We look forward to seeing all that she accomplishes both on and off the field."
Remi Losey (RHP, Wellington, Fla.)
Remi Losey comes to Liberty as a pitching standout from Wellington High School in Wellington, Fla. She made an immediate impact as a freshman at Wellington, fashioning a 1.05 ERA while earning second team all-conference honors. During her sophomore season, she was a first team all-conference selection in addition to receiving an 8A All-State honorable mention nod. After missing her junior season due to injury, she will return to play this year as a pitcher and at first base.
"Remi has advanced through the years in the pitching circle and we are excited to continue to watch her growth and be an impact player for Liberty softball," Richardson said. "She is full of untapped potential. We know that she has been blessed with the talent to take this program to the next level. Without a doubt, she will make her mark in the history of Liberty softball. She is mentally tough and her presence on the mound is one of command and determination."
Alexia Taylor (C, Oviedo, Fla.)
Alexia Taylor is a record-setting catcher at The Master's Academy, holding her school's career and season records in hits, home runs and stolen bases. She is a four-year varisty captain and has been named to the all-district first team on four occasions. Taylor was named Outstanding Player three times, including Outstanding Offensive Player in 2012. She helped her team win district titles in 2012 and 2013, making regional appearances both years. She set a new team single-season record for batting average (.586) in 2011, and hit .611 in 2013.
In club softball, she has played in two ASA Softball National Championships, finishing second in the nation for ASA 18U Gold Nationals. She is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society at The Master's Academy.
"Alexia is the ultimate team player," Richardson said. "She is a born leader who leads by example. She is an impact player with great presence on the field; both on offense and defense. But what separates her from so many others is her passion for the sport. When you watch Alexia in practice or in games, it is evident that she has the drive and commitment to be the best that she can be in everything she does. Even though catching is her primary position, she has the God-given skills to play any infield position. Behind the plate, she has a strong presence, an ability to call pitches and maintains a good rapport with her pitchers. From the first time I saw Alexia at 10 years of age, I knew she had star qualities."
Abby Tincher (RHP, Eagle Rock, Va.)
Abby Tincher joins the Lady Flames after a successful career at James River High School. Her team won regional titles in 2011 and 2012, capturing the 2011 VHSL A – Division 2 State Championship during her freshman year. As a sophomore, she was named second team All-Timesland. She was voted to the all-district team in 2013, posting a 5-1 record with 36 strikeouts on James River's district championship team.
Tincher's older sister, Angela, was a three-time All-American pitcher and 2008 USA Softball National Player of the Year at Virginia Tech. Angela then went on to play professionally for the Akron Racers.
"Abby has desired to be a part of this program for a long time and as a highly sought-after recruit we are anxious to get her here," Richardson noted. "She has a developing passion for the game and a commitment to being the best that she can be. Her work ethic is evident each time she steps into the pitching circle; whether in practice sessions or games. Abby has a strong wrist and the ability to move the ball very well. At the college level, the ability to move the ball with each pitch is a key ingredient to being a successful pitcher."
Tori Zavodny (OF, Concord, N.C.)
Tori Zavodny has posted strong career numbers as an outfielder at Jay M. Robinson High School. A two-time all-conference player, Zavodny had a standout season as a junior in 2013. She batted .449 with 42 runs scored, helping her team finish as NCHSAA 3A State runner-up. In 2013, she was named to the all-district, all-region, all-state and All-Observer teams. Zavodny was tabbed 2013 Cabarrus News Co-Player of the Year and is a Greater Charlotte Hot Stove finalist for Softball Player of the Year,
She also played basketball as a freshman and sophomore. Zavodny's older sister, Katie, is currently a senior on Liberty's softball team, earning NFCA All-Region first team honors during a record-setting junior season in 2013.
"Tori will be following in her sister's footsteps, but we feel she will define herself in a big way," Richardson said. "We believe that she will impact the record books beyond just those of Liberty softball. Tori's quickness and natural instincts on both sides of the ball will help lead our program to a more competitive level nationally. Tori is a left-handed slapper with great speed. She is a very tough out and a spark for the offense. It is going to be exciting for all to watch what this player will bring to the game and the team."