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Photo by: South Dakota State University

Softball adds seven players for 2015

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 01/17/2014 17:34:30
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The South Dakota State softball team signed six players during the early signing period, all of whom signed National Letters of Intent, indicating their plans to enroll at South Dakota State in the fall of 2014 and compete for the Jackrabbit softball team. SDSU also added one transfer to the roster, who can begin competing in the 2015 season.

“I’m very excited for this incoming class,” interim head coach Alex Hupp said. “They’re a talented group, and I expect them to bring a great energy to the team and make impact on the field right away.”

The new additions include:
Dana Chavez – 5-1, OF, L/R, Hacienda Heights, Calif. (Los Altos H.S.)
Bryana Clark – 5-8, RHP, R/R, Riverside, Calif. (Martin Luther King H.S.)
Kara Lattery – 5-7, C/IF, R/R, Savage, Minn. (Prior Lake H.S.)
Taylor Mays – 5-8, IF, R/R, Grain Valley, Mo. (Grain Valley H.S.)
Danielle Steffo – 5-7, C, R/R, Mission Viejo, Calif. (Tesoro H.S.)
Jordyn Sturgeon – 5-9, UT, R/R, Omaha, Neb. (Millard South H.S.)
Christian McKone – 5-3, OF, L/R, Bonney Lake, Wash. (Army) (Bonney Lake H.S.)

A first team all-league selection in 2011-12 and 2012-13, Dana Chavez comes to South Dakota State from Hacienda Heights, Calif., where she also earned Los Altos High School rookie of the year honors in 2010-11 and best offensive player honors in 2011-12 and 2012-13.

In addition to her accolades on the field, Chavez also earned all-league academic team and scholar athlete awards in 2012-13.

Chavez, who also played volleyball in high school, plays club ball with Firecrackers Pasco 18U.

Riverside, Calif., native Bryana Clark helped lead Martin Luther King High School to a Big VIII League championship in the 2012-13 season and also played in the ASA National Tournament in 2011, when she earned her team’s coach’s award, and in the Premiere Girls Fastpitch National Tournament in 2012 and 2013. She also helped lead her team to a Stu Penter Classic tournament championship in 2012.

Off the diamond, Clark earned the President’s Award for Academic Excellence in 2010, MLKHS Scholar Athlete honors in 2012-13 and a place on the honor roll in all four years of high school.

Kara Lattery played high school softball at Prior Lake High School, where she earned all-conference and all-state honors in 2011, 2012 and 2013, adding all-section honors in 2012 and all-metro accolades in 2013. She also earned her team’s offensive player of the year award in 2012 and team MVP award in 2013.

Academically, the Savage, Minn., native earned a place on the honor roll in her freshman through junior seasons.

Grain Valley, Mo., native, Taylor Mays earned a trio of first team all-conference selections from 2010-12, adding first team all-district honors in those same three years. She also earned first team all-state and first team all-region in 2012 to go along with second team all-district in 2010, second team all-conference in 2013 and second team all-region in both 2011 and 2013.

Mays earned Grain Valley High School team MVP honors in 2013.

A three-year softball letterwinner at Tesoro High School in Mission Viejo, Calif., Danielle Steffo earned player of the year on the junior varsity squad as a freshman in 2011 and most improved player from her coach as a sophomore in 2012.

In addition to her softball skills, Steffo also earned scholar athlete selections in all four years of high school.

Jordan Sturgeon combined to hit .314 with 48 RBI, 12 double and four homeruns in her last two seasons at Millard South High School in Omaha, Neb., where she became just the third player in school history to play for the state title in all four years on the team, with championship victories in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Sturgeon earned Class ‘A’ honorable mention all-state and first team all coaches division honors in 2012, adding an honorable mention all coaches division selection in 2013.

Posted a .381 batting average with 22 RBI, 22 doubles and three triples on her summer club team in 2013.

A project Pink’d Volunteer, Sturgeon also volunteers at the No Frills Supermarket and played in the First Annual Swing for the Cure championship team at Millard South H.S. 

McKone transferred to South Dakota State from Army, where she started all 61 games for the Black Knights last year as a freshman. She finished third on the team with a .326 batting average, with 60 hits in 184 at bats, adding a double, two triples, 11 RBI and 21 walks. She also finished second on the team with 16 stolen bases in 18 attempts.

McKone, who began taking classes at SDSU in the spring 2014 semester, earned three all-state selections as an outfielder in high school; one at Issaquah High School and two at Bonney Lake High School, where she helped lead the team to a fifth place finish at the state tournament as a junior.

Due to transfer rules, McKone must sit out the 2014 season, but can begin competing in the 2015 season.

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