Coach Richmond Signs Four Early Signing Period Recruits
Nov. 12, 2003
Cape Girardeau, Mo. - Head softball coach Lana Richmond and her assistant, Jeannine Soncini, boast four national letter of intent signees. Junior college transfer Stephanie Huffman, along with high school seniors Ashley Robinson, Elaine Fisher, and Megan McDonald committed to Southeast softball for next season today.
Stephanie Huffman a junior college transfer from Forest Park Community College, signed with Southeast today. Huffman is a hard-throwing pitcher for Forest Park, who recorded a 21-9 record last season as the team finished 34-11. She helped lead Forest Park to their first ever Junior College National Tourney appearance.
"Stephanie is a power pitcher, throwing in the 60's with great control on all her pitches," remarked Richmond. "She has a great change-up to throw off the timing of opposing hitters."
Last season she had a stellar season as she led the nation in strikeouts with 234 and ranked seventh in the nation in ERA with a .59 percent. Huffman racked up honors as she was selected to All-Conference, All-Region XVI, and NJCAA Division II All-America teams.
"Stephanie brings in two years of valuable experience and will make an impact to our pitching staff," said Richmond.
Also joining Richmond's pitching staff is senior Elaine Fisher out of Francis Howell North High School. She is a three-time All-Gateway Conference first team selection.
"Elaine is a left-handed pitcher who will provide a different look for our pitching staff. Elaine has tremendous movement on her pitches and has an effective change-up," said Richmond.
Last season she recorded a 14-1 record and an outstanding ERA of .37. She struck out 115 batters and only allowed five walks in 94 innings pitched. Fisher only allowed five earned runs on the season.
"What impressed me is her determination and attitude to come into the collegiate game and the desire to excel at this level," boasted Richmond. "Elaine is one of the top pitchers in the St. Louis area and it is a credit to our program to be recruiting this caliber to Southeast Missouri State."
Senior Ashley Robison from Sparta High School in Sparta, Ill., joins the Southeast squad primarily as an infield utility player, but will also add more depth to the pitching staff. She has tremendous endurance down the stretch as she holds the Illinois State record for longest game pitched, pitching 27 innings.
"Ashley has quick lateral movement and has a strong accurate throwing arm," said Richmond.
She is a three-time most value player, All-South Conference selection, and All-Metro selection. Robison boasts a .359 batting average as a leadoff hitter at Sparta High School. As a pitcher, she posted a dominating 18-6 record with a 0.28 ERA.
"Ashley has pitched her entire high school career, but in the summer league circuit she has played shortstop," said Richmond. "We graduate three seniors in the infield, so Ashley has an opportunity to come in immediately and contribute. She will also see pitching time as her secondary role on the team."
Also joining the Southeast squad for next season is Cape Central High School senior, Megan McDonald. McDonald is a local standout that led the team in RBI's this season and was named Player of the Year at Cape Central.
"I am elated to have the top player from this area be a part of our softball program at Southeast," remarked Richmond. "Megan McDonald is an outstanding athlete, she can play the field, pitch, and she is a great hitter."
Her stats attest to her ability as an all-around player as she recorded a pitching record of 16-5, while also batting .383. She has had a remarkable four year as she is a four-time All-SEMO Conference selection, All-District I selection, and All-Region selection.
"Our plans are for Megan to come in as a utility player, she can play just about any position on the field. We have seniors at every infield position this year except for catcher, so she will have an opportunity to come in and contribute immediately."
These new recruits will be able to come in and make a significant impact next season, as Southeast will graduate eight of their twenty-two players this season.
Southeast will open competition against Belmont this spring in the Western Kentucky Tournament. The first pitch is slated for 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 6, in Bowling Green, Ky.