CSU Softball adds nine for 2013-2014

CSU Softball adds nine for 2013-2014

CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Charleston Southern softball team and head coach Shane Winkler announced the signing of eight players to National Letters of Intent and an additional player has signed her letter of acceptance to CSU for the 2013-14 school year.

Winkler recruited all over the country in landing his largest recruiting class at CSU as four players will be joining the Buccaneers from California (Stephanie Bergmann, Brandy Galaviz, Cheyenne Gandara and Stevi Johnson), one from Nevada (Georgi Delio), one from Illinois (Amanda Matsumoto), two from North Carolina (Brooke Holcomb and Lexi Vanada) and one from Virginia (Olivia Cleary).

"I'm extremely excited about this recruiting class," says Winkler. "This class will make us stronger in absolutely every area next year. We add a ton of power, speed, great defense and a dominant pitcher. These girls will insure that this program continues to compete for Big South Championships while also making a name for the program nationally."

Stephanie Bergmann

Hesperia, Calif.
Oak Hills High School
T2 Courage Travel Team

Bergmann comes to Charleston, S.C. from Hesperia, Calif. where she played at Oak Hills High School for Coach Kelli Rios, and also lined up at shortstop for the T2 Courage travel team under Coach Linny Smith.

Among her career highlights include being a two-time recipient of Player of the Year in the Mojave River League and she was a two-time MVP at Oak Hills. She wrapped up her junior season hitting .598 with 42 runs scored, 24 RBIs, seven doubles, six triples, two home runs, an .843 slugging percentage and a .611 on-base percentage in leading the Bulldogs to the MRL title. Among her accolades include having the highest batting average in the league, being named First Team All-League as a Freshman and she has been a captain since her sophomore year.

Winkler on Bergmann:
"Stephanie is an exceptional athlete with the ability to dominate a game on offense with her ability to be a true "Triple Threat" player and also on defense with her range and great hands at shortstop. She gives us a top of the lineup threat that will put pressure on defenses with her speed while also being able to drive in runs. She's a highlight film type of player in the infield and will be a lot of fun to watch play."

Rios on Bergmann:
"Stephanie Bergmann is a very inspirational player. Anyone who sees her play can attest to that. From the ESPN diving plays to the Pete Rose slides into a stolen base. She lives the game and it makes everyone love the game while they are watching her play! Where she goes people follow and she leads them in the right direction on and off the field. Her records as a Bulldog Softball player will be tough to break leaving a legacy behind as she journeys to the next level of play. She will be missed but never forgotten."

Olivia Cleary

Riner, Va.
Auburn High School
Virginia Shamrocks Travel Team

Cleary comes to Charleston, S.C. by way of Riner, Va. and Auburn High School where she played under Coach David Hurd, and she also lined up all over the field as a utility player for the Virginia Shamrocks travel team under Coach Jim Metcalf.

Among her accolades include being a three-time All-District selection, a two-time All-Region selection including receiving First Team honors in 2011 and she was a 2011 Second Team All-State selection. She also was a 2012 Second Team All-Timesland selection. During her 2011 season, Cleary broke the program's single season home run record with seven and improved her batting average in 2012, hitting .451 from the plate.

Winkler on Cleary:
"Olivia is a true utility player that will come in and compete at many different positions and instantly add depth and competition all over the field. She is solid defensively wherever she plays and will also provide us with a consistency offensively. Her work ethic is proven by the success she has had on the field and in the classroom."

Metcalf on Cleary:
"Olivia has been the ideal shamrock. Her determination and usefulness to the team is beyond compare. The quintessential utility player, no one worked harder at her game and it show in games. Used all over the field by shamrock coaching staff, Olivia was critical in win after win as a result of her grit and varied skills. A team of Olivia would win most games."

Georgi Delio

Las Vegas, Nev.
Spring Valley High School
Las Vegas Rage Gold Travel Team

Delio comes to Charleston, S.C. by way of Las Vegas, Nev. where she played at Spring Valley High School under Coach Marcus Teal and also lined up at catcher for the Las Vegas Rage Gold travel team under Coaches Shan and Chris McDonald.

Among her accolades, Delio was named the Southwest League MVP as a sophomore while batting .649 from the plate with 30 RBIs, 12 doubles, three triples and four home runs while striking out only four times all season. She was named the Sunset Region MVP in 2011 and she was a three-time First Team All-Conference selection, earning All-State honors twice in her career. She was also nominated for the Gatorade State Player of the Year award following her junior season.

Winkler on Delio:
"Georgi is an explosive player that has the ability to step into our lineup and challenge some of the home run records that are currently being set. She has a ton of power to all fields and can give us instant offense with one swing. As strong as she is in the box she can equally dominate a game behind the plate with her leadership skills and ability to shut down a running game. Georgi is a difference maker for our program."

Teal on Delio:
"Georgi has been one of the most exciting and talented players I have had the pleasure of coaching! Over the years, she has become one of the most dominate softball players, not only at Spring Valley HS but in the Las Vegas area. I have enjoyed watching her grow as a player, student and young adult. I hope that my daughter will one day be as great a student/athlete and person as Georgi."

Brandy Galaviz

Third Base
El Monte, Calif.
Bishop Amat Memorial High School
T2 Courage Travel Team

Galaviz comes to Charleston, S.C. by way of El Monte, Calif. where she played at Bishop Amat Memorial High School under Coaches Jesse Mendez and Laury Quinn and also lined up at third base for the T2 Courage travel team under Coach Linny Smith.

Among her career highlights include: being the starting third baseman all four years at Bishop Amat, serving as Team Captain her senior year. She was influential in leading the team to back-to-back league titles, making the state semifinals in her sophomore and junior seasons. She Was named to the Second Team All-Del Rey League team in her junior season, receiving the Lady Lancer Award the same year. She was also a two-time recipient of the Coaches Award at Bishop Amat.

Winkler on Galaviz:
"Brandy is a constant spark plug when she steps onto the field. While watch her play you see that her motor is constantly running. She's an outstanding defensive third baseman with a strong arm and great hands. Offensively Brandy has the ability to be a middle of the lineup hitter with a lot of power and the potential to be one of the better offensive players to come through CSU."

Quinn on Galaviz:
"Brandy Galaviz is one of the finest young women you will ever meet. On the softball field, Brandy will give 110% not only in the games but also in practice as well. The combination of her abilities, passion, and knowledge of the game makes her a great leader. She is a positive role model, mentor, and she leads by example for her teammates and peers. Off the field, Brandy is an excellent student, genuinely kind and helpful to others. She shows mature responsibility, she respects others, and more important Brandy respects herself.It has been an honor to be her coach and I look forward to watching her in her college career."

Cheyenne Gandara

Hemet, Calif.
Hemet High School
T2 Courage Travel Team

Gandara comes to Charleston, S.C. by way of Hemet, Calif. where she played at Hemet High School under Coach Jeff Galloway and also took the ball in the circle as a pitcher for the T2 Courage travel team under Coach Linny Smith.

Among her career accomplishments include being named Rookie of the Year and First Team All-League as a freshman following a season where she had a 2.24 ERA in 78 innings with 78 strikeouts. In her sophomore season she improved her numbers with a 1.78 ERA in 189 innings with 241 strikeouts, while earning All-Tournament and First Team All-League honors, as well as an All-Tournament team selection. In 2012, she had her best season at the plate as well as on the mound with a .487 batting average and seven home runs, while recording a 0.74 ERA in 151 innings with 245 strikeouts. She has also been named the Governing Board Outstanding High School Athlete, as well as Athlete of the Month, a First Team All-CIF selection and Second Team All-State selection.

Winkler on Gandara:
"Cheyenne has the talent to be a #1 pitcher for our program. She's a strikeout pitcher with great velocity and also does a great job of locating and changing speeds. I see her being a dominant pitcher in the Big South Conference for 4 years. Cheyenne also has big time power at the plate so she can literally dominate a game in the circle and also produce all the run support she needs to win a game with one swing of the bat. I'm excited to see where she helps to take our program over the next 4 years."

Galloway on Gandara:
"Cheyenne is an outstanding student athlete, and for the past 3 years she has been the starting pitcher for our softball program. Her athleticism and maturity has made her an outstanding role model for our players, and for our young up and coming softball athletes. In addition to having great leadership qualities on the field, she has great leadership qualities off the field. As the head coach, I am very proud and honored to have had the privilege of working with such a fine athlete in our program. Cheyenne's maturity, athleticism and dedication to academics will only be an asset to your softball program as well as your college program at Charleston Southern University."

Brooke Holcomb

First Base
Southport, N.C.
South Brunswick High School
Carolina Gators Travel Team

Holcomb comes to Charleston, S.C. by way of Southport, N.C. and South Brunswick High School where she played under Coach Terry Walker and lined up at first base for the Carolina Gators travel team under Coach Michael Holcomb.

Among her career highlights include being named the MVP for multiple tournaments, as well as being selected to the All-American game in January of 2012. She was also a 2011 All-State selection. A note of interest about Holcomb is that she filmed a segment shot on ESPN with Michelle Smith at the All-American game about the proper way to play first base.

Winkler on Holcomb:
"Brooke has the ideal size and power that you're looking for out of a first baseman. She does a great job defensively and I'm excited to see her power continue to develop at the next level. Brooke has a great attitude and is an excellent fit for our program and she'll be very successful for us on the field and in the classroom."

Michael Holcomb on Brooke:
"CSU is getting a power-hitting, competitive first baseman. She has been one of the biggest reasons for the success of the Carolina Gators. I am sure her success will continue through her college career at CSU."

Stevi Johnson

Second Base
Visalia, Calif.
El Diamante High School
Fresno Force Travel Team

Johnson comes to Charleston, S.C. by way of Visalia, Calif. where she played at El Diamante High School under Coach Travis Roebuck and lined up at second base for the Fresno Force travel team under Coach Jeff Jennings.

Among her accolades include being a three-time First Team All-County selection and a three-time Varsity Impact Player selection. She was also named to the 2011 WYLFirst Team and the 2011 Fresno Bee Second Team.

Winkler on Johnson:
"Stevi is going to be able to step in and contribute to our lineup immediately. She has a ton of power and it seemed like she was driving the ball out of the park every game I saw her play. She plays the game the right way and has the type of work ethic and attitude that is going to make her teammates better."

Jennings on Johnson:
"Stevi is easily the most well rounded player I have ever coached. She has all the tools. She can run, hit for power, hit for average, and plays exceptional defense."

Amanda Matsumoto

Palantine, Ill.
William Fremd High School
Beverly Bandits Travel Team

Matsumoto comes to Charleston, S.C. by way of Palatine, Ill. where she played at William Fremd High School under Coach Jim Weaver and she lined up in the outfield for the Beverly Bandits travel team under Coach Bill Conroy.

In her junior season, Matsumoto was named to the All-Conference, All-Area and All-State teams after breaking the single season stolen base mark at Fremd, as well as the single season runs scored record. She was also a key member of the Beverly Bandits squad that placed fifth at the PGF nationals and finished third in Boulder.

Winkler on Matsumoto:
"Mandi is a diamond in the rough type of player. We were fortunate to have Mandi come to one of our camps last year and immediately we saw that she could dominate a game with her speed. She is going to have the ability to put pressure on defenses from the left side and I'm looking forward to having her as a stolen base threat. She also covers a ton of ground in the outfield. Mandi is the perfect fit for Charleston Southern and our university's mission."

Weaver on Matsumoto:
"Mandi Matsumoto is instant offense who battles in every at bat. Electric on the bases and in the outfield, she works extremely hard on a daily basis to be successful!"

Lexie Vanada

Third Base
Brown Summit, N.C.
Northern Guilford High School
Carolina Gators Travel Team

Lexie Vanada comes to Charleston, S.C. by way of Brown Summitt, N.C. where she played at Northern Guilford High School under Coach Russell Dorrell and lined up at third base for the Carolina Gators travel team under Coach Michael Holcomb.

Among her career highlights include being selected to the Academic All-Conference and All-Area teams multiple times. She is also an active member at many of the clubs at Northern Guilford.

Winkler on Vanada:
"Lexie is a big time power threat that is only going to get better when she enters our program. She has the ability to play multiple positions and should be a big run producer for us. Lexie has a great work ethic and attitude and will develop into a big time player for us."

Alan Ashkinazy on Vanada:
"I have known Lexie Vanada and her family for over 8 years. From the moment I started working with her as a hitter, I knew she was something special. Always had her game face on during practice and just so eager not just to learn, but to be better. She has had a wonderful high school career but I think her best years as a softball player are ahead of her".

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