The Eastern softball team has signed six new recruits for the 2017 spring season. The future Panthers include Ashley Bartlett, Mia Davis, McKenna Coffman, Haley Mitchell, Katie Grunert and Alison Golic.
Bartlett is an infielder from Monee, Ill. who attends Crete-Monee High School. She is a three-year varsity starter in softball as well as volleyball and has been the captain of the softball team since her sophomore year.
She has received First Team All-Conference honors three straight years and helped lead her team to a conference championship this past spring.
Bartlett had a strong start to her high school career by breaking the schools runs batted in record in her freshman season. Bartlett drove in 58 runs during that season.
Coach Angie Nicholson said Bartlett is a true leader.
“She comes to us with strong and consistent bat,” Nicholson said. “We are looking for her to step in and play one of the corner positions for us. She is a worker and will do such a great job of leading by example.
Davis is a corner/outfielder form LaGrange Park, Ill. and attends Nazareth Academy. Davis played softball along with basketball in high school.
“Mia (Davis) is going to grow and thrive here at EIU. She has great potential that has not been tapped into yet. (She has a) very strong athletic presence. Excited to see her grow and mature here,” Nicholson said.
Coffman is a pitcher/infielder from Bloom-Carroll High School in Carroll, Oh. Coffman is a threat on the mound as well as at the plate.
She posted a .70 earned run average in 20 innings pitched with 20 strikeouts in her junior year. She also collected 40 hits, 31 RBI’s and eight home runs in 29 games to help lead her team to the Division III championship game.
Coffman received First Team All-Mid State League her Freshman and Sophomore year and Second Team All-Mid State League her junior season. But she did receive First-Team All-Area and Special Mention- All Metro her junior season.
“McKenna (Coffman) is a power pitcher who will be very effective for us,” Nicholson said. “We are looking forward to having her presence on the mound. When she is not pitching she can play the infield and brings a powerful bat to the plate.”
Mitchell is a catcher and first baseman from Temple City High School in San Gabriel, Ca. Mitchell was also a two-sport athlete playing softball as well as volleyball.
She has a career high school batting average of .429 and on base percentage of .495 entering her senior year. Mitchell has also recorded 64 putouts and 21 assists while throwing out nine runners attempting to steal a base.
“Haley (Mitchell) will bring a great deal of character to our team along with a very powerful bat,” Nicholson said. “She is a long ball hitter and we are very excited to bring her into the lineup. She will come in and find a place behind the plate or on a corner.”
Grunert is a pitcher from Wisconsin Lutheran High School in Waukesha, Wis. She has played varsity volleyball and softball all four years of high school.
She was named First Team All-Conference in 2014 and 2015 and also earned All-Area honorable mention in her sophomore and junior years. Grunert has over 600 strikeouts in her first three years. She has had 440 in the last two seasons.
She even led her team with a .542 batting average in her junior years. She also led in hits, homeruns and had the least amount of strikeouts.
“Katie (Grunert) is another player who has not reached her full potential as a pitcher yet,” Nicholson said. “(She) throws very hard and has great movement but can be even better. We are excited to see what the future holds for her.”
Golic is a pitcher/utility player at Mentor High School in Mentor, Oh. She was injured in her sophomore and junior seasons and had limited playing time. She went 5-1 last year with a .41 ERA. She broke her high school’s strikeout record her freshman year with 234 in 186 innings.
She was named to the News Herald Player of the Year her freshman year and named a member of the Final Four team. She also received All-Conference honors her freshman, sophomore and junior years.
“I have watched Allison (Golic) throw for many years and the first time I saw her I was very impressed,” Nicholson said.
Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]