AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Seven new faces will don Augusta State jerseys next fall, according to a recent announcement by Jaguar Softball head coach Melissa Mullins.
Three signees hail from Georgia, but Colorado, South Carolina, and Florida are also represented in the group.
"When each of these young ladies came to visit our campus, she fit in with the team right away," Mullins said. "I have very high expectations of this incoming freshman class."
The signees are:
Kristen Bagley, 2B/OF, Colorado Springs, Co.
Named first-team 5A All-Metro in 2011, and Academic All-State in her time at Liberty High … Hit .360 while scoring 15 runs.
Haley Birkle, LHP, Gainesville, Fla.
Earned first-team, all-area honors in 2011 playing at Oak Hall School … Hit .529 her junior year, and went 7-3 with a 1.49 ERA.
Erika Burkhart, OF, Ringgold, Ga.
Selected team MVP in 2011 at Ringgold High … Known for her power, especially after drilling a grand slam to break open a scoreless region tournament game against Gilmer.
Paige Deschaine, RHP, Summerville, S.C.
Named All-Region in both softball and volleyball during high school career at Ashley Ridge High … Notched a 17-7 record with 279 strikeouts and 1.35 ERA junior season.
Carol Giuffrida, MI, Palm City, Fla.
A first-team, all-state selection in Class 4A at Jensen Beach High … Batted .377 with 21 runs and 27 RBI in 2011.
Kristen Mills, MI/P, Harlem, Ga.
Named Southern Star Showcase MVP, All-State Honorable Mention, and WJBF Scholar-Athlete award winner playing at Harlem High … Compiled 14-7 record with 1.83 ERA and hit .472 during senior season.
Casey Rowland, MI, Augusta, Ga.
An All-State selection and a three-time All-Region pick at Greenbrier High … Amassed 17 HR and 55 RBI in senior season.
In 2012, the Jaguars are looking to make it four seasons in a row with at least 30 wins, and hoping to make their fifth NCAA Regional appearance in the past six seasons. They return all three starting pitchers, including Emily Headrick, who went 16-7 with a 2.29 ERA in 158.2 innings, and boast All-American Kristen Jones (.365 avg, 7 HR, 48 RBI, 14 SB), Jessica Thornton (.397 avg., 12 HR, 36 RBI, 18 SB) and Kacee Camp (.367 avg., 41 RBI and 26 SB) in a lineup that looks to pile on the runs.
ASU kicks off its 2012 slate at the Hughston Sports Clinic Classic hosted by Columbus State Friday, February 10 against West Alabama. The Jaguars return for their home opener on Wednesday, Feb. 15 against Erskine at Jaguar Field.