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Seven student-athletes signed Letters of Intent today to play softball for the Huskies beginning in 2014. They are, from left, Kristin Cochran, Julia DePonte, Kelly Burdick, Kirstyn Thomas, Krystal Aubert, Trysten Melhart, and Taylor VanZee.
Washington Signs Seven Players for 2014-2015
Release: 11/11/2013
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SEATTLE – Washington head softball coach Heather Tarr announced today that seven student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Washington beginning in the fall of 2014 with eligibility to play in the 2015 softball season.

Krystal Aubert, Kelly Burdick, Kristin Cochran, Julia DePonte, Trysten Melhart, Kirstyn Thomas, and Taylor VanZee have signed with the Huskies.

"We have signed 7 student-athletes who we believe have the chance to be dominant not only on the field, but in the classroom," Tarr said. "All of them have the physical skills to perform.  It will be about their desire to be coached and to immerse themselves in our culture and in what it means to be a Husky. Needless to say, we are excited about all of them."

Krystal AubertKrystal Aubert
High School: Casa Roble High School
Hometown: Orangevale, Calif.
Position: INF
Club Team: All-American Sports Academy (Bryan Merrida)

Aubert is an infielder from Casa Roble High School in Orangevale, California. Aubert has been named to the Capital Valley League first-team in all three seasons at Casa Roble and has twice been named the league MVP. Aubert is also a two-year letter-winner in basketball.

“Once I got here and saw the campus and the atmosphere, it’s just a beautiful campus," Aubert said. "It’s really welcoming. Everybody on the team gets along really well.”

Kelly BurdickKelly Burdick
High School: 
South Salem High School

Hometown: Salem, Ore.
Position: OF
Club Team: Northwest Bullets (Dennis Muir and Tony Campos)

Burdick is an outfielder from South Salem High School in Salem, Oregon. Burdick was named first-team all-state in her junior year and second-team all-state in her sophomore year. Burdick is a three-year letter-winner in softball at South Salem High School, as well as a four-year letter-winner in volleyball.  

“Since the very first camp I came to with my team, you just get a vibe that the whole team is a family," Burdick said. "You can just watch them and see the love and the competition amongst everyone. Coming here later, I loved the coaches and the campus and everything. It’s perfect.”

Kristyn CochranKristin Cochran
High School: Newport High School
Hometown: Newport, Ore.
Position: P
Club Team: Northwest Bullets (Dennis Muir and Tony Campos)

Cochran led Newport High School of Newport, Oregon to the Oregon 4A State Seminfinals in her junior year, while earning first-time all-state as a pitcher and was also named the 4A Oregon West Conference Pitcher of the Year award. Cochran has twice been named to the 4A Oregon West Conference second-team. In addition to earning three letters in softball, Cochran is a two-time letter-winner in basketball. Cochran is No.1 in her class at Newport High School.

“I chose Washington because not only can we compete for a national championship, but I can also excel in the classroom and get the highest education," Cochran said. "I’m really excited about the team atmosphere. Everyone’s a family. We’re all in it to win a national championship.”

Julia DePonteJulia DePonte
High School: 
Vacaville High School

Hometown: Vacaville, Calif.
Position: UT
Club Team: Sorcerer (Joe Mello and Anthony Trujuillo)

DePonte, a utility player, is a two-time softball letter-winner as well as a two-time captain for Vacaville High School in Vacaville, California. DePonte was named Monticello Empire League Player of the Year in her sophomore year. A multi-sport athlete at Vacaville High School, DePonte has also earned two letters in basketball and tennis. DePonte was a teammate of current Washington pitcher Kasey Stanchek.

“The coaches are amazing," DePonte said. "When I met with them, I knew they were the best fit for me, and they were going to teach me to be the best athlete and the best person I can be. I want to be a nurse and knowing that they’re number one in the country for a nursing program is pretty awesome. The first time I walked onto campus - the first awe of it - it was so beautiful. I felt right at home as soon as I stepped on campus."

Trysten MelhartTrysten Melhart
High School: Snohomish High School
Hometown: Snohomish, Wash.
Position: OF
Club Team: Washington Ladyhawks (Wayne Miller)

Melhart, an outfielder from Snohomish High School in Snohomish, Washington, is a three-time all-conference selection. Melhart was named to the second-team WesCo 4A Conference team as a freshman and has been named to the first-team in each of the past two seasons. In 2013, Melhart was named to The Seattle Times all-area softball team.

“I’ve wanted to go to Washington since I was a little girl," Melhart said. "It’s been my dream, so it’s very exciting to fulfill my dream. Once I visited the school, I loved the campus and all the coaches and the team, so it’s a good fit for me.”

Kirstyn ThomasKirstyn Thomas
High School:
George Bush High School

Hometown: Houston, Texas
Position: P, OF
Club Team: Impact Gold (Ray Coleman)

Thomas, a pitcher and outfielder from George Bush High School in Richmond, Texas, earned all-district MVP honors as a pitcher in her junior year, leading George Bush High School to its first playoff appearance in 11 years. Thomas led the district in batting in her freshman year, earning first-team all-district.

“Coach Tarr is really here for your best interest," Thomas said. "She’s going to do it the right way. I like the campus. It’s really family-oriented. Even though it’s a big school, it still feels small. It has a homey feel to it.”

TVanZeeTaylor VanZee
High School: 
Hemet High School

Hometown: Hemet, Calif.
Position: INF
Club Team: Firecrackers (Tony Rico)

VanZee, an infielder from Hemet High School in Hemet, California, was a 2013 MaxPreps All-American in her junior year. VanZee is also a 2013 first-team all-state selection, as well as a two-time all-CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) and two-time all-area selection. VanZee led Hemet High to the CIF Championship in 2013.

“I chose Washington, because I want to compete at a high level for a national championship," VanZee said. "I also want to earn a degree at a highly-respected university.”

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