Softball Signs Four Players for 2011 Season
Nov. 30, 2009
TULSA, Okla. - The University of Tulsa softball team inked four players - Aimee Creger, Haley Henshaw, Shelby Blanton, Jill Barrett - to National Letters of Intent during the November signing period for the 2011 season, head coach John Bargfeldt announced.
All four players will add athleticism and speed to a team that won the 2009 Conference USA regular season and tournament championships and reached the finals of the NCAA Norman Regional.
"I think the one thing that can be remarked about all four of the players in this class is they are all athletes," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. "This is a group that will make The University of Tulsa team a more athletic team, and that's one of the things that we've been continuing to try to do since we have started recruiting here. We are very excited about the possibilities that this class has to come and join with our team, and the things that they will add to our team."
Creger, a pitcher and first baseman from Mustang High School in Yukon, Okla., was a three-year letterman and first-team all-conference player in 2008. She was also the conference Most Valuable Player as a pitcher in 2008. Creger has been a member of the National Honor Society throughout high school, and was awarded the Superintendent's Citizenship Award in 2007. She has also competed on the Mustang swim team.
"Amy is a very talented pitcher. It didn't take me very long once I saw her throwing, to know that she is somebody that I really wanted to come to The University of Tulsa," said Bargfeldt. "I consider her to be the best pitching prospect in the state of Oklahoma. But more importantly, I think she is a pitcher that can come in and compete with the pitchers that we have on staff, to be the ace of the staff. I think she is very comparable to the pitchers that we already have here. So we expect her to come in and have an immediate impact on the team. She also is a very strong player who has the ability to hit with power."
Henshaw is an outfielder from Catoosa High School is Catoosa, Okla. She was a first-team All-Metro Lakes Conference selection al four years and was a two-time Metro Lakes Conference Player of the Year. She was also a Tulsa World All Metro selection as a junior in 2008, and has been selected to participate in the 2010 All State all-star game in June by the Oklahoma Coaches Association. Henshaw was named the Wendy's Heisman Athlete of the Year at Catoosa High School, and owns the season and career home run records, and is the career RBI record holder at Catoosa High School.
"Balancing our lineup with some more left-handed hitters is something that we set out to do when I saw Haley last year," Bargfeldt said. "She is tall, athletic, lean, she hits with power, and has very strong arm in the outfield. We project her to come in as an outfielder. We're losing a key figure in our outfield this year, a senior. One of the things that I challenged her to do was to be able to come in ready, to be able to be an impact player, and I think she has a chance to do that."
Blanton is an infielder from Newcastle High School in Newcastle, Okla. She was a four-time All-Sooner Conference selection, and an all-state selection as a senior. She also earned All Little City honorable mention honors after her first three years of high school. Blanton was named the Sooner Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, the Sooner Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and the Sooner Conference Newcomer of the Year as a freshman.
"Shelby is a very versatile player. When I saw her, she was playing shortstop, and she is athletic enough to play second, third or short, which reinforces our infield for the future," said Bargfeldt. "She hits from the left side, again adding balance there. She runs well. She has a tremendous throwing arm. She has even played at catcher in her career. So, she'll be able to give us some versatility to plug her in, in some situations that need it. Again, just an athletic player that we are certainly awfully glad to have. She is a player that we feel can come in and compete right away for playing time."
Barrett, an infielder from Greenwood High School in Greenwood, Ark., is a three-time Class 5A all-state, all-conference and all-area selections, with one season yet to play. She hit .538 as a sophomore, breaking her school's record for batting average in a season. Barrett holds school records for career triples, stolen bases and runs scored, and ranks second in school history in home runs, hits, doubles and RBI. She also holds school single season records for home runs, stolen bases, triples, doubles and runs scored.
"We're really excited about the possibilities of Jill Barrett," Bargfeldt. "She is a very similar player to Shelby Blanton - a shortstop, very good throwing arm, runs extremely well. She is a very talented athlete, very athletic person, when you look at her throwing and her running speed, and the power that she can generate. You wouldn't necessarily look at her right away and know she has that kind of pop in her bat. Jill is going to come in as an infielder, but I think she is also a player that has played every position on the field but pitcher. Her versatility is going to give her multiple opportunities to come in and be an impact player for us."
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