SOFTBALL: Four student-athletes signed National Letters-of-Intent during the early signing period, University of Utah head coach Amy Hogue announced Monday.
This is Hogue's fourth recruiting class as head coach of the Utes. Joining the team in 2011-12 will be Desaray Akins, Kate Dickman, Marissa Mendenhall and Mariah Ramirez. The four student-athletes will enroll at Utah as freshmen next fall and will be a part of the first class of Utes to compete exclusively in the Pac-12 Conference.
Akins (C/Tucson, Ariz./Sunnyside HS/Tucson Jinx) is a member of the 2010 state runner-up team at Sunnyside High School. An All-City selection, she is a two-time team captain and four-year letterwinner. She played for coach Pete Palomarez and owns a career .488 batting average and has hit four home runs and stolen six bases. She also was a setter on the volleyball team and earned four varsity letters and was a captain for three years. She is a member of Tucson Jinx club team and was named team captain and Most Valuable Player.
Dickman (OF/Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley HS/Courage 18 Gold) owns a career .343 batting average with 49 runs scored, 24 RBIs and two home runs after three seasons at Capistrano Valley High School. She was named team MVP and was a second-team All-South Coast League performer last season. She was named the team's Most Inspirational Player during sophomore year. She earned the team's Newcomer of the Year award and was a conference All-Freshman team selection. She is a member of the Courage 18 Gold club team.
Mendenhall (IF-C/Stansbury Park, Utah/Tooele HS/Salt Lake Flames) led Tooele High School to state titles during her freshman and junior seasons as a third baseman and catcher. Her Tooele team took second place at the state tournament in 2009. She is a three-time all-state selection and a three-year letterwinner. She played for coach Steve Snow and played with the Salt Lake Flames club team, which finished ninth at ASA Nationals in 2010. Her club team won six state titles (2005-10) as well as the 2009 Triple Crown 16U championship.
Ramirez (P-1B/Buena Park, Calif./Kennedy HS/So Cal Athletics 18U Gold) is a two-time first-team all-league selection as a pitcher and first baseman at Kennedy High School. She is a three-year letterwinner and earned the school's Athlete of the Month award in 2009. She played for coach Sara Mesa and is a member of So Cal Athletics 18U Gold club team. Her squad is the reigning ESPN Premier national champions.