Tag Archives: NAIA

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.” 

College Spotlight – Sterling College

Sterling College

Division: NAIA

Conference: Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference

Nickname: Warriors

School Size: 700

Mailing Address: 125 West Cooper Avenue, Sterling, KS 67579

Team Site: Sterling College Softball

Head Coach:

Josh Musselman- Jmusselman@sterling.edu

Program Highlights:

    • 2016 will be Coach Musselman 3nd season with the Warriors
    • In 2015 the Lady Warriors finished the season with a 28-19 overall record, including a 9-9 KCAC record, for seventh place
    • Last season Sterling ranked first in the nation in stolen bases per game (3.57), second in total stolen bases (168), and twelfth in the nation in triples (16)

Schedule Highlights:

Sterling College will open up the 2016 season at the Southwestern Assemblies of God University

The Warriors first home game will be a doubleheader vs Briar Cliff University on March 26th

For more highlights of the Warriors 2016 season, click here.

To fill out a recruiting questionnaire, click here.

College Spotlight – Texas Wesleyan University


Texas Wesleyan University

Division: NAIA

Conference: Sooner Athletic Conference

Nickname: Rams

School Size: 2,600

Mailing Address: 1201 Wesleyan Street, Fort Worth, TX 76105

Team Site: Texas Wesleyan University Softball

Head Coach:

Shannon Gower – sgower@txwes.edu

Program Highlights:

  • Coach Gower has been with the Rams for 13 seasons
  • Coach Gower has coached 36 All-Conference players, five Conference Players of the Year, nine NAIA Scholar-Athletes, and one All-American
  • The Rams have made 2 conference appearances in the past 5 years
  • The Rams have made one appearance at the NAIA National Championship Opening Round (2012)

Schedule Highlights:

The Rams will open their 2016 season with a doubleheader at home on March 8th facing Oklahoma City University

For a full schedule of the Rams 2016 season, click here.

To fill out a recruiting questionnaire, click here.

College Spotlight – University of Saint Mary

SaintMaryUniversity of Saint Mary

Division: NAIA

Conference: KCAC

Nickname: Spires

School Size: 1,400

Mailing Address: 4100 S. 4th St., Leavenworth, KS 66048

Team Site: University of Saint Mary Softball Website

Head Coach:

Michael Evans – evansm@stmary.edu

Program Highlights:

  • Coach Evans enters his third season as Spires head coach in 2016
  • Saint Mary finished 2015 with a record of 32-20 and 12-6 in conference play. They lost in the KCAC Conference Tournament to Ottawa University
  • Senior outfielder Ceara Barker was third in batting average in the KCAC last season, hitting .419, blasting 13 home runs and was sixth in the conference in RBI (48)
  • Junior pitcher Taryn Kelly was second in earned run average in the KCAC last season (2.08)
  • Saint Mary softball saw seven players named to the All-KCAC Teams in 2015. Junior pitcher Ashley Schmidt, as well as Barker and Kelly were all named First-Team. Junior infielder Ashlee Vivirito and junior catcher Maria West were named to Second-Team. Junior infielder Samantha Villegas and sophomore pitcher Jordan Petersen were named Honorable Mentions

Schedule Highlights:

  • The Spires will begin the 2016 season playing in the Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, TX on February 12th and 13th.
  • The rest of the Spires 2016 schedule can be found here.

Questions about recruiting? A beneficial questionnaire can be found here.

College Spotlight – Siena Heights University

SienaHeightsSaintsSiena Heights University

Division: NAIA

Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference

Nickname: Saints

School Size: 1,200

Mailing Address: 1247 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI 49221

Team Site: Siena Heights University Softball Website

Twitter: @shusaints

Head Coach:

Laura Klutsarits – lklutsar@sienaheights.edu

Program Highlights:

  • Coach Klutsarits completed her 10th season as Saints head coach in 2015, as the team finished with an overall record of 23-21
  • Coach Klutsarits is eight wins away from 200 in her Saints coaching career
  • In her fifteen years of coaching, Klutsarits has coached five All-Americans, 67 All-Conference Players, and 41 Academic All-Americans
  • Minimum Academic requirements are a 2.5 GPA and an 18 on the ACT
  • The Saints were honored this month by the NFCA, ranking third in the NAIA for top 10 academic teams (the team ended the academic year with a team GPA of 3.562)

Schedule Highlights:

The Saints begin the 2016 season with games at Indiana Southeast on February 27th & 28th

To view the rest of the Saints 2016 schedule, click here.

Questions about recruiting? A beneficial questionnaire can be found here.

College Spotlight – Auburn Montgomery

PrintAuburn Montgomery

Division: NAIA

Conference: Southern States Athletic Conference

Nickname: Warhawks

School Size: 5,000

Mailing Address: 7031 Senator Drive, Montgomery, AL 36124

Team Site: Auburn Montgomery Softball Website

Twitter: @AUMathletics

Head Coach:

Eric Newell

Program Highlights:

  • Coach Newell will enter his second season as Warhawks head coach in 2016 as both he and his coaching staff were named the NFCA Coaching Staff of the Year
  • Led Auburn Montgomery to its second straight NAIA Championship after defeating Lindsey Wilson in the NAIA World Series Finals last season, finishing the season 46-9
  • The team also won the NAIA National Championship in 2014 with a 44-7 record, defeating William Carey University
  • The Warhawks have a strong recruiting class coming in for the 2015-16 season, getting Junior College standouts Rachel Ragland (pitcher/outfielder – Wallace State Community College) and Sydney Dishman (catcher – Shelton State Community College)
  • In 2015, Warhawks’ senior pitcher Cassie Jones was named an NAIA All-American and was the NAIA Player of the Year. Senior third baseman Katie Spain was an NAIA All-American honorable mention

Questions about recruiting? A beneficial questionnaire can be found here.

College Spotlight – Ottawa University

Ottawa_Braves_LogoOttawa University

Division: NAIA

Conference: KCAC

Nickname: Braves

School Size: 650

Mailing Address: 1001 S Cedar, Ottawa, KS 66067

Team Site: Ottawa Braves Softball

Twitter: @BravesAthletics

Head Coach:

Jay Kahnt – jay.kahnt@ottawa.edu

Program Highlights:

  • Coach Kahnt enters his 15th season as Braves head coach, having coached 86 All-KCAC selections, six first team All-Region IV selections, nine NFCA All-Midwest Region Selections, two KCAC Players of the Year, one KCAC Pitcher of the Year, and the program’s first NAIA All-American and Region IV Player of the Year
  • The Braves Softball program finished with an overall record of 28-18 with a second place finish in the KCAC with a record of 14-4 in 2015.
  • Ottawa had seven players earn All-KCAC honors; Elisa Valenzuela and Gabby Markham were both First Team selections with Markham being named Co-KCAC Pitcher of the Year. Anna Morgan, Sly Kelley, and Brooke McHale were named Second Team All-KCAC while Molli Morgan and Lydia Budke were selected Honorable Mention All-KCAC
  • Braves have made 3 appearances in the NAIA Softball World Series Tournament and won back-to-back KCAC Championships in 2010 and 2011

Schedule Highlights:

The Braves begin their 2016 season with a matchup on February 6th against Avila University and a home matchup on February 13th against Hastings College

The Braves 2016 schedule can be found here.

Questions about recruiting? A beneficial questionnaire can be found here.

College Spotlight – Missouri Baptist University

spartan_2011_markMissouri Baptist University

Division: NAIA

Conference: American Midwest

Nickname: Spartans

School Size: 4,000

Mailing Address: 1 College Park Dr., St. Louis, MO 63141

Team Site: Missouri Baptist University Softball Website

Twitter: @MBUAthletics

Head Coach:

Craig Walston

Program Highlights:

  • Coach Walston has been the Head Softball Coach at MBU since 2006
  • In the past 10 years the Spartans have made an appearance in the American Midwest Conference Tournament every year
  • The Spartans finished last season with a record of 27-16
  • The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) named senior Corey Pitchford to the Second-Team All-Midwest Region as a second baseman, while junior Payton Anderson was named First-Team All-Midwest Region as a catcher. Pitchford finished second on the team with a .396 batting average, while Anderson led the Spartans with a .429 batting average, breaking school records in home runs (12), RBI (46), total bases (102), and slugging percentage (.817).

Questions about recruiting? A beneficial questionnaire can be found here.

College Spotlight – Central Methodist

CMU-LogoCentral Methodist

Division: NAIA

Conference: Heart of America Athletic Conference

Nickname: Eagles

School Size: 1,100

Mailing Address: 411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette, MO 65248

Team Site: Central Methodist Eagles Softball Website

Twitter: @CMUeaglesSBB

Head Coach:

Pat Reardon – preardon@centralmethodist.edu

Program Highlights:

  • Coach Reardon just wrapped up his 23rd season as Eagles head coach, compiling a 647-467-2 record
  • Reardon has posted seven straight seasons of 30 wins or more, as well as four-straight HAAC regular-season and three-straight championship series titles during his tenure
  • In 2015, the Eagles finished the season 45-10 with a perfect 18-0 conference record and 13-1 at home. They advanced all the way to the NAIA World Series before losing to Oregon Institute of Technology, 4-3 in 16 innings
  • The Eagles landed four players on the 2015 NAIA All-America Team, including catcher Michele Rupard and pitcher Haley Kinnison, who made second-team honors. First baseman Lauren Geringer and third baseman Bri Boatwright were selected to honorable mention honors

Questions about recruiting? A beneficial questionnaire can be found here.

College Spotlight – Grace College

GraceCollegeGrace College

Division: NAIA

Conference: Crossroads League

Nickname: Lancers

School Size: 1,400

Mailing Address: 200 Seminary Drive, Winona Lake, IN 46590

Team Site: Grace College Softball Website

Head Coach:

Heather Johnson – heather.johnson@grace.edu

Program Highlights:

  • Coach Johnson, a highly decorated Grace College alum, has been Lancers head coach for the last six seasons, with the team finishing 32-27 this season making it all the way to the 2015 NCCAA World Series, losing to No. 1 seed Judson
  • The program celebrated its first 30-win season in 21 years and its first winning season in 18 years in 2015
  • Brooke Shell was named a NCCAA First Team All-American and Clarissa Knight was named as a Second Team All-American. Shell set team records in batting average, (.434) career hits (260), doubles (32), triples (19) and stolen bases with (73).
  • The 2014 and 2015 campaigns marked the first consecutive national tournaments in program history
  • The Lancers recruit mainly from Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota and Illinois

Questions about recruiting? A beneficial questionnaire can be found here.