Weeks into his tenure as University of Evansville softball coach, Mat Mundell has hit the recruiting trails hard and has announced his first three signings to the 2015 squad.
“This is an exciting day for Aces softball as we usher in my first recruiting class,” Mundell said. “All three of these young ladies bring something unique with them to add to our returners. The one thing they all have is a proven record of success on and off the field.”
Highlighting the class is reigning NJCAA Division III Pitcher of the Year Amanda Blankenship. Blankenship comes to UE from Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill. Last year, she accumulated 21 victories while striking out an unbelievable 241 batters while finishing the year with a 1.97 ERA. That success translated into a national championship and school record 42 wins for the college.
“Amanda is a big time pitching recruit for us,” Mundell added. “She will be able to come right in and compete in the MVC.”
The NJCAA Tournament MVP was named pitcher of the tournament and earned a pair of All-America honors. She was named a 1st Team NJCAA All-American while garnering National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NJCAA Division III All-American accolades. She is originally from Rockford, Ill.
Outfielder Ashlee Kawall comes to Evansville after spending last season playing at Waubonsee (Ill.) Community College. As a freshman, Kawall posted a .520 batting average, which was 10th in the nation. She registered seven triples (6th in the country) while stealing 39 bases in 40 attempts, a tally that put her ninth in the NJCAA. Waubonsee finished the season with a 39-15 record and 11-1 in conference action.
Mundell is excited about the way Kawall will impact the Aces offense. “Ashlee is a game-changer with her ability to get on base and use her speed to create havoc,” he said.
The native of Somonauk, Ill. produced even better numbers in high school at Somonauk. In 2012, she finished the season with a .611 batting average. She was one of five players in documented IHSA history to record over 70 hits, 60 runs and 50 stolen bases in the same season.
Kawall was named to the Illinois High School Coaches Association All-State Team each year from 2011-13 and served as a co-captain for her team in those same seasons. Her senior season saw her earn a spot on the MaxPreps/CBS Sports All-American 2nd Team.
First baseman Morgan Lambert transfers to Evansville after redshirting last year at New Mexico State. The Lemoore, Calif. product was a 4-year varsity starter at Lemoore HS. As a senior, she batted .398 with a .448 on base percentage. Lambert finished the season with 21 RBIs and six home runs.
“Morgan comes with a year of division I training under her belt,” Mundell said. “She can help solidify our infield.”
In 2013, Lambert was named a First Team All-West Yosemite League player and participated in the 2013 City County All-Star Game. She also got the job done in the classroom as she garnered NFCA All-America honors.