photo courtesy of Rick Yeatts
Mean Green Softball Signs Six For 2013
DENTON (11/15/12) -- Five high school seniors and one junior college transfer have signed National Letters of Intent to play softball at the University of North Texas for the 2013-14 season, announced head coach T.J. Hubbard on Thursday.
"We are pleased to announce our group of six signees for the 2013 class," said Hubbard. "We welcome two more Texans to the roster, two players from Oklahoma, another one from California and our first signee from Missouri. This year's group continues to add to our already athletic roster and we welcome two new pitchers and catchers to the group."
For the second straight year, Hubbard left Texas to sign multiple players from out of state. It is the third straight year that North Texas has signed at least one player from Oklahoma and the second straight class with a student-athlete hailing from California. This is the first softball class with a signee from the state of Missouri. The Mean Green signed two pitchers, two position players and two catchers in the 2013 recruiting class.
For the 2013-14 school year, the signing class includes the following players: Tori Bice (RHP, Mesquite HS/Mesquite, TX); Mackenzie Grimes (1B/RHP, Arcadia HS/Arcadia, CA); Mallory Land (3B/C, Park Hill South HS/Parkville, MO); Shelbie Smith (C, Edmond Memorial/Edmond, OK); Alex Rhodes (1B, Sallisaw HS/Sallisaw, OK) and Kat Strunk (OF, NCTC/Grand Prairie, TX).
Tori Bice (RHP)
Bice is a three-time first-team all-district player out of Mesquite, Texas. She led the Mesquite High School softball team to regionals as a freshman and junior. She was named first-team all-state after leading her team to the bi-district championships during her junior year. As a sophomore, she was named honorable mention all-state and District 11-5A MVP. She was the area strikeout leader that year as well. The right-handed pitcher was the district newcomer of the year and Dallas Morning News Honorary Player of the Week as a freshman.
"We welcome Tori from Mesquite High School, where she has dominated the competition the past few years with her arm and her bat. I am excited to have another pitcher that we can use in the offensive lineup. Tori will be looked upon to add immediate depth to our pitching staff as well as her powerful bat to our lineup."
Mackenzie Grimes (1B/RHP)
Mackenzie hit .435 as a junior, including seven home runs. She was named first-team all-league as a sophomore and junior. At Arcadia High School, Mackenzie was named rookie of the year and was a two-time MVP. She was a three-time scholar-athlete. Mackenzie is the younger sister of Caitlin Grimes, who was a four-year letterwinner for the Mean Green from 2009-12.
"We are all excited to welcome the younger Grimes to the program. Kenzie comes to us with an incredible work ethic and a huge passion for the game. We are excited to work with her on the infield and in the circle. I am excited to see her challenge her sister's offensive records."
Mallory Land (3B/C)
Land is a four-time first-team all-conference and all-district player out of Parkville, Mo. As a junior, she was named Class 4 All-State Second Team. She was a first-team all-region selection as a sophomore and junior. As a sophomore, she was named her team's offensive MVP. She was voted overall MVP during her junior season at Park Hill South High School.
"Mallory will help us in the infield, at third base and as needed behind the plate. She is a solid infielder, and we look forward to having her power in the middle of our lineup. Her athleticism and offensive capabilities will allow us to use her in many capacities."
Alex Rhodes (1B)
Rhodes is a 6-1 first baseman out of Sallisaw, Okla. She started playing softball in high school and lettered at Sallisaw High School as a junior and senior. Rhodes plays club ball for Tulsa Elite Gold.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Alex over the next four years. She has a great work ethic and determination to excel. Alex will add depth for us at first base and her powerful bat will be welcomed in our lineup."
Shelbie Smith (C)
Smith was an all-state catcher for Edmond Memorial in Edmond, Okla. She led her team to a 23-10 record during her senior campaign and was named all-state, first-team all-region and first-team all-district. As a junior, she was named to the District 3 First Team and was recognized as the Oklahoma High School Athlete of the Week. Smith started her career by being named mid-state honorable mention as a freshman.
"Shelbie comes to us as one of the most talented catchers in all of Oklahoma. She possesses all the intangibles that you look for in a catcher. She will be looked upon to be an immediate presence behind the plate."
Kat Strunk (OF)
Strunk hit .450 with seven home runs and 51 RBIs as a freshman at North Central Texas College in Gainesville, Texas. She set single-season school records in at-bats (211), hits (95), doubles (22) and batting average. She was named all-conference and all-region after the Lions advanced to regionals in 2012. This past September, she was selected to participate in the Texas Junior College All-Star Game. At South Grand Prairie High School, the outfielder was a two-time second-team all-state player. She was named District 5-5A Co-Defensive Player of the Year and honorable mention all-area as a senior. During her junior year, she was named district offensive player of the year.
"Kat will be an immediate impact player for us in the outfield. She has dominated offensively at the JUCO level and brings a wealth of college experience with her. With a strong arm and good range, she will add a strong presence in our outfield."