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Utah Softball Signs Four

Head coach Amy Hogue announced the signing of four players who will join the Utes for the 2011-11 season.

Head coach Amy Hogue announced the signing of four players who will join the Utes for the 2011-11 season.

Nov. 24, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY - Four softball student-athletes signed National Letters-of-Intent during the early signing period, University of Utah head coach Amy Hogue announced Monday. This is Hogue's fourth recruiting class as head coach of the Utes. Joining the team in 2011-12 will be Desaray Akins, Kate Dickman, Marissa Mendenhall and Mariah Ramirez. The four student-athletes will enroll at Utah as freshmen next fall and will be a part of the first class of Utes to compete exclusively in the Pac-12 Conference.

"This class is a very solid group," Hogue said. "We added the top pitcher from the national champion Southern California A's and a catcher with great pop times. We also added the top player in the state of Utah and one of the toughest outs in the state of California. We are excited to see the impact these players will make as we enter the Pac-12."

Desaray Akins

Desaray Akins (C/Tucson, Ariz./Sunnyside HS/Tucson Jinx)

Member of 2010 state runner-up team at Sunnyside High School ... All-City selection ... two-time team captain and four-year letterwinner ... played for coach Pete Palomarez ... owns a career .488 batting average and has hit four home runs and stole six bases ... also was a setter on the volleyball team and earned four varsity letters and was a captain for three years ... member of Tucson Jinx club team ... named team captain and Most Valuable Player ... member of National Honor Society ... was in the Sports Medicine Club and served as a student athletic trainer ... volunteered for Breast Cancer Awareness and Families In Need ... recognized as a Digital Scholar Advantage Student.

Hogue on Akins: "I first saw her two-and-a-half years ago at a tournament in Park City and she caught my attention right away because of her `pop time.' She came on her recruiting trip and fit in really well. We always need depth in the catching position and Desaray will be a great addition."

Kate Dickman

Kate Dickman (OF/Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley HS/Courage 18 Gold) Owns a career .343 average with 49 runs scored, 24 RBI, and two home runs after three seasons at Capistrano Valley High School ... played first three seasons for coach Roger Williams, who recently retired ... three-time letterwinner ... team MVP and second-team All-South Coast League performer last season ... named team's Most Inspirational Player during sophomore year ... earned the team's Newcomer of the Year award and was a conference All-Freshman team selection ... member of Courage 18 Gold club team ... team was classified in the ASA 18U Gold section and received a berth to the Premier Fastpitch Qualifier in 2010 ... won the Riverside Toys for Tots 18U championship, took fifth at Colorado Sparkler Tournament and was classified as a So Cal 18U Gold team in 2009 ... team won the 2008 Artesia Punishers Holiday Classic ... recognized as an Athletic Scholar in 2008-09 ... member of Invisible Children's Club in 2008-09 and American Cultures Club in 2009-10.

Hogue on Dickman: "She is an outfielder who hits left-handed. Her strength is the ability to hit any pitcher. The last two summers that we have watched her, she has been the toughest out in the lineup and bats in the leadoff spot. She is very consistent at the plate and has gap-to-gap power. She will find her way on base against the best pitching in the country."

Marissa Mendenhall

Marissa Mendenhall (IF-C/Stansbury Park, Utah/Tooele HS/Salt Lake Flames) Led Tooele High School to state titles during freshman and junior seasons as a third baseman and catcher ... team took second place at state tournament in 2009 ... three-time all-state selection ... three-year letterwinner ... played for coach Steve Snow ... played with Salt Lake Flames club team, which finished ninth at ASA Nationals in 2010 ... team won six state titles (2005-10) as well as the 2009 Triple Crown 16U championship ... took second place at 2009 Colorado Fireworks Tournament ... nickname is "Bug" ... sister, Kelsey, is a junior at Dixie State and was named the NCAA Division II National Player of the Week on Mar. 3, 2010.

Hogue on Mendenhall: "She bats fourth on the best travel team in the state of Utah. She is an all-around player and a very versatile athlete who can do everything on the field. She can catch, play third base, bat clean-up and possesses great leadership qualities. My goal is to recruit the best player in the state each and every year. I believe I did that with Marissa."

Mariah Ramirez

Mariah Ramirez (P-1B/Buena Park, Calif./Kennedy HS/So Cal Athletics 18U Gold)

Two-time first-team all-league selection as a pitcher and first baseman at Kennedy High School ... three-year letterwinner ... earned school's Athlete of the Month award in 2009 ... played for coach Sara Mesa ... member of So Cal Athletics 18U Gold club team ... squad is the reigning ESPN Premier national champions ... team also took fifth at 2010 ASA Nationals ... also competed with the Lakewood Ladies, who earned three top-10 finishes at the ASA Nationals and won the 2007 14U ASA national title.

Hogue on Ramirez: "I expect Mariah will have an immediate impact. When you're graduating a pitcher, you expect the pitcher you're bringing in to get innings right away. She was a member of the So Cal Athletics 18U Gold team that won the biggest national tournament of the year, the first annual the ESPN Premier. She throws a lot of strikes, keeps the ball down, throws hard and can mix speeds well. She records outs quickly so she can throw a lot of innings. She complements our pitching staff very well."



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