Tag Archives: college prep

Former Pre Season All American Tijerina Commits to NAIA School

Bonnie Jean Tijerina

The softball program at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas has only been around since 2010 but have already emerged as a powerhouse in the Red River Athletic Conference. The Saints have made an appearance in the post season six out of the past seven years and they are gearing up to continue that streak.

On Monday, Bonnie Jean Tijerina signed to play for the Saints, who are led by head coach James Kling. 

Taking after her father Tano, a former professional baseball player, Bonnie began playing softball at the age of nine and by sixth grade was dominating on the softball field. As a United High School freshman, Bonnie joined the varsity softball team where she has played all four years. 

We first saw Tijerina at a January 2013 College PREP event in San Antonio, TX. Only a sophomore in high school, Softball Factory coaches saw something special in the versatile player.

“Bonnie Jean is a talented young 1B with a ton of potential.” reads one of her early evaluations. “Overall, Bonnie Jean has a bright future in this game if she remains committed and continues to find ways to get better and challenger herself.” 

Bonnie Jean has done just that. Since 2013, she has been selected to participate in multiple high level, invite-only events including the 2013 Softball Factory Christmas Camp & Tournament and the 2014 Softball Factory Pre Season All American Tournament.

“Overall, she is a leader on the field with good presence and necessary components to be a competitor,” said Lea Ann Jarvis, Senior Director of Softball Factory, after seeing Bonnie at a tournament in 2014. “She has a solid athletic ability to help aid in her continued development as a player.”

Bonnie Jean, center, with her family and coach

Bonnie verbally committed to play at Our Lady of the Lake University in February 2016.

“Thanks to Softball Factory and all the coaches that invested in her, she is going on to the next level,” said her father by email. “They [Coach Griffin and Coach Jarvis] made a huge impact on her future.” 

Softball Factory Alumnae Makes Verbal Commitment

Kimberly Wert, ’17

When Kimberly Wert was 10 years old she decided that she wanted to play collegiate softball. Since then she’s worked hard to achieve her dreams. Last year after a summer of travels and college visits she made the decision and verbally committed to play at Hofstra University in New York.

Wert, who primarily plays catcher, had been heavily recruited by colleges and universities for two years prior to making her decision to attend the Colonial Athletic Association Division I school.

Softball Factory Senior Director Lea Ann Jarvis remembers seeing Kimberly at her first College PREP event in Bel Air, MD.

“She had a great skill set as a catcher, great pop time,” said Jarvis. “She really understood how to play the position.”

Jarvis went on to say that as strong as she is defensively Kimberly can also produce offensively, noting that Wert is a solid gap-to-gap hitter.

Kimberly joined the Factory family in 2013 and since then has been invited to compete in Under Armour Softball Factory National Team events around the country.

“She [Kimberly] has a great attitude about the game and a great work ethic to go along with it.” Jarvis said, “I felt like she gave back to the game what she was getting out of it and to me that’s one of the most important qualities in a player. I look forward to seeing her success at the next level.”

Sophomore Rainey Already Drawing Interest From Top College Programs

Savanna Rainey

Basketball is in her blood, but softball is in her heart. She had been playing basketball since kindergarten, but when Savanna Rainey was in the fourth grade she bought a bat and a glove and went to Verona Little League tryouts. The rest of her story is still being written, but there’s no doubt that her talent is going to take her places.

Savanna eventually gave up basketball to play on more competitive travel softball teams and so that she could attend camps across the country. The young catcher’s talents were recognized by Softball Factory coaches at her first College PREP event in 2013 and again at the Softball Factory Christmas Camp and Tournament in December of 2014.

Kristina Hilberth-Wyatt was an On Field Director at the 2014 Christmas Camp and Tournament and was able to evaluate Savanna’s performance. 

“Savanna understands the game, makes good adjustments, and wants to get better every day,” said Hilberth-Wyatt. “Her hard work and passion for the game will have an immediate impact on a talented team.”

The Softball Factory Christmas Camp and Tournament is a high level invite-only event held every year at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida.

“The Softball Factory Christmas Camp was a great experience for me. I appreciated being coached and taught by the highest level of players like Hannah Rodgers,” says Savanna. “I also met a lot of awesome players from all over the country that I continue to stay in touch with. It is fun to watch who is committing and to where.”

Her parents, Andi & Reggie Rainey, echo Savanna’s thoughts: “The Softball Factory Christmas Camp was a great investment. We appreciated how well the camp was run as well as the tournament portion. We loved the one-on-one interaction our daughter received with Lea Ann. We continue to stay in contact with her and she has been helpful in the recruiting process for Savanna.”

Although she cannot officially be recruited until September 1st of her junior year, Savanna has been invited to camps and on unofficial visits by Division 1 programs including Tennessee, Florida, Florida State, the University of Central Florida, Washington and Syracuse.

Senior Director of Softball Factory Lea Ann Jarvis said that she knows Savanna will be very good anywhere she chooses to go.

“I think Savanna will be a great prospect, a great player, anywhere.” Jarvis said. “She’s very athletic, she’s got a great mindset for the game, extremely coachable, does things the right way…in reference to the game and off the field, and she’s got just a really good head on her shoulders.”

Important Changes to the PSAT

Some big changes have been made to the PSAT that will help to further define ways to emphasize skills of students and athletes to potential colleges. 

The PSAT is a standardized test administered by the College Board and cosponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), taken by high school sophomores and juniors in the United States. The test was first administered in 1971 and has gone through major updates as the education system has changed. The PSAT score is meant to predict a student’s SAT score and prepare them for the SAT. The new PSAT is applicable to all students and athletes.

Things to keep in mind about the new PSAT:

    • Unlike the old PSAT, the redesigned PSAT gives no penalties for wrong answers
    • The content of the new PSAT is meant to be more evidence and context-based, featuring real-world scenarios and data analysis
    • Emphasized skills include depth of analysis, interpretation of a word or idea in context, and multi-step problem solving

“The objective of these new tests is to reward students, not trick them,” said Bernadette Bechta, Academic Advisor for Factory Athletics.

By taking the PSAT students are able to qualify as a National Merit Semifinalist. Being named a Semifinalist is a huge academic achievement and will enhance college applications. It also means that a student can apply to be a Finalist and potentially win a scholarship from the NMSC or Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

“The benefit of the new PSAT/SAT is that it will reward students who study regularly and are knowledgable about the content they are learning in school,” says Bechta.

More information, including updated qualifying scores for each state, can be found on the PrepScholar website, here.