2012 Softball Preview: Infielders
Feb. 6, 2012
SEATTLE - The 2012 Husky infield will showcase a mix of young talent and veteran knowledge. With Morgan Stuart and Jenn Salling graduating, this year's freshman class will have plenty of opportunities to play.
"Overall our infield may be young in terms of age, but they are veterans in their approach," said head coach Heather Tarr. "They way they work, the consistent, high level energy they practice with every day is awesome. Everybody we bring in here has skill. The million dollar question is how do they perform in a game? We will find out. These kids are certainly not scared, which is more than half the battle. They have demonstrated a thirst to improve. They have shown the competitive spirit we need from all our players and are fun to coach and be around every day."
Redshirt sophomore Hooch Fagaly (Chino, Calif.) brings both leadership and experience to the team. In 2010 Fagaly started all 55 games and earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 and First-Team Pac-10 All-Freshman honors. After sustaining an injury last fall that made her miss the entire 2011 season, Fagaly will add a great deal of leadership to the young squad.
"Hooch has as good as hands as any 1st baseman in college softball. She catches everything and can really pick it," Tarr added.
Junior Jerrin Faasua from Oceanside, Calif., returns from an injury plagued 2011 season. She appeared in 36 games with 19 starts where she batted .257 collecting 26 hits in 101 at bats with 14 runs, three doubles, a triple, three home runs and 19 RBIs. .
"Jerrin is our utility specialist who can play all three infield spots. We don't miss a beat with her anywhere. Jerrin has a cannon for an arm," said Tarr.
Freshman Kimberlee Souza, Waialua, Hawai'i, is an infielder who played travel ball with the California Cruisers. Souza is a solid power-player and hits well with runners in scoring position. In high school, Souza batted .630 with .667 on-base percentage in 2010. Defensively, Souza will play for one of the middle infield positions.
"Kimberlee is situationally very aware and is a motor mouth connecting her teammates to all the defensive situations the game presents; a priceless quality for a shortstop," Tarr added. "She can make tough plays on the run look easy. She has great rhythm in her hands and feet."
Kylee Lahners is from Laguna Hills, Calif. The freshman is a second baseman who attended Laguna Hills High and played for the Worth Firecrackers. She earned many accolades including starting for the USA Junior National Team and being named the MVP of the 2010 Under Armour All-America game. Lahners is a versatile player who can switch and play on the left side if necessary.
"Kylee can really hit," said Tarr. "Defensively, Ky's been steady and is improving her ownership of the routine defensive play. She has played in the Southern California pressure cooker her whole life, so we know she's battled -tested, having played in plenty of high pressure championship game atmospheres. Her Jr. National Team USA experience will help her transition nicely."
Freshman Courtney Gano from West Covina, Calif., plays third base. She played travel ball with the Corona Angels. Gano has earned several awards and had an impressive high school and club career. During her senior year she led the Bearcats to a 23-5 record while hitting .630 with 37 runs, 12 doubles, four home runs and 28 RBIs. She made no errors at shortstop and was named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune's Player of the Year.
"Courtney has improved a great deal at third base since day one of the fall," Tarr said. "She loves to play softball- it's easy to see. Gano also has a cannon for an arm. She has good instincts for the game and loves competing. She is very aggressive in everything she does."
Sophomore Marki Creger-Zier (Steilacoom, Wash.) also brings back experience to the young squad. As a freshman, Creger-Zier appeared 33 times with 19 starts, batted .321 collecting 17 hits in 53 at bats with 21 runs, two doubles and three RBIs before an injury shortened her 2011 season.
"Marki is another kid with a utility skill set who could see time at second or third," Tarr said. "She's very quick and another very good athlete who is as tough as they come physically."
Sophomore Kelli Suguro (Kent, Wash.) played travel ball with the Washington Sidewinders. Suguro was named SPSL Pitcher of the Year in 2010 and was a 2010 All-State selection. As the Kentridge HS Defensive MVP in 2007 and 2008 and Kentridge HS Team MVP in 2009 and 2010, she holds her HS records for most hits, runs scored, doubles and assists.
"Kelli is a battler. Every great team has a player like her," said Tarr. "Consistent and steady are two words that come to mind. It won't surprise us in the least when she comes up big for us at key times this year."
See which lineup UW chooses to use in the opener Thursday vs. No. 21 Nebraska in Tempe, Ariz.
"The most important deal is to continue to improve our ownership and execution of situational defensive play when runners are on base," Tarr added. "Individual player skills help a great deal, but nothing is more important than how they perform as a unit, in a game, when the scoreboard is on and another team is in the other dugout. We know they want it, this Thursday it's time to do it!"