Coach Lisa Fernandez, Jacqui, Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez and Coach Kirk Walker
The recruiting process can take all sorts of twists and turns, with each players journey different from the next. Jacqui Prober's had some twists in it but at the end of the day, she she found her FIT. UCLA has a storied softball program, with Olympian and UCLA legend Lisa Fernandez on the coaching staff. To play in the Pac-12 is a dream for a lot of players, and Jacqui's dream has come true!
Strong academics, a rich tradition, and the coaching staff making her feel like family from her first visit were some of the key reasons she had UCLA at the top of her list. And with her parents being alumni, they spoke highly of their collegiate experiences at UCLA, further supporting Jacqui's dream.
In addition to UCLA, Jacqui also looked at Stanford, U of Washington and Missouri, with all of them looking at her along with Cal Poly and Northridge liking what they saw as well.
Jacqui plans to major in pre-med or pre-PT and her most memorable moments from the recruiting process were:
- A trip to Missouri in December for a camp, in the middle of a snowstorm
- Meeting with the UCLA coaching staff after the first game they had invited her to attend
- Getting the offer from UCLA to come play for them, allowing her to realize a childhood dream
Japanese National Team player Misato Kawano and Sting's own Mari Kawano
When Mari Kawano was in Huntington Beach this summer, she had the good fortune to be there during the World Cup of softball. And as luck would have it, Japan was playing in the tourney.
Go back to the 2008 Olympics, when softball was still a recognized sport and this is where this journey began. Mari watched the Olympics and saw Misato Kawano, who played for the Japanese Olympic team. Having a namesake in the Olympics was amazing and Mari was hooked! When Mari saw the last name, she knew it would be cool to have her uniform. Unlike the U.S., where we can get the merchandise of our favorite Team USA , NPF and collegiate players, Japan doesn't market their players unforms. With tremendous help from a cousin in Japan, who not only tracked down the uniform manufacturer, but was able to have a custom/fitted uniform made and obtain a personalized autograph from Misato herself for Mari! So, fast forward to this past summer of 2014, in Irvine, California. Mari and her family were able to watch the Japanese national team play, meet her "namesake" player and proudly tell her about the autographed uniform she had! A great story and an example of how the softball world can be so special!
Some of our 2014 Seniors - Sabrina (NDNU), Kat (Monterey Bay), Mandy (MIT), Mari (UH-Hilo)) and Ally (Amherst)
San Jose Sting 12U at Nationals, with Jessica Mendoza
#21... Allison Walljasper (P, San Jose Sting)--LSU
Allison is an imposing figure in the circle and is another big, strong pitcher with good movement on her pitches. She has also had success at every level--Allison led her San Jose Sting 14U team to an ASA National Championship in 2010 and led the 18U Sting team to a third place finish in the PGF 2012 National Championship tournament. At the high school level she led her team to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. IV title and the No. 1 ranking the Div. III state rankings. The 1st Team All-State selection finished her junior year with an 18-2 record and a 0.47 ERA while also hitting .482 and driving in 20 runs. She battled through injuries last summer but when healthy is one of the best and has All-American potential when she hits the SEC.
Claire Klausner (Princeton), Courtney Cuzick (UPenn) and Kayla Bose (Princeton)
Go to College Choices (on the left hand side list) to read about more San Jose Sting players verbals and signings, past and present
Kat Guevara signing her letter with her Mom
For Kat Guevara, sometimes the recruiting process can take twists and turns you can't expect. She had done the work both on and off the field and was in that limbo state where you finalize your decision and wait for everything to fall into place. Kat was open to in state and out of state colleges, with St. John's in New York and St. Edward's in Austin, Texas making the short list. Additionally, colleges in Nebraska and South Carolina were also expressing interest. But, the college that she fell in love with was in her own backyard!
Some of the reasons for Kat to select Monterey Bay were:
- meeting Coach K at an Elite College Camp and immediately connecting to her coaching style
- the location is far enough from home to feel like she is on her own and the Monterey Peninsula is beautiful!
- campus diversity was very important to Kat and after visiting campus she loved the diversity in the student body and the size of the campus felt good too
Kat's most memorable moments from the recruiting process were emailing with Cat Osterman, one of her all -time favorite players (who is a Coach at St. Edward's), getting to pitch and play in front of the college coaches during the recruiting process and ultimately, getting that call that she would be an Otter on the CSUMB softball team!
Kat plans on majoring in Social and Behavioral Sciences, with the goal of becoming a high school teacher.
Alex at Ohio Valley University after her verbal commitment
Ever since we started working with Randy Villazon from Fastpitch Media, to produce our highly recognized player skills videos, we knew he was someone who fit right in to the Sting family. As you work with someone, you get to know more about them and get excited to celebrate their accomplishments!
These past few months have been wonderful for Randy and we just had to share!
Randy's family grew in February, when Randy and his wife welcomed a baby boy to the Villazon household. In addition to his family growing, Randy also grew his business to the point that he needed to upgrade his booth that he brings to tournaments (photo below) because of overwhelming demand for his skills videos services. And to complete the happy news, Randy and his daughter went on a round of college visits and his daughter found her fit! Much like our other Sting players, academics, the coaching staff and the feeling you get when you step on campus at "your" school all came together at OVU.
Congratulations, Randy and family!
Fastpitch Media 2014 event booth
When you carry over a 4.0 average, score very well on your SAT's in your sophomore year and get a perfect 800 on the Math Subject 2 test, high academic colleges are a natural to be on your list of desired schools. Such was the case for Mandy Lee, who knew early on that academically challenging schools were going to give her the college experience she wanted and the right fit. The other part of this is knowing that you won't hear anything from admissions until your senior year and that these schools are worth the wait!
Mandy's dream list of schools, in addition to MIT, included Harvard, Stanford and Princeton. The colleges who were considering Mandy included Emory, Stanford and Harvard, including MIT who considered her their top recruit.
Once all was said and done, Mandy's reasons for choosing MIT were:
- the incredible academic programs
- the Boston/Cambridge area is just such a great environment
- MIT has been a dream school of Mandy's since she was in elementary school
Some of Mandy's memorable moments from the recruiting process included meeting Coach Williams for the first time and touring the athletic facilities, going on an unofficial visit during February of her junior year, where she met the team and got to experience snow and going to the softball camps, where she got to meet other equally dedicated players.
Way to go Mandy Lee, who will be the first Sting player to attend MIT and congratulations to Howard and Wendy!
Desiree Severance has enjoyed tremendous success this past year as the starting pitcher for Mitty High School, earning many accolades. She brought that success to her travel career, in the hopes of catching her dream school's eye to continue her softball at the collegiate level. Desiree had numerous colleges at the top of her list, in addition to Drexel, most notably: UPenn, Long Beach State and UC Davis. She had also garnered interest from Colgate, Sac State and Lehigh University, adding to the list above.
At the end of the day, it came down to FIT! At her unofficial visit at Drexel, she just knew this was her school - she fell in love with the school and the city environment was "amazing" to quote Des. The coaching staff and team made her feel so welcome and to top it off, they had the majors she wanted to study, Sports Psychology/Sports Management! Des will be the 2nd player from the San Jose Sting/Mitty to play for Drexel; Sylvia Llamas is a current player at Drexel and attended MItty.
Her most memorable moments from the recruiting experience were:
- Getting her first email from Coach Ervin
- Going on her unofficial visit to Philadelphia and staying with the team
- Calling Coach Ervin to let her know that she wanted to become a Dragon!
Congratulations Desiree, Stewart and Lisa!
As mentioned before, when the high academic colleges are at the top of your list, the wait to complete your recruiting can seem like forever. For colleges like that, the Fall of your senior year is when you can finally breathe!
Ally Kido was determined to play for one of these schools and was relentless. Ally was extremely consistent during her recruiting process and this persistence, along with outstanding grades/test scores and her athletic talents, brought her to her dream school - Amherst!
In addition to Amherst, Ally was looking at and receiving serious attention from Swarthmore and Wesleyan. Ally was interested in a high academic college with a small faculty to student ration and these definitely fit that requirement. Being able to play competitive softball and receive a top notch education were her top priorities.
Some of the highlights from her recruiting experience were:
- Visiting East Coast colleges and just knowing that Amherst was the ONE!
- Hitting a homerun in front of the Head Coach at the Bay Area Showcase!
- Being persistent and going for it!
- Hearing from Coach Joe that Amherst wanted to offer her a spot!
Ally plans to major in Biology at Amherst. Congratulations Ally, Janice and Rex!
Jaz Jackson at her NLI signing for Cal, with her Dad - Diffric(left) and Bob Perales
The LSU softball program and head coach Beth Torina has announced the signing of Sydney Bourg, Emily Griggs, Taylor Lockwood and Allison Walljasper to National Letter of Intent to continue their softball career with the Tigers.
The quartet represents the states of California, Kansas and Louisiana. All four players will enter the program as freshmen for the 2015 season.
“We are very excited about the level of talent that Sydney, Emily, Taylor and Allison will bring to the LSU softball program,” Torina said. “This class brings a lot of speed and athleticism to our team as well as a standout pitcher that will make an immediate impact in the SEC. I’m confident that these four players will continue to build the great tradition of LSU softball.”
Walljasper [Manteca, Calif.] is a pitcher and infielder for Sierra High School in California. She was named the 2013 Valley Oak League Player of the Year and led her team to the Sac Joaquin Section crown. As a junior, she was 18-2 with a 0.47 ERA and struck out 227 batters over her 120 innings of work. Walljasper was just as impressive at the plate where she batted .482 with 20 RBIs and a .815 slugging percentage. She has collected 2012 and 2013 MaxPreps Underclass All-American status.
Walljasper plays travel ball for the San Jose Sting and played a major role in the club capturing the Amateur Softball Association 14-U and 18-U national titles.
“Allie has been a standout at every level she has played at,” Torina said. “She has won championships in virtually every age group. She will be a force in the SEC not just on the mound but in our lineup. She will be an immediate difference maker for our program.”
Lexi, Holly and Kelsey NLI signing
Rebecca Faulkner (18G) has been a force to be reckoned with on the mound and at the plate! Lefty pitchers are rare gems and Becca is definitely one of the best ones. Whether it be dominating at high school or for the San Jose Sting, Becca garnered lots of attention during last season's summer travel season. In fact, in a game at PGF Nationals against the a tough Mizuno team, Oklahoma Head Coach Patty Gasso was overheard telling Louisville to take a look at this talented lefty pitcher!
With a lot of options in front of her, Rebecca did her unofficial visits and fell in love with UC Riverside! From the openness of the campus, the weather and the coaching staff, Rebecca felt totally comfortable and excited for her future at UC Riverside.
Knowing that she wanted to major in psychology, which UC Riverside is well known for helped seal the deal!
Rebecca's most memorable moments from her recruiting experience are:
- Sending out her first email to a college coach and receiving a response
- Seeing college scouts at her games
- That moment when she just knew UC Riverside was her FIT
Holly Geranen signing her NLI for Colgate
Nina is a true example of hard work paying off! When she came to the Sting two years ago, Nina and her family worked on a plan with Coach Bob to get Nina to a high academic college and develop her skills for softball. The Sting plan came with strength/conditioning, speed/agility and hitting 3-4 times a week, along with maintaining a 4.0+ gpa and having plenty of patience throughout the process. Nina drew the interest of Claremont McKenna, Harvard, Yale, and University of Pennsylvania but chose Columbia because she liked the tight knit community, academics were top notch for her major of study - Neuroscience/Premed and the coaching staff / team complimented her personality so the fit was perfect. Her most memorable moment during her recruiting was when Coach Noonan asked Nina to be a Lion and Nina gladly said YES!!! Coach Bob said, "Nina ranks in my top 5 student-athletes to come through the Sting program and receive an opportunity to further her softball career while attending a prestigious college such as Columbia. I'm very happy for Sal and Jen and know they are very proud of Nina as I am! They all worked extremely hard researching every high academic school in the nation and bottom line is the hard work showed, with Nina going to Columbia!"
Kelsey Borello signing her NLI for University of San Diego
Lexi Belligan signing her NLI for University of Colorado - Colorado Springs
*newest commitments in BOLD
Class of 2016
Class of 2015
Class of 2014
Class of 2013
Class of 2012
Yes, that feeling of relief, excitement and anticipation once you have found your fit! Mari Kawano knows that feeling as she has accepted an offer from Coach Wallin to play at University of Hawaii - Hilo!
Mari's recruiting experience included an offer from another college and some colleges who recruited her hard over the past 6 months. Those colleges included: Weber State, College of Southern Nevada, UH-Hilo and Utah Valley State. Mari had also looked at UNLV and UC Riverside during her search.
Mari's top 3 reasons for choosing UH-Hilo were that they offered a great academic fit, she loves the Aloha spirit and the softball program. Her most memorable moments from the recruiting experience are:
- receiving her first offer (from a different college)
- her "official" visit to UH Hilo
- letting her parents know of her final decision
Mari plans to major in Psychology at UH Hilo.
Congratulations, Mari, Robert and Mary!
West Point breeds leaders, that is their focus. Playing softball for a military academy can seem like a daunting goal to near impossible for most, but not Maddie Kim. Small in stature, but with power that always surprised her opponents and college coaches, she generated alot of attention this past season. Coming off of a solid high school season, Maddie went right to work with upping that momentum in her travel ball summer campaign. She immediately caught the eye of lots of top schools including West Point (Army)softball. Understand that the application process for a military academy is much more rigorous and demanding, but the opportunity is hard to match!
Maddie had a stellar list of West point, UPenn, UC Davis and Colgate - all whom had expressed serious interest in her. In fact, UPenn had called her their top 2015 recruit!
After attending a camp at West Point in June and then a visit this past Fall to see Stanford play Army, Maddie knew that she had found her FIT! Her key reasons for choosing West Point (Army) are:
1) An opportunity to get a world class education as an athlete
2) Able to play for a great coaching staff- Head Coach DePolo, Asst. Coaches Ty and Cantillo, who believe in Maddie and are friendly, caring and very approachable
3) Wanting to give back as her Grandpa had always taught her, as well as, follwoing in her Uncle's footsteps. Maddie's Uncle Scott is a commander in the U.S. Coast Guard and he gave Maddie his blessing to attend West Point!
Maddie is interested in majoring in either pre-med or computer science. And her most memorable moments from her recruiting experience are:
1) "Seeing Coach DePolo actually come out to watch me play in Huntington Beach"
2) "Watching Army vs. Stanford football game from the field standing with more than 4,000 cadets in Michie stadium"
3) "Meeting the softball team at a tailgate event hosted by Coach DePolo and seeing how friendly, helpful, girly and down to earth they all were. I was even able to visit one of the cadet's dorm rooms too"
4) "Watching West Point softball take on Marist, meeting the Dean of Admissions at the game and watching the softball team saluting to the national anthem"
Maddie will be the first San Jose Sting player to attend West Point!!
Congratulations to Maddie,Dave and Meeran!
Maddie and the Army softball coaching staff. L to R: Asst. Coach Cantillo, Asst. Coach Singleton, Maddie and Head Coach DePolo
The Sting invasion of Cal Poly continues.....Megan Nordin will be joining her older sister, along with several other Sting players, who will play for Coach Condon at Cal Poly. Megan's list came into focus this past summer, with Cal Poly as her top choice. Megan was very interested in colleges in California that would provide a high quality of education, along with a competitive softball program. Cal Poly certainly met that criteria, plus being only 3 hours away from home was an added bonus!
In addition to Cal Poly, Megan was also looking at Sonoma State, Fullerton and Long Beach; with these colleges expressing interest in her as well.
Megan's top 3 memorable moments from the recruiting experience are:
1) Visiting the campus and attending many Cal Poly camps
2) Having Coach Condon see Megan hit a triple from her car, as she was leaving the tournament and letting Megan know that she had seen the triple!
3) Talking to Coach Condon and having coach tell her that they would "love to have me"!
Megan is planning on majoring in business at Cal Poly.
Congratulations to Megan and the Nordin family!!
Kelsey Borello recently wrapped up her college recruiting this past month and was happy to share her experiences with us.
Kelsey says that she chose USD because their campus is beautiful, it has a top notch law program, and she loves their softball coaching staff. Her final top choices of schools included: USD, UCLA, UCSD, U Penn. The colleges that had Kelsey at the top of their lists were: UCLA, U Penn, Lehigh, UCSD, USD, Colgate. Knowing that she would like to major in criminal law or business/marketing, her final list all excelled in these areas; which can make the choice harder, since you really couldn't go wrong with any of those schools!
Going on one last unofficial visit at UCLA and USD, Kelsey felt that USD was the right FIT for her. Kelsey's most memorable moment from the recruiting experience was the look on the USD's coaches faces when she told them she was committing there.
Sometimes being close to home can be a good thing! With CSUMB only an hour away, Maddy's family can come see her play and she bring that laundry home on weekend visits! For Maddy, her choices were all located in California and included CSUMB, SF State and Chico State. The colleges that were tracking her included CSUMB, Bethany College and SF State. In the end, Monterey Bay was the clear winner due to how Maddy felt when she was on campus and interacting with the coaching staff and team. Maddy is looking to major in either Communications or Sociology. Her best memories from the recruiting trail were her official visit, signing her letter and attending camps at Monterey Bay and working wiht her future coaches and teammates. Congratulation Madison!
Adriana was focused on some key components in her college search. She was looking for colleges that were close to home, so that her family could watch her play. The coaching staff was also a key factor, as well as, she really wanted a big city environment. She had looked at SF State, where her older sister Marisa had enjoyed success both academically and athletically; but Adriana was ready to make her own mark.
Intending to major in Criminal Justice, San Jose State was the perfect fit on all fronts for Adriana.
Adriana's three most memorables from the recruiting experience have been:
- finding out Coach Turner was interested in her
- finding out Coach Turner was interested in her
- the campus tour
- the Spartan softball camp
Congratulations Adriana, we are very proud of you!
Please forward any articles/box scores or player recaps (for all levels within the Sting Softball Organization) to the following e-mail address for website consideration:
The San Jose Sting is an independently operated California Corporation and is committed to being a superior girl's fastpitch softball organization.