Kee Inks Four In Early Signing Period
Three Pitchers, One Utility Player Commit To North Texas
DENTON- Head softball coach Tracey Kee announced her 2017 recruiting class on Thursday.
Kee is bringing in three pitchers, a necessity with seniors Stacey Underwood and Jessica Elder in their final season with the Mean Green, and a utility player in this year's class.
"As a staff we are so excited to welcome these families to our Mean Green family, head coach Tracey Kee said. "Their academic strengths and willingness to give back to the community are true signs of character.
"They embrace the challenge to be pushed mentally and physically as we continue to chase our goals of winning championships. They are a young group who are not afraid of hard work. They complement our current players well, and I have no doubt our future is bright."
Hope Trautwein, Pitcher, Pflugerville, Texas (Hendrickson High School)
Trautwein, a 5-foot-11 pitcher, is a 3-year letter winner under Lindsey Eaton at Hendrickson High School. She helped her team to an 18-10 record last season, en route to a spot on 13-6A’s All-Dis second team. Trautwein was selected to District 13-6A’s All-Academic team as sophomore and junior. The right-handed pitcher garnered the Defensive Player of the Year award as a sophomore and junior.
“Hope is a power pitcher who isn't afraid to challenge the top of the strike zone,” Kee said. “A fierce competitor, yet a humble teammate and person. Her eagerness to take her skills to the next level will allow us to challenge her daily.”
“Everything at North Texas is a fairytale,” Trautwein said. “Not only has it been everything I dreamed about, it has been everything beyond that. The girls are positive and fun and I genuinely love being around the ones I've had the opportunity to get to know. In all, North Texas is my dream school and I don't believe I could have it any better.”
Priest is a 4-year letter winner under Jim Foster at Latta High School. The 5-foot-9 pitcher helped lead her team to a 33-4 record and a Division 2A state championship in her senior campaign, throwing three scoreless innings of relief in an upset victory over Dale. She was named All-State as a senior. As a junior, she helped her team to the state semifinals and was regional and district champion as a sophomore and junior. She competed for the Fastpitch Futures in the club scene.
"Maria is a pure athlete," Kee said. "Her ability to hit, play on the infield as well as pitch will allow us to use her in many different ways. A proven competitor, who's edginess and desire to win will blend in our program well."
"North Texas is providing me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of playing collegiate softball," Priest said. "It felt right from the start."
Kourtney Williams, 2B/Utility, Keller, Texas (Keller High School)
Williams will stay close to home when she comes to North Texas in 2018. Williams was a District state champion her junior year, and the 5-foot-3 utility player was second-team All-District 3-6A and has been on the Academic All-District team each year.
"Kourtney is one of the most consistent players I have ever watched," Kee said. "Her athleticism, ability to hit both sides of the plate, and her steady glove skills will make an impact in our program. Her speed will allow her to generate a lot of pressure on defenses as well."
"The arts department and the communication design program was what attracted me to North Texas in the first place," Williams said. "But when the opportunity to play softball here arose too, I felt like there couldn't be a more perfect fit.
"I get to pursue my dreams not only in art, but also as a collegiate athlete. North Texas has a strong, growing softball program, and I'm excited to be a part of an environment that will constantly push me to reach my full potential."
Ally Lindsey, Pitcher, Flower Mound, Texas (Marcus High School)
Lindsey is 3-year letter winner at Marcus under Christy Tumilty. The 5-foot-10 right-handed pitcher has thrown five no-hitters in her prep career, and competed at the club level for the Texas Rapid Fire 18U Gold under Brian Menefee.
"Ally is a pitcher who has an incredible light ball, thus making it challenging for hitters," Kee said. "Her spins are tight and allows for her ball to break on all plans. She's a solid athlete who fields her position well."
"I chose The University of North Texas because I felt like it was the right fit for me," Lindsey said. "With its competitive softball and academic programs, I felt like I would be challenged both as a student and as an athlete.
I also chose North Texas because it is close to home. Being close allows my family to come out and support me. I've been playing competitive softball for as long as I can remember and I am very excited to become a part of the North Texas softball program."