Set to begin her second season at the helm of the Wolverines, Utah Valley University head softball coach Nikki Palmer announced the signing of 2014 NJCAA All-American Kori Barrios (Weatherford, Oklahoma/Hammon HS/Northern Oklahoma) to a National Letter of Intent.
"Kori is a seasoned athlete who will bring both competitiveness on the field as well as knowledge," Palmer said. "She is an excellent student and is a wonderful person. We are thrilled to have her as part of our Wolverine family."
A catcher, Barrios earned third team NJCAA All-America honors in her only season at Northern Oklahoma College. The rising sophomore appeared in 28 games, batting .420 with four home runs, 12 doubles and 15 RBIw. In 88 at-bats, Barrios struck out only four times. Her steady presence at the plate helped the Lady Jets to a 38-20 record in the program's first-ever season, and she becomes the first player in NOC softball's short history to accept an NCAA Division I scholarship.
"She was one in a million," NOC head coach Jamie Roberts told the Enid News and Eagle in July. "She was a hidden talent that nobody knew about. To make All-American after playing in only 28 games is pretty amazing."
Barrios was a two-sport athlete growing up, excelling in basketball and softball. She also played on the women's basketball squad at NOC, averaging 8.7 ppg and 3.7 rpg in 22 games for the Lady Jets, who advanced to the national women's basketball tournament in 2013-14.
Her older brother, Jake, started on the Texas Tech team that advanced to its first-ever College World Series in June.
UVU will be looking for a return trip to the NCAA postseason in 2015 after making history last year as the first team from Utah Valley to earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines went a perfect 4-0 at the WAC Tournament to clinch the title in only their first season in the conference.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.