Peterson Signs Nine in Early Signing Period

By Jared Verner published November 20, 2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of Colorado Colorado Springs Head Softball Coach Scott Peterson announced the signing of nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period. The class includes three student-athletes from Colorado, four from California and two from Washington state.

"This group of signees is probably the biggest hitting group of student-athletes we have recruited in 14 years," Peterson said. "I expect most batting records to fall during the course of their time at UCCS. Additionally, these student-athletes average grade point average is above 3.5 and we have seen some really high test scores too. We are just really pleased with this group and feel strongly they will represent UCCS in a great manner.

"We also want to thank and congratulate the incredible families of these student-athletes. The athletes have all had parents incredible supportive in the recruiting process and this signing period has been extremely rewarding for our entire staff."

Whitney Weber, who will compete in her senior season this spring at Chiawana High School in Pasca, Wash., is an All-Tri City Herald student-athlete. She competed for the Washington Angels Gold program in the summer club season and competed at USA Nationals last summer in Reno, Nev. She is also ranked among the top 20 academically in her graduating class of more than 400 students.

"Whitney is an extremely fast slap hitter with great base-running instincts," Peterson said. "She reads the defense exceptionally well and is a top-of-the-order player. I expect that Whit will give defenses a lot to think about as she can bunt, slap and hit the gas. She has received great coaching at the club level and is ready to play college ball right now."

Tressa Radach, a catcher at Moses Lake High School in Moses Lake, Wash., was the 2013 Columbia Basin Big Nine Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team catcher. She helped lead the Chiefs to the district championship after the team outscored opponents 21-1 in the tournament.

"Tressa has been the top defensive catcher in her league for several years," Peterson said. "She is another young lady that does not get cheated, has great power for her size, which can be deceptive, and gets it over the fence with regularity. Tressa comes from a farming family and we have had great success with kids raised on the farm with great work ethics and a 'can't say no' attitude."

Kylie Barnard, a three-time state champion at Legacy High School in Thornton, Colo., is a four-time varsity letterwinner for the Lightning. She was also a member of the Colorado 5A girls basketball state championship team in 2011-12 and is a two-time basketball varsity letterwinner. Barnard is also a member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, and is a four-time academic all-state receipient.

"Kylie is a tall and strong hitter with big time power potential," Peterson said. "Kylie was at our camp this summer and just gave us a great feel for what we believe she can do for UCCS softball in the very near future. She comes from a very well coach high school team and should adjust to the college game rapidly. Kylie is very athletic for her size and will one of the tallest student-athletes we have ever had."

Alexis Belligan, an outfielder at Leland High School in San Jose, Calif., hit .356 and had a .575 slugging percentage last season en route to First Team Mount Hamilton League honors. She's been a member of the varsity team in her first three seasons and will compete in her senior season this spring.

"Alexis is another big, tall and strong student-athlete that you can't take your eyes off of when she swings the bat," Peterson said. "It is not often that you get young players to come into college looking to do damage with the bat, and this young lady understands that her job is to hit. She could be a very scary hitter in a very short period of time. Lex is a middle-of-the-order type hitter looking to drive in runs and put the ball over the fence."

Stephanie Warhoe, a hometown recruit from Colorado Springs, was a four-year varsity student-athlete at Pine Creek High School. She hit .402 in her senior season and scored 32 runs. Warhoe was a member of back-to-back league championship teams and helped lead the Eagles to the state tournament in 2013.

"We have known Stephanie since she started coming to our camp as a 10-year-old," Peterson said. "Stephanie hasn't even come close to her potential and she is pretty good right now. Without a doubt, she is one of the most competitive kids I have ever known. Stephanie came back to camp every year and just kept getting better in every facet of her game - one year she would win our base-running contest, then the next year she would win the home run contest, and then the next year she would win both."

Karli Hughes from Broomfield High School in Broomfield, Colo., led the Eagles to the semifinals of the 4A state tournament. She was a four-year varsity letterwinner and has competed in the state tournament in all four seasons. Hughes was also a four-time academic all-state student-athlete.

"Karli swings the bat the way we want to see kids swing for UCCS softball," Peterson said. "Not only is Karli a smart softball player, but her academics and test scores are extraordinary. She has shown a true desire to compete at the collegiate level and has always been interested in UCCS, and we are really excited to have her here. Karli always plays with great passion and just never stops hustling."

Jordyn Cusimano, a utility player from Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., helped lead her team to a 20-5 record last season and an appearance in the CIF sectional playoffs. She was named the team captain and Most Valuable Player multiple times and has been named to the Honor Roll since her freshman year.

"If you look up 'ball of energy' on Wikipedia, there is a picture of Jordyn," Peterson said. "This kid plays with so much energy and she is just all over the field. I guarantee she will have the dirtiest uniform on the field and she will just be a ton of fun to watch. Jordyn can play all of the outfield positions and middle infield and is a very athletic, young player."

Makenna Smith, a catcher and third baseman from Kennedy High School in Cypress, Calif., is a two-time scholar-athlete for the Fighting Irish. She was an active member of the SoCal Roadrunners club program and participated in the USSA Nationals in 2012.

"Makenna is an athletic kid that gives us a lot of options," Peterson said. "We saw her first at a clinic in California and she just really impressed us by her hard work and true love of the game. She is another great student-athlete that hits quite well for her size and understands the game really well."

Kennedi DeRossett, a utility player from Foothill High School in Pleasanton, Calif., hit .323 in her second varsity season last spring. She competed in the Wolfpack Softball club program and was a member of the team that placed fifth at the USA Preps/Mizuno National Tournament in the summer.

"Kennedi is a very special player that seems to always find herself in key situations and come through," Peterson said. "She has a big bat and can hit the ball to all fields with great power. Kennedi has a very good feel for the game and just loves the competition that softball brings. We have been watching her for quite some time and she has never disappointed. Kennedi not only leads her team on the field but is always a presence in the dugout. She is a middle-of-the-order type hitter and we have high expectations for her in the immediate future."

The Mountain Lions ranked seventh in Division II last season in batting average and in the top 20 for scoring and slugging percentage. UCCS opens the 2014 spring season at the Desert Stinger Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., on Feb. 7-9.

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