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Kentucky softball signs top-10 class, highest rated class ever for coach Rachel Lawson

Gabi Deters

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky softball program signed six players in the November signing period, it was announced by head coach Rachel Lawson on Wednesday morning.

The Wildcats signing class was slotted in the top 10 by both major softball recruiting services, FloSoftball and Extra Innings Softball with UK finishing fifth and eighth in the two rankings. The Wildcats signed four players who ranked inside the top 100 nationally and all six members of the class fell inside the top 200. It is the highest-ranked total recruiting class for Rachel Lawson at Kentucky.

“This class is strong up the middle of the field.” Lawson said. “It’s a versatile class because we have solidified our battery and we have enhanced our offense with both speed and power. They are all good students and come from hard-working blue-collar families. They all possess postseason experience and are from elite travelball programs with high softball IQ’s.”

Emmy Blane

Hopkinsville, Kentucky – Christian Co. HS

SS, 2B, C // Bats: right; Throws: right

  • Extra Innings No. 8 nationally-ranked player
  • 2017 Kentucky New Era Player of the Year
  • Christian Co. HS leader in doubles (68), runs scored (212) walks (97)
  • Four time All-Region, five time All-District, three time All-State
  • Hit .420 her junior season with 12 doubles, 16 home runs and 64 RBI
  • 4.3 GPA, third in graduating class, first team Academic All-State (2017, 2018), National AP Scholar

Lawson on Blane:

“Emmy is one of Kentucky’s best. She has an incredible arm, is brilliant and a great middle infielder. She is a very aggressive offensive player who is exciting to watch. She was born to be a Kentucky Wildcat and wear the Blue and White.”

Gabi Deters

Bowling Green, Missouri – Bowling Green HS

C, 3B, 1B, SS, OF // Bats: right; Throws: right

  • Extra Innings No. 41 nationally-ranked player
  • Four time EMO first-team All-Conference, first team All-District, first team All-Region member and Silver Slugger Award
  • Three time member of the All-State first team
  • 2017-2018 Gatorade Player of the Year
  • Also was All-Conference and All-District as a basketball player for Bowling Green HS
  • In her senior year, hit .430 with 11 home runs, 28 RBI, 50 runs scored, 31 walks and 13 stolen bases
  • Team won back-to-back state championships in her time with the school

Lawson on Deters:

“Gabi is an incredibly strong athlete that will generate a great amount of offensive power. She is a blue-collar worker who has been involved with USA Softball. She has incredible presence, a great softball IQ and a natural-born leader.”

Sloan Gayan

Ottawa, Illinois – Ottawa Township HS

P, 1B // Bats: right; Throws: right

  • Northern Illinois Big 12 All-Conference in 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Northern Illinois Big 12 Co-MVP in 2018
  • IHSA first team 3A All-State in 2017 and 2018 seasons
  • Junior year she went 20-5 in the circle with a 1.24 ERA and three saves. Offensively, she hit .479 with 46 RBI, 10 doubles, three triples and six home runs.
  • Varsity basketball player for three years, and was Big 12 All-Conference in 2017-18.
  • 3.97 GPA, National Honor’s Society member, ranked in the top 40 in her class of 330+.

Lawson on Gayan:

“Sloan adds depth to our pitching staff. She has great breaking pitches who will throw batters off balance and a lot of experience in the circle.”

Cassie Lindmark

Lyons, Illinois – Marist HS

C, 1B // Bats: right; Throws: right

  • Extra Innings No. 72 nationally-ranked player
  • Freshman year and sophomore year was named All-Conference
  • Named All-Conference and All-State in her sophomore year
  • In her junior campaign she was All-Area and winner of the Golden Glove
  • Helped lead her team to a Regional and Sectional championship her junior season. In her sophomore year, the team was fourth at the state tournament and Regional, Sectional and Super Sectional champions.
  • Last year hit .465 with a .543 on-base percentage and slugged at a .768 clip.
  • President of the school Science Club her junior and senior years, as well as winning the Leadership Award in her freshman year.

Lawson on Lindmark:

“Cassie is a very dynamic players behind the plate. She possesses a great arm and has a very high softball IQ. She is a great situational hitter that has great awareness.”

Rylea Smith

St. Louis, Missouri – Parkway North HS

INF/OF // Bats: left; Throws: right

  • Conference Player of the Year for her high school
  • First team All-District, first team All-Region, second team All-State
  • Led her high school to a state championship in 2018 with a .526 batting average. She hit .500 and above in all four years.
  • Was also a track athlete in high school, winning All-State honors 
  • Plans on majoring in International Studies or Modern and Classical Languages, Literature and Culture

Lawson on Smith:

“Rylea is the fastest player in this signing class. She’s a great utility player, but will most likely be slotted to be a part of our outfield. She is a true triple threat as she can both bunt and hit for power exceptionally well.”

Miranda Stoddard

Anaheim, California – Orange Lutheran HS

P/UTL // Bats: right; Throws: right

  • Extra Innings No. 59 nationally-ranked player
  • Was the MVP of her high school team in her freshman season and was second team All-League.
  • In her sophomore year, she was named All-League and third team All-County.
  • Last season, she had a sub-two ERA and struck out 100 batters. Offensively she had a .333 average and hit five home runs.
  • Helped lead her high school team to a league championship in her freshman year and CIF qualification in her freshman and sophomore years.
  • Family is extremely athletic; Dad was a water polo player and swimmer at California and three different uncles competed at the Air Force Academy (water polo), Long Beach State (football) and Oregon State (football).

Lawson on Stoddard:

“I believe that Miranda is the hardest-throwing pitcher that we have ever signed at Kentucky. She has great power in the circle and in the box. She’s an excellent athlete and has a competitive championship mindset and can play any position on the field at an elite level.

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