The Baylor softball squad signed four student-athletes to national letters of intent for the 2018 class, announced by head coach Glenn Moore on Wednesday.
The Lady Bears add two Texans, one Californian, and a South Dakota native, rounding out a deep class that will start at Baylor in the fall of 2017 and hit the field for the 2018 season.
“This is a very diverse class with quality athletes who are better people than softball players, and they can play some softball,” said Moore. “I think this class has a very high ceiling and will train themselves into being great Division I-level players. I’m extremely proud of the work my staff did that resulted in this great product.”
OF, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., St. Lucy’s Priory High School, Orange County Batbusters
Alyssa Avalos signed with the Lady Bears out of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and St. Lucy’s Priory High School. Avalos will provide instant depth in the outfield, showing flash with her bat as a slapper.
Avalos played her club ball with the prestigious OC Batbusters organization, earning numerous accolades for her work both on the field and in the classroom.
"You can’t prepare any better than being trained in the Orange County Batbusters organization on the West Coast. She has faced the best and has developed into a very good athlete. Playing primarily centerfield, she will give us depth early and make those around her work extremely hard. She is another threat on the bases with her speed and knowledge."
P, Sioux Falls, S.D., Roosevelt High School, Sioux Falls Diamonds
Lexi Koltz signed with Baylor out of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Roosevelt High School. She is a right-handed pitcher who played club ball with the Sioux Falls Diamonds club organization.
Koltz has dominated throughout her high school career, leading Roosevelt to three-straight state championships and snapping the South Dakota strikeout record, cruising to an undefeated season.
"Lexi is arguably the best pitcher to ever come out of the state of South Dakota,” said Moore. “Not many athletes can claim a state championship and she has three for Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls. Talent is only part of the reason for her success, as Lexi is extremely disciplined and works relentlessly to be the best she can be."
OF/IF, Nederland, Texas, Nederland High School, GT Shockers
Hannah Smith signed with BU out of Nederland, Texas and Nederland High School. She carries experience in both the infield and outfield, and played her club ball with the GT Shockers club organizations.
Smith has booked a highly successful career at Nederland, posting a .413 batting average and .448 on base percentage, helping lead her squad to two district co-championship titles.
"Another dynamic athlete,” said Moore. “Hannah has been well trained in a great program and although she plays exceptional defense, she will be most impressive at the plate. I love her aggressiveness offensively, in the box and on the bases."
Catcher, Dickinson, Texas, Dickinson, Texas, Aces Express
Hannah Thompson signed with the Lady Bears out of Dickinson, Texas and Dickinson High School. She is a power-hitting catcher, playing her club ball with the Aces Express club organization.
Thompson carries a long list of accolades, both on and off the field, leading her 24-6A district in both batting average and homeruns. In club ball, she helped the Aces Express clinch a Triple Crown national title.
“Hannah will add much needed depth behind the plate,” said Moore. “She is a natural leader, a quality needed in the bullpen and on the field. I really like her bat as well, as she will be charged to keep our homerun totals up.”
Last offseason, the Bears added four players on signing day, all from the Lone Star State. Those four are set to make their debuts this spring with the Baylor squad. The Bears are coming off a 45-14 season in 2016, qualifying for a program-record sixth-straight NCAA tournament.