DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University head softball coach Marissa Young and her staff announced on Wednesday that seven student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to join the Blue Devil diamond program.
The signing class includes Rachel Abboud (C/OF; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Katherine Huey (P/1B; Cummings, Ga.), Jameson Kavel (INF/OF; Duluth, Ga.), Makenna Lutterloh (2B/OF; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), Ashleigh Rodriguez (OF; Las Vegas, Nev.), Peyton St. George (P/1B; Mechanicsville, Va.) and Amelia Wiercioch (P/1B; Tustin, Calif.).
“This 2017 class means a great deal to our program, being the chosen group to take the field for the first time in program history,” Young said. “Duke Softball will build a successful program with talented, bright young women committed to excellence both on and off the field and we feel this group will help us lay that foundation. This group comes to Duke with a great deal of talent and potential, ready to embrace the huge responsibility of coming in as freshmen ready to step up and get it done.”
The class includes three student-athletes from California, two from Georgia and one each from Nevada and Virginia. The group will join in the program in the fall of 2017.
Huntington Beach, Calif. (Edison High School)
As a junior, batted .461 with nine doubles, two triples and three home runs … added 22 RBI and a .710 slugging percentage … two-time all-Sunset League selection … also played for the Firecrackers travel organization and captured the 2016 PGF national championship … also lettered in golf.
Young on Abboud: “Rachel comes to us from a winning pedigree with the Firecrackers, having won the PGF national championship this past summer. Rachel is extremely versatile on the field, but is most impactful at the plate as a left handed power hitter. She is suave and plays with aggressive confidence that is infectious to those around her.”
Cummings, Ga. (South Forsyth High School)
Three-time first team all-region honoree … earned Forsyth County Pitcher of the Year accolades in 2014 and 2016 … helped South Forsyth High School to consecutive top-five finishes in the Georgia state tournament in 2015 (6A) and 2016 (7A) … also played for the Atlanta Vipers travel organization.
Young on Huey: “We expect Katherine to provide support in the circle as well as contributing from the plate. Katherine has pitched her high school team to the Georgia state playoffs the past two years while taking her travel team to top-20 national finishes.”
Duluth, Ga. (Wesleyan High School)
As a junior, batted .510 with 29 stolen bases … three-time all-region and all-state pick … two-time NCSAA All-America selection … earned region Player of the Year honors in 2016 … led Wesleyan to state runner-up finish in 2016 … also played for the Southern Force travel organization … also lettered in basketball.
Young on Kavel: “Jameson is a player who has developed into a versatile middle infielder and outfielder with a solid bat. In high school, she played on a state championship basketball team and a state runner-up softball team. We expect Jameson will be an impactful utility player for us.”
Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. (Santa Margarita Catholic High School)
Earned Best Offensive Player honors for Santa Margarita Catholic High School in 2014 … also played for the Firecrackers travel organization.
Young on Lutterloh: “Makenna also comes to us from the Firecrackers organization. She has the ability to play second base and outfield and will be a table setter offensively with her bat.”
Las Vegas, Nev. (Liberty High School)
As a junior, batted .402 with five doubles, three triples and 17 RBI … first team all-Sunrise Region pick in 2016 … three-time all-league choice … three-time co-defensive player of the year for Liberty High School … also played for the Lil’ Rebels travel organization … also lettered in volleyball and bowling.
Young on Rodriguez: “Ashleigh is a go-getter in the outfield who takes pride in running down the ball or coming up with the diving catch to win the game.”
Peyton St. George
Mechanicsville, Va. (Atlee High School)
Three-time all-state selection … three-time all-metro, all-region and all-conference choice … earned Metro Pitcher of the Year honors in 2016 … ranked by Flo Softball as a Top 100 prospect … helped Atlee High School to consecutive VHSL 5A state championships in 2015 and 2016 … also played for the Dixie Chicks and Vienna Stars Premier travel organizations.
Young on St. George: “Peyton will forever be remembered as Duke Softball’s first commitment in program history. She took a leap of faith and had courage, belief and commitment to being a part of the building process of Duke Softball. We look to Peyton to being a mainstay in the circle for the Blue Devils.”
Tustin, Calif. (Rosary Academy)
As a junior, batted .348 with four home runs while compiling a 1.08 ERA on the mound … three-time all-league pick … earned Rosary Academy’s Most Valuable Defensive Player honor in 2016 … also played for the Courage travel organization and captured the PGF Platinum National title in 2014.
Young on Wiercioch: “Amelia is an explosive hitter who will provide support in the circle, and be a mainstay at first base when she is not pitching.”