LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville head softball coach Sandy Pearsall has announced that eight prospective student-athletes: Maryssa Becker, Kristina Dillard, Rachel Houck, Autumn McDuffie, Jordan McNary, Morgan Meyer, Nicole Pufahl, Tiarra Sanabria, will join the Cardinals in the fall of 2013.
"We are very excited about the class of 2013," said U of L head coach Sandy Pearsall. "We've been fortunate to commit a high-level of athlete and add a lot of depth to help our program as we continue to move toward our goals of winning more conference championships and playing in the Women's College World Series. They all really want to play here and will proudly wear red and black."
Position: RHP/1B Bats/Throws: R/R Hometown/HS: Medford, Oregon/North Medford High School Travel Team: Washington Ladyhawks
Becker joins the Cardinals from Medford, Ore., where she is a three-year letter winner for 2012 Oregon High School State Champion North Medford High School. As a junior, she was named the State Championship Player of the Game and the Oregon Gatorade Softball Player of the Year. The 2012 Oregon 6A Pitcher of the Year posted a 26-0 record and an 0.43 ERA with313 strikeouts in 178 innings. She backed up her work in the circle with .313 batting average and seven home runs. She also plays for the Washington Ladyhawks travel ball team.
Becker is a two-time All-State selection, earning first team honors in 2012 and second team honors in 2011. She is also a two-time Southern Oregon Hybrid League Player of the Year and all-conference first team selection.
In addition to her softball accolades, Becker is also a two-time all-conference selection in basketball.
She is a member of the National Honor Society and has been a Rotary Student of the Month and is in the Top 5%.
Becker also considered Minnesota, Stanford, California, Washington, Texas Tech, Boise State, Boston College, Syracuse and Seattle University before choosing Louisville.
Sandy Pearsall on Maryssa Becker:
"We are excited about Maryssa's potential. She already throws hard and has tremendous spin on the ball and her skills will improve as she adapts to the college game. She also wields a big bat with good power."
Maryssa Becker on U of L:
"I chose U of L because I feel that this school will give me the best opportunities for success both academically and athletically. The coaches and the facilities are wonderful, and the campus is beautiful. I wanted to be able to compete at a high level and have a shot at winning the Women's College World Series. I am so excited to be a part of the Cardinal family."
Position: C/OF/3B Bats/Throws: R/R Hometown/HS: Annapolis, Md./Broadneck High School Travel Team: Philadelphia Team Reno
Dillard joins the Cardinals from Annapolis, Md., where she is a three-year varsity letter winner for 2012 runner-up Broadneck High School and plays for the Philadelphia Team Reno travel ball team. As a junior, she was selected to the Baltimore Sun Softball Spring All-Metro and was a Washington Post Softball honorable mention. The two-time all-county first team selection led Anne Arundel County in RBIs in 2011 and was the Broadneck High School Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore. She was a Friends School League first team selection in 2010.
She has been solid in the classroom as well, having been named to the honor roll in every marking period as a sophomore and junior.
Dillard also considered Lehigh, Florida State, Virginia and Jacksonville before committing to Louisville.
Sandy Pearsall on Kristina Dillard:
"Kristina Dillard is a very good athlete who is capable of playing multiple positions which will make her an important part of our team. She is a hard worker and a tough player who also possesses a strong bat."
Kristina Dillard on U of L:
"During my visit to Louisville, I was so attracted to the school and softball program that I had to join the Cardinal family. I always dreamed of being on a campus that provides consistent support for its students and a lot of school spirit. U of L fits this description perfectly. The coaching staff is remarkable, as well as their aspiring players. I look forward to the opportunities U of L will present to me in order become a successful student athlete."
Houck joins the Cardinals from Greenfield, Ind., where she is a four-year varsity letter winner for Mount Vernon High School and plays for the Indiana Xtreme Gold team. As a junior, she was named to the All-State first team and the Indianapolis Star State Super Team after posting .611 batting average and leading the state with 14 home runs. She earned all-state second team honors her sophomore season. Houck is a three-time first team All-County, All-Hoosier Heritage Conference and All-East Team selection. Houck is a two-time Daily Reporter Player of the Year and three-time Offensive Player of the Year. She also owns her school's season record for single season (14) and career (28) home runs.
Houck also helped lead the Mt. Vernon basketball team to a state runner-up finish in 2012. She is first team All-Conference and All-County selection and a two-time All-County tournament team member. As a junior, she was named Defensive Player of the Year after leading the county in steals.
Sandy Pearsall on Rachel Houck:
"Rachel is a very good multi-sport athlete. She is a strong and competitive player who is capable of playing in the infield and will also bring good power to the plate."
Rachel Houck on U of L:
"Louisville was my first choice from day one, and the first school I ever contacted. After attending camps and visits, and meeting the coaches, staff and players, it became obvious this is where I want to be. There is a feeling of being a part of something special here which I never got from anywhere else."
Position: INF/UT Bats/Throws: R/R Hometown/HS: Louisville, Ky./Pleasure Ridge Park High School Travel Team: Louisville Lady Sluggers
McDuffie joins the Cardinals from Louisville's Pleasure Ridge Park High School where, as a three-year starter, she helped her team to the regional title in 2010 and 2011 and the district championship from 2010-12. As a junior, she was named to the All-District Team and the Sixth Region All-Star Team.
She also plays for the Lady Louisville Sluggers travel ball team.
McDuffie is also a three-year starting goalkeeper for the soccer team and is a three-time all-district and two-time all-region selection. She was an adidas Futures All-Star Player and a 2012 Wendy's High School Heisman recipient for her school.
Her work ethic extends to the classroom where she has been named to the honor roll in every year of high school, was a Kentucky Governor's Scholar State Finalist and has earned Business First honors.
Sandy Pearsall on Autumn McDuffie:
"Autumn is a hard worker and her versatility will allow her to play multiple positions for us. She will provide a spark to our offense and her enthusiasm and dedication will make her a valuable part of our team."
Autumn McDuffie on U of L:
"I knew from the moment I stepped onto the field for the first time, there wasn't another place I'd rather make my dreams come true. Once I went on my visit, there was no doubt in my mind that U of L was the place I wanted to call home. I love absolutely everything this amazing place has to offer and I feel truly blessed to be a Cardinal!"
Position: OF Bats/Throws: L/L Hometown/HS: Madisonville, Ky./Hopkins County Central High School Travel Team: Louisville Lady Sluggers
Jordan McNary joins the Cardinals from Madisonville, Ky., where she played for Hopkins County High School and the Louisville Lady Sluggers Gold Team. While playing for Hopkins County, McNary was named the 2012 Second Region Player of the Year and was a two-time 2012 first team All-State Class 2A selection. She is a three-time All-Region and All-District selection. McNary holds the school single season records for batting average (.537), hits (73), runs (57) and stolen bases (48)- she also owns the career stolen base record (116).
She helped lead the Louisville Lady Sluggers to the 2011 ASA Gold Northern National Championship and a fifth place finish in the 2011 Colorado Fireworks Tournament.
Academically, McNary has been named to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association honor roll.
McNary also considered Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi State before committing to Louisville.
Sandy Pearsall on Jordan McNary:
"Jordan is a talented outfielder who possesses great speed. She will bring quickness both offensively and defensively. Her potential is unlimited."
Jordan McNary on U of L:
"When I first stepped on campus I felt like I was at home. The atmosphere is CRAZY and Louisville loves its athletes. Louisville is close to home and allows me to stay connected with my family. My brother, Trey, was also a huge influence on my decisions with him already attending the U of L. With all that being said, I knew U of L was the school for me."
Position: OF Bats/Throws: L/L Hometown/HS: Louisville, Ky./Mercy Academy Travel Team: Louisville Lady Sluggers
Meyer joins the Cardinals from Louisville's Mercy Academy where is a four-year varsity letter winner and helped lead her team to the 2012 Kentucky State Softball Tournament, District and Regional Championships. As a junior, the All-State team member was named the Kentucky State Softball MVP after recording a .714 batting average with nine runs and six steals - and was selected to the East/West All-Tournament team. She is a two time All-District tournament selection and played for the 2010 state runner-up and district and regional championship team.
She helped lead the Louisville Lady Sluggers to the 2011 ASA Gold Midwest National Championship in 2011 and the Southern National Championship in 2010.
The National Honor Society member was a first team Academic All-State selection in 2012 and has been named to Mercy's Academic Honor in six consecutive semesters.
Meyer also considered Miami (Ohio), George Washington, Purdue, Northwestern, Marshall, Northern Illinois and Ohio State before choosing Louisville.
Sandy Pearsall on Morgan Meyer:
"Morgan has great speed in the outfield and on the base paths. She is a natural lefty with many offensive tools. We look forward to seeing her grow within the college game."
Morgan Meyer on U of L:
"After visiting other schools I was blessed with the opportunity to play softball at the University of Louisville. What could be better than being able to represent my own hometown of Louisville? I know U of L will provide me with both academic and athletic opportunities for a successful future. I have always wanted to play for a competitive team whose goal is to win the Women's College World Series. The coaches, facilities and awesome group of girls have made me more than excited to become a part of the Cardinal family."
Position: CF/1B Bats/Throws: R/L Hometown/HS: Moorpark, Calif./Moorpark High School Travel Team: Victory USA
Pufahl joins the Cardinals from Moorpark, Calif., where she is a four-year varsity letter winner for Moorpark High School and plays for Victory USA travel team. She helped lead her high school team to the 2012 Marmonte League Championship and earned first team All-League honors after batting .511 on the season. As a sophomore, she was named to the All-League second team and earned an honorable mention in 2010.
In addition to softball, Pufahl was a two-time MVP for her high school soccer team and also competed on the club level.
She is also a three-time Scholar-Athlete Award recipient.
Pufahl considered Penn State, Washington and Oregon before committing to Louisville.
Sandy Pearsall on Nicole Pufahl:
"Nicole comes from a solid athletic background and will contribute in the outfield as well as first base. She has good speed and power and will only get stronger as she grows into this program."
Nicole Pufahl on U of L:
"I had always heard that you will just know when you find that right fit, and from the moment I walked on to campus it happened, I just knew! I always had gotten a warm feeling from all the coaches, but when I got to spend time with them and the team, I truly felt as if they had known me and I had known them forever. U of L was everything I had dreamed college to be like - the team, all the facilities, the other big time sports, the campus, and best of all an unbelievable park to call my new home field. I immediately decided I would be moving to 'The Ville'!"
Position: P/1B/OF Bats/Throws: R/R Hometown/HS: Williamstown, N.J. Travel Team: Williamstown High School
Sanabria joins the Cardinals from Williamstown, N.J., where she is a four year varsity letter winner for Williamstown High School and plays for the Philadelphia Team Reno. The two-time All-South Jersey, Group 4 and Tri-County selection was named the Hammonton Invitational MVP after leading her team to the Hammonton Invitational Championship. She also helped her team to back-to-back Tri County Conference championships in 2010 and 2011. As a junior, she was named to the Courier Post first team after earning second team honors in 2011.
While playing for Newtown Rock, she helped her team to the ASA National Championship Newton Rock Runner-Up in 2011 and a ninth place finish in 2010.
The three-time Scholastic Achievement Award winner has also been named to the honor roll in seven marking periods.
Sanabria also considered South Florida, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Alabama before committing to Louisville.
Sandy Pearsall on Tiarra Sanabria:
"Tiarra is a versatile player who will bring great offensive power to the lineup. Defensively, she will have an impact both on our pitching staff and in the infield."
Tiarra Sanabria on U of L:
"I chose U of L because when I first stepped foot on campus for the first time I fell in love with the school. Louisville gave me a warm feeling in my heart and it made me feel like I was at home. I love that all the athletes are so close and are always there to support each other. This school is one big family and I can't wait to be a part of it. From the very beginning of my recruiting process, the coaching staff has been there to help me with everything I ever needed. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else but Louisville."