For a photo gallery of the softball signees, click here.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Five prep seniors have signed National Letters of Intent to play softball for UNCG next season, Spartan coach Jennifer Herzig announced Wednesday.
Allison Geiner, Lindsay Thomas, Nicole Thomas, Danielle Vega and Katie Warren will join UNCG as freshmen next season.
"I am thrilled to welcome five new Spartans to our UNCG softball family," Herzig said. "I truly think we have signed the best class of 2012 graduates possible, and I believe each member of the class will have the ability to leave her own very distinct mark during her career at UNCG. We are bringing in speed, power, strength and the very first set of twins to ever play Spartan softball. I cannot wait to have this group on campus next August, and I look forward to watching them grow and succeed as Spartans."
Geiner, an outfielder out of Raleigh, N.C., is a two-time all-state, all-district and all-conference player for Middle Creek High School. A three-time Academic All-Tri Nine selection, Geiner is a member of the National and Math honor societies. Geiner, who has also run track for the Mustangs, helped her club team Lady Lightning Gold Team Miken qualify for the Premier Girls Fastpitch national championship in 2010 and 2011.
"Allison Geiner is a super-quick outfielder and lefty slapper who I expect to jump into our lineup right away as a freshman," Herzig said. "She will compete for a spot as a corner outfielder, and with her speed, aggressiveness in the grass and ability to read balls, I know we will be an even better outfield with Allie on our roster. As a slapper with great speed, Allison has the ability to hit for a very high average as well as steal bases for us."
Lindsay Thomas and Nicole Thomas are twin sisters from Irvine, Calif. Lindsay Thomas, a catcher, hit a team-best .480 with 28 RBI and eight home runs as a junior last season, breaking Northwood High School's career homer record with 13. She was a first-team All-Pacific Coast Conference selection and was a scholar-athlete last year in addition to earning a spot on the Irvine World News All-City team. Lindsay Thomas also played junior varsity volleyball and ran cross country for the Timberwolves. She played summer ball with the Firecrackers out of Long Beach, Calif., for a year.
Nicole Thomas, a pitcher, was a second-team All-Pacific Coast player for the Timberwolves last season, taking team MVP honors. She was 16-8 with a 1.75 ERA as a junior, when she also hit .453 with 14 RBI en route to an Irvine World News All-City selection. Nicole Thomas also played four years of volleyball and was a member of the dance theater team, serving as a team captain last year. She played two years for the Firecrackers.
"A first for Spartan softball, Lindsay and Nicole Thomas are a twin pitcher and catcher combo from Southern California," Herzig said. "Growing up in SoCal, they have had the opportunity to play against some of the best teams and individual athletes in the country, and I look forward to them bringing those experiences to our team. Lindsay is a very solid defensive catcher with a great arm. I am excited to add such a powerful catcher to our staff and look for great things from her on both sides of the game. Lindsay hits for power, and I expect her to compete for a spot in the heart of our lineup offensively.
"Nicole Thomas is a hard-throwing pitcher with the ability to change speeds, move the ball well and keep the ball down in the zone. With her ability to throw all of the breaking pitches, I think she will be a nice complement to next year's returning pitching staff. Additionally, Nicole is also a power hitter which is a characteristic we haven't had in a pitcher in quite some time now."
Vega, an infielder out of Rialto, Calif., earned a spot on MaxPrep's Medium Schools Softball All-American Second Team after a banner junior season in which she hit .663 with 41 runs, a county-record 69 RBI, 17 doubles, three triples and 10 home runs. A member of the California Southern Section All-Division IV Team and the San Bernardino Sun All-Area MVP, Vega was also an all-state selection by multiple organizations. She was also named the All-Ambassador League Player of the Year and has helped Aquinas High School to three league championships. Vega, also an all-conference player in volleyball, played one year of club softball for the Corona Angels Gold.
"Danielle Vega is another SoCal player who will bring a wealth of experience and talent to our program next year," Herzig said. "Danielle will be a corner infielder for our program, but also has experience at shortstop and in the outfield. Despite her defensive versatility, I expect her to make her biggest impression on this program as a hitter. Danielle plays in one of the most successful travel ball organizations in the country (Corona Angels Gold), and I expect her to be a big contributor for us offensively right off the bat."
Warren was a third-team all-state infielder for Oakleaf High School in Orange Park, Fla., last season, also earning first-team all-county distinction from Clay Today as well as second-team All-First Coast honors from the Florida Times Union. Warren, who hit the first home run in program history in Oakleaf's inaugural season (2010), was also an all-county selection for Middleburg (Fla.) High School in 2009, leading the team in home runs. After helping Middleburg to a district championship as a freshman, Warren helped Oakleaf to a district runner-up finish the following year, when she led the team in home runs, batting average, doubles and RBI. Warren, who has played for the Jacksonville Storm Gold-Marsh since 2009, hit for the cycle in her first four at-bats for the Storm. She becomes the first student from Oakleaf to earn a Division I scholarship in any sport.
"Katie Warren is another corner infielder who will focus primarily at first base for us next year," Herzig said. "Katie has a very strong, athletic build and the ability to hit for power, as well. Interestingly enough, even though she is from Orange Park, Fla., Katie will not be the first in her family to attend UNCG. Katie's great aunt and second cousin both attended UNCG, and I am thrilled that she has made the same choice to be a Spartan."
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