South Dakota State head softball coach Kim Aggabao announced the signing of five players on Wednesday, all of whom signed a national letter of intent, indicating their plans to enroll at South Dakota State in the fall of 2013 and compete on the Jackrabbit softball team.
The five signed players include:
- Mikayla Akers - 5-5, L/R, Outfielder, Grain Valley, Mo.
(Grain Valley H.S.)
- Ashlyn Bender - 5-8, L/L, Pitcher, Redlands, Calif. (Redlands East Valley H.S.)
- Alyssa D'Agostino - 5-6, R/R, Utility, Infielder, Chino Hills, Calif. (Ayala H.S.)
- Katie Lang - 5-11, R/R, Pitcher, New Berlin, Wis. (New Berlin Eisenhower H.S.)
- Emily Utech - 5-6, R/R, Infielder, Shawnee, Kan. (Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.)
"Our coaching staff is very excited to sign these five young ladies to our program," Aggabao said. "They're all quality individuals with the ability to make a big impact next year. These players provide our team with great athleticism and depth."
A four-year letterwinner in both softball and track at Grain Valley High School, Mikayla Akers earned second team all-conference, first team all-district, second team all-region and defensive player of the year honors in 2012 after posting a .432 batting average with 11 RBI and a .650 on base percentage.
Akers' 2012 season came on the heals of an impressive 2011 campaign, when she batted .543 and earned first team all-conference, first team all-district, first team all-region and second team all-state honors.
Off the field, Akers earned first team academic all-conference and first team academic all-district honors in 2012 after being on the honor roll throughout high school.
Ashlyn Bender posted a .350 batting average, with 39 RBI and a 1.77 ERA in 257.2 innings pitched and 185 strikeouts in her first three years at Redlands East Valley High School. Those stats earned her rookie of the year honors in 2010, along with first team all-conference honors in both 2011 and 2012, and all-tournament player honors in 2011.
An honor roll student in each of the last two years, Bender plays travel ball with So Cal Wicked.
Alyssa D'Agostino recorded a .455 batting average as a junior in 2012 during league play on her way to first team all-league honors. Her team also named her the most improved player following both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
In addition to playing on the softball team, D'Agostino excels in the classroom as an honor roll student in her first three years of high school.
A three sport athlete at New Berlin Eisenhower High School, Katie Lang hit at a .420 clip as a junior and posted a 9-2 record in the circle with a 1.53 ERA and a perfect game to her credit. For her efforts, Lang earned Woodland Conference Player of the Year, first team all-conference, first team all-suburban, first team all-district, all-area honorable mention and all-state honorable mention accolades following the 2012 season.
As a sophomore, Lang hit .365 and posted a 10-1 record in the circle with a 1.49 ERA on her way to earning conference pitcher of the year, first team all-conference, first team all suburban, first team all district and all-area honorable mention in 2011.
Along with numerous other honors in both tennis and basketball, Lang made the honor roll in every semester in high school and became a member of the National Honor Society.
A three-year starter and letterwinner at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, Emily Utech enters her senior season with a .368 career batting average after posting a .366 average as a junior, with an impressive .417 average with runners in scoring position.
An honor roll student in every semester of high school and a three time Sunflower League Honorable Mention selection, Utech plays club ball with the Olathe Rockets Gold, where she maintains a .404 batting average and a .931 fielding percentage as a team captain.