Last week, the Lady Cougar Softball Team signed four more to the 2012-13 roster. Signees include Faith Grosch, utility player from McMinn Central; Kelsey Capella, pitcher from Donelson Christian Academy; and Jasmine Cobb and Ciera Belcher, outfielders from Central (Chattanooga) High School.
Head Cleveland State softball coach Katie Willingham feels the team has found some great players late in the year who will help contribute season.
“After losing quite of bit of sophomores that played vital positions, we felt we needed to add some depth and more versatility to our lineup,” explained Willingham.
Grosch has pitched most of her career and hammered out a .452 batting average as a Lady Charger for coach Shannon Goodin, but she has decided to focus her abilities at shortstop and outfield as a Lady Cougar.
According to Grosch, “I chose CSCC because it is close to home. Also, the coaching staff is willing to work with me and get the best out of me.”
The intended psychology major will be looked upon to work some at shortstop where she will battle for time.
“Faith has an incredible arm at shortstop, and if she works to fine tune her skills she can be a solid defensive player. Offensively, she can bring a consistent bat to the lineup if she can make the transition to the college game. Faith is a hardworking, coachable young lady and I am looking forward to seeing her grow as a player,” stated Willingham.
Capella will help with the pitching duties. She helped lead her team to the 2012 State Tournament, where they finished third in their division.
Capella’s batting average was .388 and she carried an ERA of 1.86 with 184 innings pitched, 267 strikeouts and 40 walks. She was also awarded Region MVP for DII A and set a single season strikeout record for DCA.
Brent Dorris, head softball coach at DCA, says, “Kelsey is the ultimate competitor. She brings a great attitude and work ethic. She has been a blessing to have in our program. We are excited to see Kelsey play at the next level and feel she will be a great addition to the Cleveland State program.”
In addition to coach Dorris’ comments, Willingham feels that, “Kelsey will bring much needed depth to the pitching staff. I believe that she will complement our other pitcher, Ida, very well and bring a winning attitude to the team. She has the championship experience that will contribute to our team’s success.”
Capella chose CSCC because as a math education major, she feels the math program is one of the best and she had a great experience when she met with the coaches and visited campus.
Belcher had a successful career under head coach LeeAnn Shurette.
“Ciera is a great addition to the team as an overall player. She has amazing speed, and a work ethic that I am excited to add to our program” said Willingham.
Belcher chose Cleveland State because she wanted “to be close to home doing what I have always loved to do, which is to play ball.”
Willingham went on to say, “I feel confident in saying that if Ciera does well to make the transition into college ball, then there is no stopping this kid. We will work on her upper body strength so that she is a threat on both sides of the ball.”
Cobb, also a CCHS graduate, also signed her letter of intent the same day as Belcher.
Cobb started her senior year in left field for the Purple Pounders where she carried a .391 batting average.
“Cleveland State was the perfect opportunity for me to continue my education, play softball and stay close to my family” she explained.
The intended business major has speed that will keep the other team on its toes when she is up to bat.
“Jasmine is a disciplined player that will battle for time in the outfield. We believe that Jasmine will bring a great, positive attitude to the team. She has the ability to lay down a bunt and beat it out. I am looking forward to the growth she will make at the next level,” said Willingham.
Coach Shurette, Central’s head coach, stated “Ciera and Jasmine are great kids with great work ethics, good speed, and I believe they will bring tons of spirit to the team.”
Sara O’Rear is another outfielder joining the squad from Ooltewah High School.
“Sara will also battle for time in the outfield. She has a strong arm and is a smart player. With more time to make her bat consistent, she could bring some much added hits to the line-up. Sara has played against the best and I am looking toward her experience as a contribution to the team,” said Willingham.