Softball: More '08 commits for Eriksen
Turns out this is old news, a bunch of commitments that actually came in January and earlier, but this is the first us media folks have heard of it, so it's probably news to most of you as well. Softball coach Ken Eriksen continues to make a case as the best recruiter on campus, lining up some top rising high school seniors for his 2008 class.
We'd told you about Bartow ace Candace Howell, who committed in January, but what we didn't know was USF also has two commitments from the Florida Gold travel team: Janine Richardson, a centerfielder from Auburndale, and Laura Fountain, a shortstop from Cooper City. Their travel coach, Tom Taylor, says both had offers from SEC powers Florida, Alabama and Tennessee. These are county player of the year types, all-state selections who should bring power and speed to USF's lineup in 2008.
A story in Wednesday's Wilmington News-Journal tipped me off that USF has an '08 commit from Alexis Nowell, a second baseman who had offers from Big East rivals Notre Dame, Rutgers and DePaul.
"She's unbelievable defensively," says Joe Salvatore, her coached the New Jersey Breakers travel team. "I've not seen a better second baseman than her in the country." Nowell's only 5-foot-1, but Salvatore said her arm is strong enough to make her a standout outfielder, capable of picking up a ball at the wall and throwing a line drive to the plate. And these commits are still 18 months away from their first college games.
This is scary as an aside, but we wrote last month about USF's ridiculous pitching depth, all back for next season. But check out this update: USF signee Capri Catalano from New Jersey has recently set the state record with more than 1,300 career strikeouts. In her last game, a state semifinal, she struck out the first 20 batters she faced before giving up a groundout for the final out of a perfect game. So add her arm next spring to Ecks, Spence, Mosch and Gordon. If Eriksen can find bats to match his pitching, go ahead and book tickets for Oklahoma City.