University of Minnesota softball coach Jessica Allister announced Wednesday the signing of six players to National Letters of Intent for the 2014-15 season. The Golden Gophers' next freshman class will include three Minnesotans, as well as players from Michigan, Iowa, and Arizona.
"I am thrilled to welcome Ellie, Sydney, Danielle, Erika, Kylie and Dani to the Gopher softball family," said Allister. "This class is comprised of great students and dynamic athletes that are excited about continuing their journeys here at The U."
Catcher Erika Rozell of Lakeville, Minn. will serve as the captain of the Lakeville North High School softball team for the 2014 season. A six-year veteran of the Minnesota Sting club program, Rozell is coming off a 2013 season in which she collected first-team all-state honors as well as all-conference and all-section accolades.
"Erika is a tremendous athlete that has the versatility to help us at a number of defensive positions. She has above average speed and the ability to hit for power," said Allister.
Rozell has also earned two varsity letters in basketball.
Fellow Lakeville, Minn. native Kylie Stober is the lone pitcher in this year's class. An honors student at Lakeville South High School, Stober garnered first-team all-state honors in 2013.
"Kylie is right handed pitcher and left handed hitter that has good break on her ball and good pop in her bat," Allister said. "She will be a great compliment to Nikki Anderson, Sara Groenewegen and Hannah Evavold in the circle."
Also talented at the plate, Stober posted 12 homeruns and a .400 batting average over the summer for the Minnesota Renegades.
Rounding out the Gophers' crop of in-state talent is Dani Wagner of Hayfield, Minn. The Hayfield High School infielder has earned a spot on the All-Hiawatha Valley League team four times and has received three all-state nods.
"Dani is as athletic as they come," Allister said. "She is a three sport athlete who we think is really going to blossom in a year round training program. Dani is another versatile player that could help us at a number of positions."
Wagner also plays club softball for the 18U Mankato Peppers and is a four-time letterwinner in both volleyball and basketball. She was an all-state volleyball player in 2012.
Fenton, Mich. outfielder Ellie Cowger will become the third member of her family to wear the maroon and gold--Cowger's sisters Kate and Victoria both played softball for the Gophers between 2006 and 2009. Cowger, who boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA in the classroom, was Fenton High School's team MVP a season ago and became a three-time All-Flint Metro League selection as well as an all-state selection in 2013.
"Ellie comes from a long line of Gophers with a contagious passion for The U," Allister said. "She has the ability to beat you with her speed and drive the ball from the left side. Ellie could see time in both the infield and the outfield."
A member of the Tigers' cross country and basketball squads, Cowger also has experience playing softball for the Michigan Batubusters and Michigan Lookouts club teams. She will captain her high school team in 2014.
A member of the National Honor Society and the Dean's List at Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, Iowa, Sydney Dwyer registered a .472 batting average in 2013. The incoming infielder is coming off back-to-back seasons in which she was named to her all-conference and all-state teams. Dwyer helped lead the Spartans to a third-place finish at the 2012 state tournament en route to receiving all-tournament honors.
On Dwyer, Allister said, "Sydney is a middle infielder with a competitive drive that is fun to watch. She has a great arm, a quick release and the ability to drive the ball for power."
Dwyer also competes for the South East Iowa Allstars club team and is a standout basketball player for Pleasant Valley.
Danielle Parlich of Queen Creek, Ariz. is a National Honor Society member at Basha High School. The infielder plays club softball for the Arizona Hotshots during the fall and summer and runs track in the spring. She has compiled four varsity letters in track and one in volleyball.
"Danielle follows Malisa Barnes and Kaitlyn Richardson as the next great Gopher softball player to come from the state of Arizona," Allister said. "She could see time at all four infield positions, and adds both speed and power from the left side of the plate."
In the summer of 2013, Parlich played club softball under current Golden Gopher Kaitlyn Richardson. Parlich's sister, Sam, played for the Arizona State softball team from 2009-13.
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Minnesota ASA Commissioner
Phone: (952) 250-3393
Minnesota ASA JO Commissioner
Phone: (651) 270-0219
Minnesota ASA State UIC
Phone: (218) 791-5691
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