Utah Valley University head softball coach Nikki Palmer announced the addition of two players for next spring's 2015 season. Tiani Hensley (Waianae, Hawai'i/Waianae HS/Southern Nevada) and Makayla Shadle (Dayton, Nevada/Dayton HS) have signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Wolverines in the fall.
Having spent the last two seasons with the College of Southern Nevada, Hensley arrives in Orem off a season in which she helped the Coyotes to a 40-20 record. The-junior-to-be finished the year with a .353 batting average after starting all 60 games for CSN. She ranked second on the team with 12 home runs and drove in 60 RBIs — third-most on the squad. With 14 doubles and two triples, Hensley ended the season with a slugging percentage of .647, all the while maintaining a .961 fielding percentage in the middle infield.
Hensley prepped at Waianae High School in Hawai'i where she was a first team Red Division shortstop and the team MVP during her senior season.
"Tiani is a really hard worker with a lot of versatility," Palmer said. "She'll be able to play a lot of different positions for us. She has some speed on the bases and brings a bit of a different look than we've had in our lineup. She's got some pop as well and is a great kid."
Meanwhile, Shadle will don the green and white as one of the most heralded high school pitchers in the state of Nevada over the past three seasons. A right-hander out of Dayton, Shadle is a four-year letterwinner who was named first team all-state and first team all-league for three consecutive seasons. During that time she was leading the state in total strikeouts with 231, 229 and 313 during her sophomore, junior and senior seasons, respectively. She finished her career with a 38-19 record, 865 strikeouts and a remarkable 0.97 ERA.
"Makayla flew a little under the radar for a lot of schools," Palmer said. "But we just happened to be lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time to bring her to Utah Valley. She is another great kid who comes from a great family and we're excited to have her in green."
UVU is coming off a historic season during which it clinched the institution's first-ever automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines went a perfect 4-0 at the WAC Tournament, winning the title in its first season in the league.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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