Liberty second-year softball head coach Dot Richardson has announced the addition of 12 student-athletes to the Lady Flames softball program. Jaclyn Amader, Chase Cassady, Jasmeen Click, Julia DiMartino, Amanda Dobner, Taylor Mabry, Stephanie Marlowe, Kaitlin McFarland, Rylee Reynolds, Sarah Robertson, Deidra See and Zoë Wood have all signed commitments to attend Liberty and play softball, beginning in the 2015-16 academic year.
The Class of 2015 includes three student-athletes each from California and North Carolina, two from Florida and Texas, and one apiece from New York and Virginia. Two of the signees have older siblings who played Division I softball.
"We are extremely excited to welcome our recruiting Class of 2015 to the Liberty family!" Richardson said. "Each of our incoming student-athletes brings amazing God-given talent and gifts both on and off the field. Each one is driven to be the best she can be in all aspects of her life; physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. The future of Liberty University and Liberty softball is very bright! We are very blessed and ready to make an impact in the softball world for His glory!"
Jaclyn Amader (OF, Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS) Jaclyn Amader comes to Liberty from Rocklin High School in Rocklin, Calif., where she is a two-year letter-winner in the outfield. She was ranked No. 1 on OnDeck Softball's National Leader Board in 2014. After earning JV Offensive Player of the Year honors as a freshman, she batted .382 during her first varsity season, 2013. She has been named to the first team All-Sierra Foothill League in 2013 and 2014. As a sophomore, she received the Stephanie LeDoux Tournament MVP award. Amader was an All-Metro honorable mention recipient during her sophomore year, before earning second-team honors the following year. Amader also competed in volleyball for two seasons at Rocklin High School. She carries a 4.0 GPA through the first semester of her senior year. "Jaclyn brings speed, quickness and power to the outfield," stated Richardson. "Offensively, it is the same. She is a triple threat at the plate. Her physical skill level is ranked at the top in the nation. Mentally, Jaclyn has the desire to always expect excellence from herself for the ultimate goal of impacting the team to be at the highest level."
Chase Cassady (P, Orlando, Fla./William R. Boone HS) Chase Cassady has fashioned an excellent career in the pitching circle for William R. Boone High School. As a freshman, she posted a 0.91 ERA and 134 strikeouts, as her team made the Elite Eight in the Division 8A State softball tournament. During her sophomore and junior seasons, she was named team MVP in addition to earning first team All-Central Florida honors. Cassady recorded a 1.19 ERA and 193 strikeouts in 2014. She has earned varsity letters in softball, swimming and weightlifting at Boone High School.
She pitched for Wagners Gold travel club, as the team was runner-up at the 2013 ASA 18 Gold National Championship before claiming the 2014 ASA national championship.
Cassady's older sister, Paige Cassady, played collegiate softball at Presbyterian and Florida International, and is currently in her second year as an assistant coach on Richardson's staff at Liberty.
"From the first time I saw Chase pitch, I knew her talents will be seen on a national level," Richardson remarked. "She is an impact player. Her ability to focus and deliver on each pitch brings the game within the game to the forefront. Chase has a strong work ethic and desire to be the best she can be as a person and a pitcher. Chase will demand attention from her opponents and will get it."
Jasmeen Click (OF, El Paso, Texas/Eastlake HS) Jasmeen Click will join Liberty after a successful career as an outfielder at the high school and club level. After lettering as a freshman at Lansing High School in Leavenworth, Kan., she has spent the last two seasons at Eastlake High School. She batted .420 with 18 runs scored during her sophomore season, earning all-district honorable mention. Last season, she hit .644 with 27 runs scored and 11 stolen bases on the way to all-district first team honors. Click also helped lead her team to its first district playoff appearance in 2014. At the club level, she competed for West Texas Elite 18U, aiding the team as it won Triple Crown Toys for Tots tournament. She also played for American Freedom Gold – El Paso for two years. "Jasmeen is a special individual who brings a sense of peace and joy to the game," Richardson noted. "Her talents bring speed and quickness to the team. She is prepared to do whatever it takes to make an impact. In the outfield, she has tremendous range and a good arm. At the plate and on the bases, she will make a difference in run productivity."
Julia DiMartino (P, Brockport, N.Y./Brockport HS) Julia DiMartino is a dominant pitcher at Brockport High School. She was named the Gatorade New York State Softball Player of the Year in 2014, after posting 280 strikeouts in 130 innings pitched with a 0.22 ERA, five no-hitters and two perfect games. A three-time All-Greater Rochester selection, she was named All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year as a sophomore and junior. She is also a two-time first team all-state choice and two-time Section V Tournament MVP. In addition, DiMartio has been voted League Player of the Year three times. She helped her team to a Section V championship in 2014. DiMartno has recorded 815 career strikeouts, including a career-high 310 strikeouts in 160 innings as a sophomore. DiMartino is a familiar last name to Liberty softball fans, as Julia's older sister, Alyssa, pitched for the Lady Flames from 2011-14. "Julia is an individual that has a presence of confidence and commitment to hard work as she is driven to master her craft in the pitching circle," Richardson said. "She brings to the team experience and talent that will have others take serious notice. She brings speed and movement which are the ingredients for success. From the first time we saw Julia, we knew this is someone very special and will impact the program immediately."
Amanda Dobner (2B/SS, Indian Trail, N.C./Hickory Grove Christian) Amanda Dobner has contributed greatly to her team's success at Hickory Grove Christian. She and current high school teammate Stephanie Marlowe, who also signed to compete at Liberty, have aided their team to three straight NCISAA 3A State tournaments, including a runner-up finish in 2014. Dobner is a three-time all-conference and all-state honoree, playing primarily pitcher as a freshman before serving at shortstop during the next two seasons. "Amanda brings an amazing force to Liberty softball," explained Richardson. "Defensively, she has a strong arm, physical strength, range and game instincts. She will secure the infield. Offensively, Amanda carries a big stick. She brings consistent power to the plate and delivers runs. It is exciting to see her talents and we can't wait to see all that she is going to do."
Taylor Mabry (P/UTL, Bassett, Va./Bassett HS) Taylor Mabry has found success in a variety of positions at Bassett High School. Mabry was named Piedmont District Pitcher of the Year as a freshman, posting an 18-4 record, 197 strikeouts and a 1.01 ERA. In addition, she earned honorable mention all-state while also being named a first team All-Timesland Pitcher as a freshman. She has been tabbed first team all-state each of the last two years, including 2013 when she hit .529 as a designated player and 2014, with a .472 average as a utility player. A three-time first team all-district and all-regional choice, Mabry was voted Piedmont District Co-Player of the Year as a junior. Mabry helped her team to a district co-championship as a freshman, before Bassett won a Conference 24 championship in 2014. She is a three-year varsity starter in volleyball, earning two all-district honors and two all-conference mentions. "Taylor is a tremendous all-around athlete and team player," said Richardson. "She can play anywhere due to her skills and talent. Taylor is a consistent fielder and hitter. She has a strong arm and excellent range on defense. Offensively, she will make an impact on the bases. She has a strong work ethic and commitment to team."
Stephanie Marlowe (P, Charlotte, N.C./Hickory Grove Christian) Stephanie Marlowe has competed as a pitcher for perennial North Carolina state qualifier Hickory Grove Christian for three years. She will join current high school teammate Amanda Dobner as freshmen on Liberty's team in the 2016 season. A three-year letter-winner, Marlowe has helped her team make three straight NCISAA 3A State Tournament appearances, including a runner-up showing in 2014. She went 6-1 as a freshman, and bounced back after an injury-shortened sophomore season to go 13-2 with a 1.28 ERA during her junior year. Hickory Grove Christian has won back-to-back MAC conference and tournament championships. "Stephanie is courageous and also driven to make an impact in the pitching circle for the team," Richardson noted. "She has good movement with her pitches and will provide a dynamic look for her opponents. Stephanie has determination to excel and a great work ethic to help her accomplish that."
Kaitlin McFarland (C, Sour Lake, Texas/Hardin-Jefferson HS) Kailin McFarland is a standout catcher at Hardin-Jefferson High School, twice being named her team's MVP. She is a two-time all-district honoree, earning second-team mention as a sophomore. McFarland was voted all-district Defensive MVP last season. She has competed for the Aces Express and Texas Storm at the club level. McFarland helped the Aces Express win Texas Gold Cup and qualify for ASA Nationals at both the 16U and 18U levels. Her Texas Storm 18U Gold team qualified for both ASA Nationals and PGF Platinum tournament. A four-sport varsity athlete, McFarland also competes in volleyball, powerlifting and track & field. She has qualified for state in both powerlifting and track & field, and holds a regional record for deadlift. "Kaitlin is an outstanding individual and all-around athlete," noted Richardson. "She is a natural leader and an impact player. Kaitlin exudes a competitive drive which demands only excellence from herself and her teammates. This is an extremely strong quality for a catcher to possess. Kaitlin has incredible skills and physical talent on both offense and defense. She has a strong arm and power at the plate. Beyond her physical strength comes her mental toughness that will be a solid rock for the team to build off of."
Rylee Reynolds (UTL, Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) Rylee Reynolds excels as a pitcher, at the plate and in the field for Simi Valley High School. A three-year letter-winner so far, Reynolds has been named to the All-Marmonte League first team as both a sophomore and junior. She was voted her team's MVP in both 2013 and 2014. As a sophomore, Reynolds boasted a .361 batting average and a 2.70 ERA. Last year, she won 20 games in the circle, with a 1.60 ERA and 104 strikeouts, in addition to hitting .379. She was named to the Ventura County Star All-County first team following the 2014 season. "Rylee is very gifted both on and off the field," observed Richardson. "Defensively, she can pitch, play third, shortstop and really anywhere she might be needed. Rylee has a game-sense and a leadership quality that will bring more consistency to the infield and confidence to her teammates. Her offensive power and consistency will bring more run production. Her talents both on and off the field will impact Liberty in tremendous ways."
Sarah Robertson (2B/SS, Panama City, Fla./J.R. Arnold High School) Sarah Robertson is a top player in both softball and volleyball at J.R. Arnold High School. On the diamond, she is a three-time All-Bay County first team selection, while being named first team FACA All-State three years in a row. She was named her team's Offensive MVP as a freshman, sophomore and junior. As a freshman, she hit .464 while helping her team reach the elite eight for 5A FHSAA. After batting .469 during her sophomore year, she hit .515 with nine home runs last year. She was voted a NFCA All-South Region second team choice in 2014. On the volleyball court, she is a four-year team captain, while making the All-Bay County and FACA All-State volleyball first teams four years running. She was the Bay County Volleyball Player of the Year in 2013 and was selected for the 2014 Florida All-State All-Star Classic. "Sarah displays the joy of the sport and of life both on and off the field of play," Richardson said. "She is an amazing talent and brings competitive experience, a quest for excellence and excitement to the game. Beyond her physical skills of quickness, consistency at the plate and smoothness with the glove, she is mentally strong and dedicated to be the best that she can be. Sarah can play anywhere and will play a major role in putting Liberty Softball on the national stage."
Deidra See (C/UTL, Visalia, Calif./El Diamante HS) Deidra See has been a key contributor for El Diamante High School. A three-year starter, See has helped El Diamante to No. 1 national rankings as a freshman and sophomore. After hitting four home runs during her sophomore year, See batted .487 with three homers and 20 RBI as a junior. While serving as team captain in 2014, she was named her team's Offensive Player of the Year, also being voted all-league first-team catcher. See has also competed in volleyball, basketball and water polo at El Diamante, earning Offensive Player of the Year in basketball. "Deidra will bring a strong presence to the team with her leadership qualities both on and off the field," Richardson said. "Offensively, she has determination and brings with it raw power to hit the long ball. She is prepared to make an impact in whatever role she is called."
Zoë Wood (C/UTL, Haw River, N.C./Eastern Alamance HS) Zoë Wood is a strong contributor at catcher for Eastern Alamance High School. A three-year letter-winner, Wood helped her team earn back-to-back Mid-State 3A Conference championships as a sophomore and junior. Eastern Alamance was 2013 NCHSAA Eastern Regional runner-up, while qualifying for the third round of the 2014 NCHSAA State playoffs. Last season, she batted .438, earning all-conference, all-district and all-state honors. Wood won a gold medal at the NC Powerade State Games in 2014. She is also a two-time all-conference selection in volleyball. "Zoe is a remarkable athlete," Richardson said. "She has the ability to play wherever she is needed due to her strong arm, game instincts and competitive spirit. Offensively, she has a demanding presence and will bring power and run production to the squad. She is a quiet force to be reckoned with."
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