Tag Archives: Softball Factory Christmas Camp & Tournament

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.” 

Audrey Lyle Commits to Division I Belmont University

Audrey Lyle, ’18

On April 11th, after considering multiple offers, Audrey Lyle verbally committed to continuing her education and softball career at Division I Belmont University. Five days later she hit her first high school career home run for the Westlake Demons as a sophomore on the varsity team.

Ryan Schweikert has been Audrey’s Softball Factory Player Development Coordinator since 2013 and has seen her transform into a competitive athlete.

“Audrey progressed [over the past few years] extremely fast for a girl her age. She has a great work ethic and a great support system [in her family] that has helped turn her into a Division I player,” said Schweikert.

Lyle began her journey with Softball Factory in 2013, attending a national tryout in her home state of Ohio. Since then she has attended multiple high level, invite-only events including Select Training at Vero Beach, 2014 Softball Factory Christmas Camp and Tournament, and the 2016 All-American Pre-Season Tournament.

Evaluations at these events are done by Softball Factory on-field directors and coaches. Audrey’s evaluations consistently praised her advanced techniques, improvement between events, and the hard work she put in to get there.

“I am so thankful for all of the support and instruction I have received from the Softball Factory and its coaches over the past few years,” said Audrey by email. “They taught me how to become a better softball player and person.”

Audrey’s parents, Rick and Laura Lyle, are thrilled to see their daughter find her future home at Belmont.

“The campus and its coaches and players were everything she could have imagined when looking for a place to call home,” said her mother Laura, “She is going to keep working hard so that she gets to Belmont ready to contribute, both on the field and off.”

Freshman Gillet Making Huge Impact at Centenary

Wendy Gillet

The Centenary College of Louisiana softball team finished the regular season with their best record in seven years. The Ladies won 13 more games this year than last to finish 20-20 (.500).

Freshman Wendy Gillet made an immediate impact this season, leading all Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference freshmen in batting average (.425), hits (54), RBI’s (37), doubles (15), home runs (4), and fielding percentage (.996–1 error in 262 chances).

Wendy, a first baseman, started in all 40 games for the Ladies this season. She led the team in batting average, hits, slugging percentage, and on base percentage.

She ranks first in fielding percentage, third in average, second in hits, fifth in RBI’s, third in doubles, and fourth in home runs overall in the conference.

Wendy participated in many events since joining Softball Factory in 2011. Most notably, she was selected to participate in both the 2011 and 2012 Softball Factory Christmas Camp and Tournament. She was also selected to play in the 2014 and 2015 All-American Pre-Season Tournaments. Softball Factory coaches continually evaluated her positively, praising her efforts both on and off the field, “She has great field awareness and is willing to step up and lead her team.”

To finish out the regular season, Gillet earned her second SCAC Offensive Player of the Week nod.

The Ladies are the 5th seed in the conference tournament, which begins Friday April 23. They will play against the 4th seed, Southwestern.

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.”