Category Archives: News

Three Former Softball Factory Standouts Contributing to University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s 4-0 Fall Season Start

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Spartans are off to a hot 4-0 start this 2018 Fall Ball season and three Softball Factory alums have been key contributors to their perfect record.

Stephanie Bryden – Going into her senior season, Bryden has been making the most of her fall softball experience. In game one, a 13-7 victory over Charlotte, Bryden hit an RBI fielder’s choice in the third inning, and later crossed the plate to score a run herself on her teammate’s RBI double. Bryden also hit a double in the Spartan’s fall season debut.

Her success continued in games two and three of the fall season.

In the second fall contest, the pitcher and designated hitter threw four scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, one walk and no hits, helping to lead her team to a 7-2 win over Elon. The Miami, Fla. native then scored a run in an 8-5 victory over Duke in game three. Bryden attended the 2014 Under Armour Softball Factory Fall Showcase.

Katie Stettler – Stettler, a sophomore infielder and outfielder for the Spartans, has also been putting runs on the board for her team this fall.

The Powhatan, Va. Native smacked a clutch two-out single in the fifth inning and scored on a double in her team’s fall season debut. In the fourth inning of game two, she delivered another single and scored a second run on an RBI triple. Stettler drew an RBI walk in her team’s third win on the fall season and scored a run. The Softball Factory alum attended an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Richmond, Va. in May of 2015 and participated in the Softball Factory World Series in June of the same year.

Delaney Cumbie – Cumbie made quite the splash in game four of the fall season. The freshman infielder and outfielder slugged a grand slam to tie up the game at 4 in what would end up being a 6-5 walk off win over North Carolina.

The Dunn, N.C. native played for Team South Carolina under Softball Factory coaches Leah and Dave Majeski and has taken part in two Softball Factory events, an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Raleigh, N.C. in October of 2014 and the 2015 Softball Factory World Series.

Softball Factory Athlete Taylor Soanes Verbally Commits to Seton Hall University

Taylor Soanes with legendary softball pitcher, Jennie Finch (right) and Softball Factory’s Senior Director, Lea Ann Jarvis (right)

Softball Factory athlete and Ridge Point High School senior, Taylor Soanes has verbally committed to taking her softball and academic talents to Seton Hall University.

The Pirates are getting quite the well-rounded student-athlete, as Soanes makes the most of both being on a softball field and in the classroom.

The shortstop and second baseman earned All-District Second Team Infield honors in 2018 – after receiving an honorable mention for the award in 2017 – and made the All-District Academic team both years. Soanes, a planned Criminal Justice major, has also obtained Overall Academic Excellence (2016, 2017, 2018) and Individual Academic Excellence in US History (2018), French (2017) and English (2017) merits throughout her high school career.

Soanes credits the sport of softball with giving her such discipline.

“What I love most about softball is how it has shaped me into the person I am today,” Taylor said. “My strong work ethic, my determination and leadership have all been shaped by the game I have been playing since I was seven.”

The Missouri City, Texas native reveals she also loves the sport because it has brought her some of her closest friends. Meeting new people through softball is something Soanes enjoys and Softball Factory has allowed her to do just that.

“What I liked most about Softball Factory was getting to travel and meet new people who share the love of the game.”

Soanes has attended a total of seven Softball Factory events, including the 2017 & ’18 Softball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament, (in addition to participating in the 2019 event in January) will also answer “the feedback” when asked what she loves about Softball Factory.

“My biggest takeaways from each event has been awesome feedback to take my skills to the next level,” Soanes said. “Softball Factory has taught me how to apply the feedback I get at each event and use it in my game, whether it is by pushing through on extension or keeping my feet moving when fielding a ground ball.”

The future Pirate names one more key takeaway she gained from her experiences with Softball Factory.

“Another thing Softball Factory has taught me is how to approach and talk to college coaches the correct way, which helped me create many relationships with coaches across the US,” the 2019 high school grad states.

Soanes was able to put her relationship-building skills to the test when she met Seton Hall’s assistant coach, Daniel Nicolaiser.

“The recruiting was very long and exhausting. There were many times I felt like giving up,” Soanes admits. “But one day this summer, Coach Daniel came down to Texas for a hitting camp and saw something in me. He invited me up to a camp where I could perform in front of the Head Coach, Paige Smith. Following the camp, I was given a tour of the campus and immediately fell in love. After the camp and the tour, I headed in to New York City being a typical tourist, when I got a call from Coach Daniel offering me a spot of the team.”

The TX Intensity infielder could not be more thrilled with her decision and is looking forward to becoming a Pirate.

“Committing to Seton Hall University was the most exciting day ever!” she exclaims. “I can’t wait to experience a real winter! I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else!”

Five Softball Factory Alumni Selected to Tryout for 2019 USA Softball Women’s National Team

41 athletes have accepted their invites to try out for the 2019 USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) and five of them are familiar faces to the Softball Factory family.

The five Softball Factory alumni will participate in the WNT Selection Trials in Clearwater, Fla. on January 1-6 of 2019 in hopes to nab one of 18 spots on the 2019 USA Softball WNT Training Team roster. This roster will compete at the USA Softball International Cup and select International events, before getting knocked down to 15 athletes, who will then participate in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru beginning on July 31 and running through August 11.

When looking back on their 2018 seasons, it is easy to see why each of these Softball Factory Alumni received an invite:

Jocelyn Alo

Jocelyn Alo – Alo made an immediate impact on the 2018 Oklahoma Sooners roster and in her freshman season, having already penciled herself into the program’s record books.

The 2018 NFCA Freshman of the Year led the nation in home runs (30), tying the Oklahoma single-season record, the Big 12 single-season record, and the NCAA D1 Freshman single-season record for the home run category. The utility player started all 62 games, led the nation in total bases (170) and held her team’s top spot in batting average (.420), RBI (72), slugging (.977), on-base percentage (.594) and walks (14). The Hauula, Hawaii native took part in our Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in November of 2016.

Kelly Barnhill

Kelly Barnhill – Barnhill, a junior pitcher for the Florida Gators in 2018, was a force to be reckoned with on the mound. Her 1.08 ERA is fifth-best in the nation, and her 324 strikeouts are second-most in the country and the most recorded by a Southeastern Conference pitcher in 2018.

The recipient of the 2017 USA Softball Player of the Year Award was nominated for the same honor in 2018 and led the SEC in batters SO looking (94), wins (29) and games started (38). Barnhill hails from Marietta, Ga. and attended our Under Armour Softball Factory College PREP Program in Douglasville, Ga. in April of 2015.

Rachel Garcia – As a redshirt sophomore pitcher for the UCLA Bruins in 2018, Garcia could do it all.

In the circle, the 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year posted a team-leading ERA of 1.31, a 29-4 record and 315 strikeouts. At the plate, the espnW Player of the Year finished with a solid .339 batting average, 29 runs, 59 hits, six doubles, 54 RBI and 98 total bases. The 2018 Pac-12 Player of the Year also launched 11 home runs, the second-most on the team. Garcia, a Palmdale, Calif. native participated in an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Fresno, Calif. in November of 2014.

Amanda Lorenz – Lorenz, a junior outfielder for the Florida Gators in 2018, was the team’s hottest hitter. The Sport Management major held the top batting average on the team (.416) and led her team in runs (75), hits (74), doubles (19), triples (4), RBI (61), walks (70) and total bases (134). Her 11 home runs were the second-most by a Gator in 2018.

She led the SEC in doubles (19), on-base percentage (.582) and walks drawn (70). The Moorpark, Calif. native took part in an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Fresno, Calif. in November of 2014.

Bubba Nickles – Nickles’ bat and defense as a utility player for the UCLA Bruins made the sophomore a valuable part of her team’s 2018 season. Nickles registered a hot .413 batting average on the year, along with 36 runs, 76 hits, 14 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs, 52 RBI and 124 total bases.

The talented Bruin recorded 51 putouts on 53 chances with two assists and zero errors to give her a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage for the 2018 season. Nickles is from Merced, Calif. and attended our Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Fresno, Calif. in November of 2013.

Passion for Sport of Softball Becomes Sanctuary for Softball Factory Athlete Maxine Barnes

Maxine Barnes and Softball Factory coach Leah Majeski at an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Ashburn, Va. on 8/25/18

Softball is everything to Maxine Barnes. When times were difficult for the 2019 catcher and outfielder off the field, she found her safe haven in the outfield, catching and at the plate.

When others started to doubt her abilities as a player, however, she started to doubt herself as well and the sport that usually served as an escape from stress for Barnes was beginning to look like a source of it.

Participating in an Under Armour Softball Factory College PREP Program in Ashburn, Va. in August of 2017 reminded the Woodgrove High School senior student-athlete just how talented she is and got her on the track to committing to the University of South Carolina Upstate.

“I grew up with my life surrounded by sports. It was my escape,” Barnes says, explaining where her passion for the sport stems from. “I love softball because when I stepped out on that field, it was another home for me. The one place where no one could touch me. I wanted to be the best. This sport is my blood and I love every moment I’m out on the field.”

By the time she stepped onto the field for the Softball Factory event, however, the sport she viewed as her sanctuary was not giving her the weightless feeling she had before. The Purcellville, Va. native was letting the harsh opinions of others get to her head.

“I was struggling because I’d been told ‘you’re not good enough’ so many times I was starting to believe it,” Barnes confesses. “No matter what I did I wasn’t able to get the help I needed.”

On that August day, Barnes finally found that help she was looking for.

“Max came to our tryout last year and was pretty down on herself and frustrated in the process,” Softball Factory senior player development coordinator Chris Brown recalls. “She’s an absolute stud… one of the best players we have in the program. My jaw dropped the first time I saw her throw. I couldn’t comprehend how she wasn’t committed.”

When Barnes realized that the Softball Factory staff believed in her, she started to believe in herself again too.

“Softball Factory showed me that I was good enough, they were like another family for me,” the 2019 high school grad answers when asked what Softball Factory did to erase the insecurity she had been struggling with.

“My mom has always had my back, but Softball Factory showed me which door to open. I like how they score you among athletes across the country. They’ve really helped me realize my skill and they’ve taught me about a lot of the small pieces of the game, the pieces most people ignore.”

Maxine Barnes with Leah and Dave Majeski

Barnes went onto play in the Under Armour Softball Factory Fall Classic that November and took part in the Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout when it made its return to Ashburn, Va. in August of 2018.

The support of the Softball Factory staff kept her wanting more. Two of the Softball Factory coaches Barnes credits with boosting her self-confidence and getting her on the path to committing to USC Upstate are Leah and Dave Majeski.

“Coach Dave and Leah have been another family for me,” she says. “They took me under their wings and developed me into the player I am today. I got to play on their travel team, Team SC. I call them my softball parents.”

Being one of Barnes’ “softball parents” is a role Coach Leah Majeski enjoys.

“Maxine has been a dream to coach!” Majeski exclaims. “Her work ethic surpasses many athletes her age and she is such a wonderful kid. It was no surprise that USC Upstate wanted her the minute they saw her in action. “

The young and talented athlete is a two-time All-State centerfielder and catcher, the Loudoun County All-State player of the year and a three-time softball 4A state champion. When looking at her accomplishments it is easy to see that the future Spartan has made the most of her softball career so far, and she looks forward to playing at the next level with USC Upstate.

“It’s an honor to be committed to such an amazing program,” Barnes reveals. “I’m truly excited for my college career.”

Lauren Lofland Finds Her Confidence at 2018 Softball Factory World Series

Softball Factory Coach Leah Majeski with Lauren Lofland

It is not an easy thing to ask a teenager to step out of their comfort zone, travel hundreds of miles from home, meet new people and all the while, display a solid first impression of your softball skills to both your peers and Softball Factory coaches. But after arriving in mid-June at Softball Factory’s World Series event at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, right-handed pitcher and outfielder Lauren Lofland found her confidence and credits the Softball Factory coaching staff with helping her to do so.

“I went into the camp very nervous and had little confidence in my abilities,” the Paoli, Penn. native confesses. “When I got on the mound the second day, I gained confidence and learned that I can be just as good as the other players.”

Lofland calls the instruction given from the staff “high-level” and enjoyed the excitement and intensity that they brought to the table.

“The coaches and staff pushed me to work harder and be the best athlete I could be,” Lofland explains. “Even though the camp was for softball, they worked on making sure we all acted and performed like athletes.”

Lofland, who first attended an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Swarthmore, Penn. in December of 2017, appreciates the Softball Factory staff’s ability to not just coach young athletes about the physical skills you need for softball, but also the mentality required to be successful in the sport.

“The staff also touched on the mental side of the game, which is very important,” Lofland notes. “One of the best parts was that you were surrounded by girls just like you, that wanted to go to the next level and love the sport just as much as you do. I met so many amazing girls and to this day we still keep in touch. Two of the biggest takeaways from the event were the drills and new skills I gained, but the biggest takeaway was the confidence I gained in my abilities as a pitcher.”

Her boost in self-confidence has not gone unnoticed.

“My daughter has become a more confident player,” the 2020 high school grad’s mother, Linda Lofland shares. “Lauren gained assertiveness and owned the diamond during games. Her ability in her game was increased by the many repetitive drills and skill enhancements of positional play. She walked away a much stronger player from this event and when she was done she wanted to do it all over again.”

Coach Andrea Williamson, who played collegiately at Tennessee and later Marshall, as well as professionally with the Chicago Bandits and USSSA Pride, is one of the Softball Factory coaches who Lofland often attributes her newfound poise on the mound to.

“Coach Andi taught me that what is most important for pitchers is to have confidence in themselves and their pitches,” the Conestoga High School junior recalls. “Coach Andi helped show me the potential I had to be a strong pitcher. She made me feel confident in my pitches and helped prove to myself that I can go to the next level. She also taught me drills, such as long toss, that I have used ever since.”

Linda Lofland shares her daughter’s appreciation for Coach Andi.

“My daughter was impacted by the positive reinforcement of words and praise that came from the main pitching coach, Andi Williamson,” she shares. “These words meant a lot, as Andi is a former collegiate player as well as a former professional player. Her words of encouragement and praise built Lauren’s confidence which she exuded on the mound every game she played during the Softball Factory World Series. She walked away with new warmup tools and has been utilizing the distant warmup drill each week since.”

Lauren is an ideal athlete,” Williamson said. “She always gave 100 percent & was very receptive to all information given to her. You could tell she wanted to get better and take advantage of all the softball knowledge of our staff. She was constantly asking questions about the mental & physical aspects of the game. She’s a competitor and has great potential and I am excited to see what the future has in store for her.”

The Lofland family’s relationship with Softball Factory continues to grow as Lauren’s sister, Janie Lofland, who is 12 and will be working with the Factory as she will attend December’s Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Swarthmore, PA. Lauren Lofland encourages her sister to make the most of her Softball Factory experiences.

“I would tell my sister who will now be doing the same events with Softball Factory, to just be confident in your skills and to listen to what every coach and staff has to share because it really will help improve and make you a better player,” Lauren explains. “My sister will be impacted by the care and follow-through Softball Factory provides because they make learning the game fun and do demonstrations that will leave an impact on you.”

She recommends Softball Factory not just to her sister, but to anyone.

“For someone that has never done a Softball Factory event, but wants to get started, I would say they should definitely go for it!” the young athlete exclaims. “These events will change your perspective and mentality of the game. Not just your skills will improve, but your mental game will too.”

Softball Factory Alumni Nicole DeWitt and Randi Rupp Now Playing in the National Pro Fastpitch League

Softball Factory alumni Nicole DeWitt and Randi Rupp have taken the next step in their softball careers and have joined the National Pro Fastpitch League. Looking back at their collegiate careers it is easy to see why they were given the opportunity to play at the professional level.

DeWitt, who spent her collegiate career with the University of Florida, is now playing in both the infield and outfield for the USSSA Pride, after being selected by the league’s top team in the third round. The former Gator had a scorching hot bat her senior year, batting .326 and tallying 57 runs, 59 hits, 15 double, a triple, 57 RBI and a team-best 14 home runs.

The Garden Grove, Calif. native left her name all over the program’s record books. She is ranked third all-time in on base percentage (.474), fifth in runs scored (196), sixth in doubles (45), eighth in RBI (167), ninth in hits (223) and 10th in batting average (.328).

Randi Rupp

In her first season playing for the Pride, the 2015 WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship gold medalist has scored eight runs and has 12 hits, three doubles, a home run and eight RBI to her name. DeWitt attended the 2011 Softball Factory Ryan Lemmon Softball Showcase.

Rupp was selected by the Cleveland Comets with the fourth pick in the 2018 NPF Draft out of Texas State University. The right-handed pitcher and 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 25 Finalist had a senior year to remember, as she tossed 28 wins and 31 complete games – all while posting a 1.26 ERA and fanning 317 batters, the second-most in the NCAA. Her 110 career wins, 1,270 career strikeouts, 1057.1 career innings pitched, and 187 career appearances are all program bests.

The two-time Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year is also second in the Bobcat record books in career shutouts (42) and career complete games (106), and third in lowest career ERA (1.69).

Now a Comet, Rupp currently registers a 4.13 ERA and has notched five complete games and 46 strikeouts. The four-time NFCA All-Central Region Honoree and Mont Belvieu, Texas native participated in an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Pearland, Texas in October of 2011.

Softball Factory Athlete Abbey Smith Motivated To Continue Impressing After Early Verbal Commit to Auburn

Abbey at Softball Factory’s All-America Pre-Season Tournament

Two-time Softball Factory Pre-Season All-American Abbey Smith verbally committed to Auburn as an eighth grader and refuses to take her foot off the gas, despite having the next big step in her softball career locked down at such an early age.

“Verbally committing at the young age of 13 was stressful but relieving,” Smith recalls. “As a 13-year-old having to choose where I want to be in five years is a big task. I just had to believe in what my heart was telling me. I went to several different school camps and visited campuses, but Auburn felt right from my first visit there.”

The young athlete saw herself as an Auburn Tiger and did not turn back.

“I loved the coaches, the size of the campus, it had my intended field of study and I would be able to play against some of softball’s best players,” she explains. “After deciding that I wanted to be at Auburn, I was relieved. The part of choosing a school was done but I knew that I had to work even harder.”

Even though the weight of having to impress college coaches from various schools is off her shoulders, slowing down is not an option for Smith. She intends to make the most of the remainder of her high school and travel ball career.

“Some people that I know wanted to commit because they thought the pressure would be taken off them,” Smith says. “They are wrong. The pressure is on to keep your grades up, keep improving on your skills and to become a smarter player.”

Continuing to impress the coaches she has verbally committed to play for is important to the Austin, Texas native.

“I am motivated to work hard because I know that I have a lot that I need to improve on,” Smith says, understanding that they expect to see an even better version of herself. “The coaches are predicting how you will be in the future when they give you an offer. The Auburn coaches know that when I get there I should be a better and smarter player. I need to keep improving so I can be what they expected or better than what they expected I would be.”

Smith also knows that putting in hard work now can help get her in the Tigers starting lineup sooner than later.

Abbey with Bowie HS Softball Team

“I just don’t want to be at the college and on the team.” she states. “I want to have a starting spot from freshman year. I have to work hard to beat out other players.”

Smith, who has been named District 14-6A Newcomer of the Year, as well as making the District 14-6A First Team and All- Academic Team, has put up numbers for Bowie High School that demonstrate how hard she has been working since verbally committing to Auburn.

Through 22 games this season she carries a .575 batting average, 46 hits, four doubles and three triples, all while stealing a perfect 19 bases on 19 attempts. In 17 games for the Diamond Sports Hotshots, she batted .537 with 22 hits and a double and a triple each.

The future Physical Therapy major hopes to become the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, make the SEC All-Freshman team and win the College World Series, as well as maintain an A average in all her classes when she does reach the next level. Beyond college, she aspires to represent the USA in the Olympics someday.

Smith, who has attended two Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryouts in addition to her two Pre-Season All-American appearances, views Softball Factory as a means to keep improving herself and gain the valuable input and insight that she is seeking as she waits to sport her Tigers jersey.

“She doesn’t want to sit still,” her father, Mike Smith, explains. “She sees Softball Factory as a way to keep grinding and see where she stacks up against other softball players across the country. She doesn’t want to be complacent.”

Abbey with Softball Factory’s Senior Director, Lea Ann Jarvis and legendary softball pitcher, Jennie Finch

The coaches are another reason the young softball star continues her relationship with Softball Factory.

“The best thing about my Softball Factory experience was getting to work with some of the best coaches out there and working on fine tuning my skills,” Smith shares. “I also loved listening to Jennie Finch and other professionals talk at the Pre-Season event. They didn’t just talk about form and softball drills. They talked about the type of attitude players should have, being coachable and the good characteristics players should have.”

Softball Factory’s Senior Director Lea Ann Jarvis is one of those coaches who have had a positive impact on Smith’s softball career.

“Coach Jarvis is a great coach in many ways,” Smith exclaims. “She pushes all the players that come to the Softball Factory camps and the games. She doesn’t accept excuses. She expects you to listen the first time and just do it.”

For Coach Jarvis, the enjoyment of working with Smith is mutual.

“She doesn’t have to be coached on her effort and attitude,” Jarvis says, praising Smith. “She shows up everyday ready to learn, get better and make the game better. I have enjoyed working with Abbey and can’t wait to see her play at the next level!”

Softball Factory Alum Skyler Shellmyer Commits to Northwestern University

Skyler Shellmyer playing with her Urbandale High School softball team

Softball Factory alum Skyler Shellmyer has committed to taking her softball talents to Northwestern University and has received a scholarship for her outstanding efforts on the field.

“It was a deep sigh of relief [to commit],” Shellmyer admits. “It was an amazing process, but it was also very stressful. I was very, very happy to receive a scholarship from Northwestern because I have worked hard at my game, and I have put the hours in. This is my craft, so it feels great finally getting rewarded by it!”

Shellmyer, who was ranked the #25 recruit in the Nation for the class of 2018 by Flo Softball, has put up numbers throughout her softball career that make it easy to understand why Northwestern wants her in a Wildcats jersey. The senior shortstop and leadoff batter for the Urbandale High School J-Hawks first joined the high school team as an eighth grader and has seen action as a starter in all 185 games she has played in ever since, collecting Second Team-All State accolades that first year, and First Team All-State in the three years that followed. In addition to that, she has also been named to the Iowa State High School All-Tournament Team those three years.

In route to becoming a Wildcat, Shellmyer has made sure to leave her mark at Urbandale as a J-Hawk, currently holding the school’s records in most career at-bats (623), runs (234) and hits (327), as well as highest career batting average (.528). Her impressive 327 hits are approaching a national NFHS record and her 103 RBI, 33 doubles, 20 triples, 11 home runs and 114 stolen bases are on pace to break five more high school records.

Skyler with Coach Browder (left) and Coach Jarvis (right) at 2014 Softball Factory Christmas Camp & Tournament

The Urbandale, IA native has attended eight different Softball Factory events, including a National Tryout, Softball Factory Fall Classic and the 2015 Softball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament to name a few, and Shellmyer and her family credit Softball Factory as something that helped her prepare for this moment.

“Softball Factory definitely taught me to work hard,” Shellmyer answered when asked what she has enjoyed most about working with Softball Factory over the past four years. “All the camps I went to were long days and short nights. We would have to get up at six in the morning, play and work all day and we probably wouldn’t go to bed until 11 that night, and then we would have to do it all again. Nothing has been harder than that. They taught me how to work hard and that if I want something I’m going to have to work my butt off to get it. It’s not going to come easy and those camps were definitely not easy.”

The hard work put in gave Skyler all the confidence she needed to raise her game and to prepare for the next level.

“Softball Factory helped me a lot with my base running. It gave me more confidence on the bases and it helped me work on my lead offs. Playing college softball is going to be hard… especially the practices, and I think Softball Factory really prepares one for those hard practices. Looking back at it, if I can make it through four 12-hour days with Softball Factory, I can make it through any softball practice no matter how long it is.

In addition to work on the field, Shellmyer credits Softball Factory with providing the ground work with what the college recruiting process was going to be like.

“On the recruiting side, the coaches were super realistic with things,” Skyler said. “They taught me to be respectful on and off the field and always be wary about my social media and what I post. And with the high-level tournaments, they definitely exposed me to a decent amount of colleges and created a whole resume for me at Softball Factory.”

Her dad, Chad Shellmyer, echoes his daughter’s sentiments, remembering two Softball Factory events in particular that changed everything.

“The Vero Beach experience was a game changer for us… it was a glimpse at what college ball players must go through and endure. It strengthened our daughter’s maturity of the game. Having to be on your own for a week with the game we love is a challenge and a great experience. It formed goals and helped make decisions as to what level we really wanted to play at. It was the first touch of some Division I schools that were interested.”

“The Oklahoma City experience was an eye opener!” he remembers. “To be around those players and see some of the players that Skyler played against… that opened our eyes to see we can do this. The teammates and friends made through the Softball Factory have endured as well. My wife and I are still friends with some of them, and Sky has met many players through the Softball Factory, broadening her circle.”

Shellmyer, who is a member of the school’s Track and Field team in addition to softball, also credits being a two-sport athlete as something that’s helped to grow her game.

“With track specifically, I think it has helped me with my endurance and work ethic,” she reveals. “Being a two-sport athlete in general I think has made me stronger both mentally and physically.”

Skyler is excited to find out what the future holds for her softball career.

“The first thing on my plate right now is finishing my high school career strong,” she answered when asked what her goals are moving forward, “But moving on to college, one of my goals is to start at short stop at Northwestern. I also want to be a four time All-American and then eventually play on the Olympic team and maybe even move on to professional softball.”

Six Softball Factory Alums Named 2017-2018 Gatorade State Softball Players of the Year

This week, Gatorade announced the winners of the 2017-18 Gatorade State Softball Players of the Year and Softball Factory is proud to announce that six former athletes were recognized as the best player in the state they reside in.

We congratulate all 49 winners this year and especially to our Softball Factory alums who have received this honor.

The six Softball Factory athletes are:

Hallie Wacaser – SS/RHP – Arkansas

Wacaser is a sophomore at Bentonville HS hit .485 with 10 home runs, 42 RBI, 14 steals, a .548 on-base percentage and slugged .970 to help lead her team to the Arkansas Class 7A State Championship Game. In the circle, she finished 3-0 with a 3.36 ERA and 20 strikeouts.

Hallie participated in the 2015 Under Armour Softball Factory Southwest Championships.

Nicole Marcon – C/1B – Delaware

Marcon is a junior at Caravel Academy in Bear, DE and put together a fine season for the Buccaneers this past season. She hit .520 with eight homers, 25 RBI and a slugging percentage of 1.140.

Nicole played in the 2014 Under Armour Softball Factory Fall Classic Showcase.

Ashley Prange – SS – Indiana

Prange played short stop for New Palestine High School in New Palestine, IN and dominated with the bat, hitting .591 with 16 homers, 64 RBI. Prange is Indiana’s state single-season record-holder for home runs and she is a First Team All-State selection.

Softball Factory scouts and coaches first saw Ashley at an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Bloomington, IN in June of 2013 and six months later, was part of Softball Factory’s Christmas Camp & Tournament in Vero Beach, FL at Historic Dodgertown.

Campbell Kline

Campbell Kline – SS – Maryland

Kline is a junior short stop from Severna Park High School in Severna Park, MD. Part of the Falcons Class 4A State Championship team, Kline was a big reason the team won it all. She hit .750 with 12 doubles, six triples, eight home runs, 53 runs scored, 39 RBI and a 1.272 slugging percentage.

She’s been breaking state records along the way, as she had a Maryland record of 69 hits with 24 multi-hit games, and her 148 career hits is just 18 shy of the state record. She’ll get her shot to do so next year, where she will carry a 32-game hitting streak into her senior season.

Campbell attended an Under Armour Softball Factory College PREP event in Glen Arm, MD back in March of 2016.

Abby Rochette

Abby Rochette –  RHP/OF – New Hampshire

Abby is a junior at Concord High School in Concord, NH. Rochette put together an excellent season inside the circle, going 12-1 with a 0.92 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings. She pitched 10 complete games and tossed three no-hitters on the season. Rochette also hit .403  with 23 runs scored for the Crimson Tide.

Rochette got her start at an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout event in Wilmington, DE in July of 2016.

Riley Magoon

Riley Magoon – RHP/1B – Vermont

Magoon is a senior at Colchester HS in Vermont and went 8-1 in the circle this past season with a 0.96 ERA. She struck out 109 hitters to just nine walks in 51 innings. She also hit .719 with six home runs and 49 RBI in 16 games. Riley is also a three-time First Team All-Metro League selection.

Magoon attended the same event as Rochette back in July of 2016, getting her start at an Under Armour Softball Factory College PREP event in Delaware.

The Gatorade State Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize the nation’s most outstanding high school student-athletes for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.

Softball Factory Alumni Notebook (Week of 5/28/18)

Each week in the Alumni Notebook, we highlight Softball Factory alums who are performing well at all levels of college softball.

Division I

Jocelyn Alo

Jocelyn Alo – Alo, a freshman utility player for the Oklahoma Sooners, has been known for her explosive bat all year and has showed no signs of slowing down in the postseason. The nation’s leader in home runs has collected 28 in total so far this season, notching her 28th—a two-run shot – in a 9-0 victory over Arkansas in the NCAA Norman Super Regional last Saturday. The win punched the two-time defending national champion Sooners a ticket to the 2018 Women’s College World Series for a chance to win their third-straight NCAA title. Alo currently holds the team’s top batting average (.415) and the best slugging percentage (.970) in the Big 12 Conference. She has tallied 62 runs, 68 hits, seven doubles and 46 walks drawn. The 2018 NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year owns the most RBI in the Big 12 with 70. Alo hails from Hauula, Hawaii and attended our Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in November of 2016.

Amanda Lorenz – Lorenz, a junior outfielder for the Florida Gators, scored a critical run for her team in a 5-3 win over Texas A&M in a deciding Game 3 of the Gainesville Super Regional sending UF to the 2018 WCWS. The Gators were down 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, when Lorenz and a teammate both drew walks to get on base. A walk-off three-run home run would then go sailing over the fence, giving the Gators the come-from-behind victory. The walk issued to Lorenz should not come as a surprise as the Moorpark, Calif. native’s sharp eye at the plate has drawn the most walks in the Southeastern Conference (66). The Sport Management major been an asset to her team all season, recording 72 runs, 74 hits, 19 doubles (tied for the most in the SEC), four triples, 11 home runs and 61 RBI. Her .433 average is the best on the Gators roster and third-highest in the SEC while her team-leading .784 slugging percentage is the second-highest in the conference. Lorenz participated in an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Fresno, Calif. in November of 2014.

Rachel Garcia – Garcia (27-3) is a redshirt sophomore for the UCLA Bruins who has been a crucial part of her team’s success this season. The 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year pitched a complete-game four-hitter in a 3-2 Bruins victory over Arizona on Friday to help sweep the Los Angeles Super Regional and advance to the 2018 WCWS. Her 1.02 ERA is the best on the team and she has tossed 18 complete games – nine of them shutouts – this season. Garcia has pitched in all seven games of the NCAA Tournament so far with a 6-1 record and 0.83 ERA. 55 of her 273 strikeouts on the year have come in the postseason. The espnW Player of the Year has also been hot at the plate in the tournament, batting .364 with two home runs and nine RBI, the most on the Bruins roster. The 2018 Pac-12 Player of the Year is from Palmdale, Calif. and took part in an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Fresno, Calif. in November of 2014.

Bubba Nickles

Bubba Nickles – Nickles, a sophomore utility player for the UCLA Bruins, had a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate in her team’s 3-2 win over Arizona that landed the Bruins their fourth WCWS appearance in a row, a record 28th all-time. One of her three hits, a single in the third inning, would drive in the game’s tying run. Nickles’ .405 batting average is the second-highest on the team and she has registered an impressive 31 runs, 70 hits, 13 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 49 RBI in 2018. The Merced, Calif. native has recorded 46 putouts with two assists and totes a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. She participated in an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Fresno, Calif. in November of 2013.

Jade Gortarez – Gortarez is a sophomore infielder for the Arizona State Sun Devils who picked up a single and a run in a 5-2 win on Saturday over the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Tempe Super Regional, locking the Sun Devils in for the 2018 WCWS. The Riverside, Calif. native has been a weapon for the Sun Devils this season at the plate, batting a solid .293 with a team-best 42 runs, as well as 56 hits 10 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 39 RBI. Gortarez, a baseball player throughout her high school career, attended the 2014 Under Armour Baseball Factory Southwest Championship.