Emory Softball Announces Early Decision Committments For 2010-11 School Year
Emory head softball coach Penny Siqueiros has announced that the
following student-athletes will be enrolling at Emory in the fall
of 2010 and be competing for the 2011 Eagles' softball program.
Sara Portwood (Baton Rouge, LA/Episcopal High School) -- A standout player for Episcopal High School where she has been coached by Heidi Hebert. She has garnered many accolades during her high school career including First Team All-District 4 honors. She has been tabbed as the District 8-2A MVP in two of the past three years, and was named to the LSWA Class 2A All-State Team as a sophomore. She has served as team captain for the past three years.
Portwood played summer ball for the 18U Louisiana Blazers Gold and was coached by Frank Lee. The 2009 Louisiana Blazers Gold qualified as one of two Louisiana Teams to play in the prestigious ASA 18U Gold National Tournament in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The ASA Gold tournament is a collection of the 64 best travel Softball teams in the United States in the 18U age group.
In addition to her softball prowess, she has distinguished
herself as a member of her high school's volleyball team where she
captured honorable mention status on the All-Metro Team this past
"Sara brings a maturity to her game unlike no other," Siqueiros stated. She is strong, poised, and very athletic. She will be entering our program primarily as a first baseman, and her desire to better her person on a daily basis is immeasurable. I am excited at the prospect of working with her throughout her college years."
Erica Pakutka (Long Valley, NJ/West Morris Central High School) -- A solid performer at the shortstop position the past four years for West Morris Central High School. One of the team's top hitters throughout her prep career, she has turned in an impressive .930 field percentage heading into her senior campaign.
Pakutka was a member of the highly regarded U18 New Jersey Breakers Gold team coached by Joe Salvatore. The NJ Breakers are a highly recognized team in the Northeast area, continually qualifying for the ASA Gold Tournament held at the end of each summer.
Pakutka also competed on the soccer and field hockey teams while in high school.
"Erica is a steady infielder who possesses a poised manner in game situations," Siqueiros said. "She doesn't show a lot of highs and lows and this definitely works to her team's benefit. I am impressed with the level of improvement she has displayed over the past two years and I can see her improving even more in college due to her focused attention to detail."
Lena Brottman (Palatine, IL/ Fremd High School)
-- Superb pitcher for Fremd High School who has compiled
53-15 won-lost record heading into her senior season. Coached
by Jim Weaver, Brottman was chosen to the 2009 Illinois Coaches
All-State First Team. A three-time selection to both area and
conference all-star teams, she helped her team to third place in
the Class 4A Illinois State finals. She holds the school
record for most career strikeouts and most strikeouts in a game
In addition to softball, Brottman is a three-time letterwinner in volleyball and served as a co-captain her senior and sophomore seasons.
"Lena will be one of the strongest pitchers to don an Eagle uniform," Siqueiros said. "Not only is she physically imposing on the mound, she is also mentally tough. She brings a wealth of experience in the pitcher's circle and has competed in some of the biggest games in the state championships in Illinois. I am thrilled Lena has chosen Emory for her new softball home and look for her to see a lot of innings throughout her entire career."
Megan Light (Atlanta, GA/North Springs Charter HS) -- A four-year member of the North Springs Charter softball program, she has pitched 163 innings and totaled 199 strikeouts while crafting an ERA of 1.62. A four-time team MVP, she hit a hefty .444 as a junior and closed out her senior year with a .394 average.
She is a member of the 18U Georgia Fire Gold (Lilburn) team and played summer ball for the 16U Atlanta Worth Cobras, helping her club qualify for the exclusive Hall of Fame Tournament, played in Oklahoma City, Before the Cobras, Light, played for the Atlanta Flames for 7 years and was a part of the founding team.
"Megan will bring tremendous versatility to our team," Siqueiros stated. "She has the capabilities of competing strongly at first base, as a power hitter and a pitcher. Her pitching coach has done a great job of getting Megan prepared for college, and we think now that she has a chance to be involved in a college pitching program she will improve even more. I can't wait to work with this young lady, she is a quality player and I expect her to contribute in some way, shape, and form."
Taylor Kennedy (St. Charles, MO/St. Joseph's Academy HS) -- A four-year member of the St. Joseph's Academy program, she displayed versatility by playing both in the outfield and at second base in helping her squad to a 31-14 record to past two seasons. Her speed on the base paths has helped her rank as the team leader in stolen bases the past two seasons.
Kennedy also distinguished herself as a member of the track and field team and was the Sprinter MVP on two occasions.
She has played summer select softball for 8 years with Missouri Heat Fast Pitch coached by Charlie Kennedy. Last summer, the 16U MO Heat competed in an 18U league and five 18U tournaments. They then competed in the 16U ASA Northern Nationals held in St. Louis finishing fifth out of 64 teams going undefeated into the semifinals of the winner's bracket.
"Taylor has been a pleasant surprise," Siqueiros said. "She fell on our radar a little later in the recruiting process, yet once we had a chance to get to know her and evaluate her abilities we saw a lot of good qualities in her game. She comes from an excellent softball background with her father having coached at another competitive NCAA Division III softball program. Her biggest assets at this stage of her career are her speed and defensive ability in the outfield. I believe that when she adds more strength to her frame that will open more opportunities for her to increase her chances of being on the field."
Sophia Tarte (Tampa, FL/C. Leon King HS) -- An all-around performer for C. Leon King High School throughout her career, she has earned numerous honors up through her junior year. She played at various spots in the infield as a freshman before taking up pitching duties her sophomore and junior campaigns. She was named the program's Rookie of the Year and has been selected the Most Valuable Defensive Player on two occasions. She landed second team all-county honors as a utility player in 2008 and landed a spot on the same team as a pitcher in 2009. She will enter her senior year already the holder of single-season marks at King for hits, ERA and complete games. Tarte owns the school career record for ERA.
She played travel ball for the USA Patriots coached by William
Hanks and Rob Smith. The 2009 18U Patriots finished
3rd at Fast Nationals in Ocoee, Florida with a field of
60 teams from across the US and a number of international
"Sophia is a well-rounded player who has a tremendous instinct for the game," Siqueiros summarized. "Her mechanics are very sound and she possesses good strength behind the execution of her mechanics. In looking at her overall game on the field, one can tell she has put time and effort to become very competitive and knowledgeable. I am very excited for Sophia's arrival to Emory."
Amanda Kardys (Union, NJ/Union HS) -- A
four-year member of the Union High School softball program, she is
coached by Chris Flinn. Heading into her senior campaign, she
has compiled a won-lost record of 43-15 as a pitcher while
collecting numerous honors. Named as Union County Player of the
Year in 2009, she was afforded first-team acclaim on the county
team as a sophomore and junior and has captured all-conference
kudos for three straight seasons.
Amanda played summer ball for the 18U North Jersey Rocks coached by Daryl Reigel. The 2009 North Jersey Rocks were the Champions of the New Jersey Pegasus Tournament. She will play the summer of 2010 with the 23U Pink Panthers coached by Ernie Rittenhouse.
"Amanda will give our pitching staff a different look being left-handed," Siqueiros stated. "She has several pitches that are effective and being a lefty gives her a tremendous advantage. Amanda has pitched in several highly competitive high school games, and her experience will be a bonus to our staff. A big factor in Amanda continuing to improve as she moves through college is to increase her core and leg strength which I'm sure she will be dedicated in doing."
Jamie Dodich (Merritt Island, FL/Merritt Island HS) -- Four-year letterwinner in softball at Merritt Island High School where she has led the Mustangs in stolen bases her first three seasons. Saw action in both the outfield and behind the plate. She was the recipient of the Fallon Memorial Sportsmanship Award.
Dodich played summer ball for Team Florida 18U coached by
Matthew Leyshon. During her last two years she led the team in
stolen bases and batted .471. Team Florida qualified and played in
the prestigious 18U ASA National Championship Tournaments in 2008
"Speed, speed, speed - Jamie Dodich will be one of the fastest players we'll ever have come through our program," Siqueiros said. "She is hungry to steal bases and she is not just satisfied with stealing one base per game. She is a tough player to stop and all I can say is I'm glad she's on our team. We are looking at her to primarily play in the outfield where she can utilize her speed. Jamie has a positive energy about her that is contagious. She has a lot of spunk and I love it."
The 2010 edition of the Emory softball season gets underway on Thursday, Feb. 11, when it will host Alcorn State in a twinbill. Action at Cooper Field gets underway at 1:00 p.m.