HARRISONBURG, Va., – James Madison softball head coach Mickey Dean announced the signing of six student-athletes to national letters of intent to join the program for the 2015 season on Wednesday.
The six incoming players for the class of 2018 include pitchers Megan Good (Mt. Sidney, Va./Fort Defiance) and Jessica McCabe (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca), infielders Morgan Tolle (Hudson, Fla./River Ridge), Madison King (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) and Jessica Mrozek (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) and catcher Alyssa Buddle (Bartlett, Ill./South Elgin).
“Our current freshman class brought in a lot of speed, so with this year’s class we tried to bring in some power,” Dean said. “We felt we succeeded in that. We are pretty excited about this class coming in and we are looking forward to a bright future.”
Good is a right-handed pitcher from nearby Mt. Sidney, Va., and Fort Defiance High School. She is a two-time Region III Pitcher of the Year as well as a First Team All-District performer. As a sophomore she was named honorable mention All-State and was a Second Team All-Region pitcher as a freshman. She played her club ball with the Augusta Flames, leading them to 37 first-place finishes since 2005. Good is a three-sport star at Fort Defiance, earning honorable mention American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America honors in volleyball and Second Team All-City/County from the Staunton News Leader in basketball.
“We are pretty excited about having Megan come in,” Dean said. “She is a hard thrower. She is young as far as development of pitches which is a good thing because she doesn’t have any bad mechanics or habits. She has an opportunity to really take off once she gets here.”
McCabe is a pitcher from Matoaca High School in Chesterfield, Va. Last season, she went 13-5 with a 1.36 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 103 innings pitched. Opponents managed just 59 hits and 19 walks off the right-hander. McCabe was named the Central District Pitcher of the Year, First Team All-District and Second Team All-Region. She played her club ball for the Richmond Diamonds and the Virginia Shamrocks, going 43-4 in the fall with the Diamonds and 79-23-1 in all of 2013.
Dean commented, “Jessica is a very well rounded player. Her sophomore year she was one of the leading strikeout pitchers in the state of Virginia. She’s been coming to our camps and clinics for a while, allowing us to watch her develop. She also hits with power at the plate.”
Tolle comes to JMU from River Ridge High School in Hudson, Fla. As a junior, she hit .558 with nine home runs on her way to being named the Tampa Tribune Pasco Prep Player of the Year. She also claimed All-North Suncaost Player of the Year and First Team All-Florida High School Team. Tolle plays her club ball with the Tampa Mustangs 18U Gold.
Dean commented, “[Morgan] brings a lot to the table. She can play just about anywhere in the infield, she’s a great leader, first one on the field every day and brings power to the lineup.”
King is a shortstop/third baseman from Virginia Beach, Va. and First Colonial High School. She is the reigning Virginia Eastern Region, All-Tidewater and Beach District Player of the Year. King was named First Team All-State, All-Region and All-District as a junior after hitting .568 with a school-record 11 home runs. She added 42 RBIs, 39 runs, 1.148 slugging percentage and led First Colonial to a Beach District regular season championship. She added a .409 batting average, 20 RBIs and 20 runs as a sophomore.
“Madison caught our attention at camp,” Dean said. “She can play short and third base, and we are pretty fortunate that she showed up at our camp and we were able to get her signed.”
Mrozek signed with JMU out of Chicago, Ill., and Fenwick High School. She hit .449 with seven home runs, 34 RBIs and 26 runs score while leading her team to the Illinois Super-Sectionals. She was named All-Area and All-East Suburban Catholic Conference. She plays her club ball for the Beverly Bandits and helped them to seventh place at the Gold Nationals last year.
Dean remarked, “Jessica’s a power player. She’s a corner infielder that hits with a great deal of power. She kind of fell into our lap and we are pretty happy about that.”
Like Mrozek, Buddle comes to JMU from Illinois, signing out of South Elgin High School in Bartlett, Ill. The catcher was a Second Team All-State selection and All-Area Player of the Year. She was named to the Upstate Eight All-Conference First Team and voted the team MVP by her teammates. She is a three-time All-Area and Upstate Eight All-Conference selection. She joined Mrozek on the Beverly Bandits, leading the 16U team to the 2013 PGF National Championship.
“I got to watch Alyssa a lot last year,” Dean said. “She has great command of the field and came up with a lot of key hits and home runs for her team. She’ll bring power to the middle of the lineup and leadership from behind the plate.”
JMU set a school record for wins last year, going 42-17 and receiving the program’s first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. They went 18-3 in Colonial Athletic Association play and advanced to the Knoxville Regional in postseason play.