#35 / C (so.) Katie Browne
About: Katie Browne hails from Zachary Louisiana and is expected to explode onto the scene as a rookie on the UGA 2013 squad. Gifted with great height (6’1″) and a cannon of an overhand throw (72+mph), Katie also can explode for power at the plate. Browne competed in travel ball for the Southern Force Gold and is expected to be one of the best freshmen catchers in the country in 2013. ESPN ranked Katie #94 overall as an incoming rookie, while College Sports Madness ranked her #104. Browne could quite possibly be one of the best catchers in the SEC in 2013!
#12 / P-IF (so.) Geri Ann Glasco
About: Glasco was a 4-year All-State selection for the state of Georgia and won two state titles as the dominant pitcher at Oconee County High School in Watkinsville, Georgia. Geri Ann was tabbed the 2012 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year as well as the Georgia State Player of the Year after going undefeated on the mound and breaking the state record for home runs in a season and a career. Truly a double threat, Glasco dominated the travel ball circuit for the Southern Force–steering her team to multiple top-ten finishes at PGF Nationals and a 16-Under Colorado Fireworks championship. Geri Ann was ranked #1 overall as an incoming recruit by College Sports Madness and #5 by ESPN. Glasco throws the ball hard from the circle, often around 67-68mph with good vertical and horizontal movement. Geri Ann also is a powerful threat at the plate for power and for average; truly expected to make a huge impact for the Bulldogs for the next 4 years!
#22 / OF (jr.) Niaja Griffin
About: 2013 marks the second season for Niaja Griffin as a Georgia Bulldog softball player. After a sucessful 2012 season, Niaja will play an integral role to Georgia’s success in 2013. Niaja is not just a great softball player, but pushes herself very hard as an all-around athlete. Her outfield prowess, speed, and hand-eye-coordination will prove to be deadly weapons for the 2013 season, and I would expect to see Niaja in the 9-hole or leadoff spot. While she only had a single long ball in 2012, coming against Coastal Carolina, expect to see Griffin go yard a lot more this season! Niaja was a multi-sport athlete at Wekiva High School in Florida where she won the state championship for weightlifting and track. Niaja played travel ball for the South Florida Mini Bulls program.
#32 / 1b-C (so.) Tina Iosefa
About: Tina Iosefa is entering her first year as a lady bulldog and joins the program from Lynwood, California, where she played high school ball for Downey High School and travel ball for the prestigious Worth Firecrackers program. Her travel team finished runner-up in 2012 at PGF Nationals and Tina was a main part of her club’s on-field success. Tina, although known as a catcher, will most likely be playing a majority of her time at first base while in Athens. What makes Iosefa so dangerous is not only her great coordination and knowledge of the game, but her raw power is by far her best offensive asset. ESPN ranked Iosefa the #47 overall recruit and College Sports Madness ranked Iosefa at #59 overall. Tina is sure to explode onto the SEC and national scene in 2013 as a truly aggressive and dangerous power hitter.
#13 / OF (so.) Samantha LaZear
About: One of Georgia’s top recruits for 2013, Samantha LaZear hails from Danielsville, Georgia–a neighboring city to Athens. Often compared to many of the best collegiate slappers as only a high schooler, LaZear possesses speed and hand-eye coordination that are truly unrivaled. LaZear is adept at bunting, slapping, and hitting for average. Rated as the #14 and #15 overall recruit respectively by ESPN and College Sports Madness, LaZear enters the UGA program at a time when the guard is changing and will be an integral part of building the program’s success over the next four years. Lazear played her travel ball for the Southern Force Gold and displayed lofty averages at PGF Nationals both years that she attended. I would expect to see LaZear get ample opportunities in the lead-off spot in 2013 and in the future.
#44 / P (sr.) Morgan Montemayor
About: Morgan Montemayor is entering her third season as a pitcher for UGA softball. Standing at six feet tall, Montemayor can throw the ball in the high sixties and touches the 70-71mph mark multiple times per game. Montemayor’s strengths predicate mainly on her ability to locate her fastball and to throw batters off with a good off-speed. After having a breakout season as a freshman two seasons ago, Montemayor took the backseat to stellar senior pitcher, Erin Arevalo, in 2012. This year will prove to be a true test for Montemayor as the leadership role for the two freshmen pitchers is placed on her shoulders. Montemayor played her travel ball for the California Cruisers Gold and took her high school to the state championship game and won during her senior season. Interesting note: Montemayor beat Escobedo of ASU in the state championship for the state of Arizona in high school ball.
#11 / OF (so.) Kaylee Puailoa
About: Kaylee Puailoa is from Buena Park, California and will be experiencing her first year as a bulldog softball player in 2013. Puailoa comes to Georgia after playing her travel ball with the Lakewood Firecrackers, one of the affiliate teams of the Worth Firecrackers. Kaylee helped her team to a 3rd place finish at PGF Nationals in 2010. Puailoa has a very smooth and mechanically correct swing, which allows her to drive the ball hard and oftentimes explode for power. Not only an offensive power, Kaylee also is a great patroller in the outfield and has a great overhand throw. In many ways, Puailoa is offensively similar to fellow bulldog, Paige Wilson. Expect to see some surprising offensive prowess from Puailoa in 2013! ESPN ranked Puailoa the #35 overall recruit, while College Sports Madness has Kaylee listed as the #47 overall recruit.
#1 / OF (sr.) Tiesha Reed
About: Tiesha Reed hails from nearby Elberton, Georgia where she lettered in track and softball. Without a doubt, Reed has served as one of Lu Harris-Champer’s favorite pinch runners over the past two years. While Reed naturally possesses quickness on the base pads, she has a very strong mental game while running and displays very aggressive and smart slides. Reed is one of the best running presences in the Southeastern Conference without a doubt in 2013.
#10 / C (so.) Katie Sowers
About: Katie Sowers is a walk-on freshman from Peachtree City, Georgia where she served as a 4-time All County selection as a catcher. Sowers played for the Georgia Athletic Challengers in travel ball where she helped her team to ASA Nationals. Sowers will compete for time behind the dish with fellow freshmen, Katie Browne and Tina Iosefa.
#25 / IF (jr.) Anna Swafford
About: Anna Swafford hails from Dallas, Georgia where she was a standout at the Darlington School. Swafford played for many travel ball teams in Georgia, but played her Gold ball with the Georgie Elite Gold squad. As a freshman in 2012, Swafford showed her versatility as a fielder, slapper, bunter, and power hitter. She will have to build upon that versatility in 2013 and use her speed to reach base. Expect to see a little more power out of Swafford in 2013 and perhaps a chance for her to start at third base after the departure of her freshmen teammate, now UCLA-bruin, Gracie Goulder.
#20 / P (so.) Chelsea Wilkinson
About: A two-time Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year award winner, Chelsea Wilkinson is a heralded freshmen hailing from Taylorsville, North Carolina. Wilkinson helped her team to a Top-10 finish in the ESPN FAB 50 high school softball rankings and helped her travel team, the Arizona Cardinals Gold, to a runner-up finish at the 2012 ASA 18A Nationals. Wilkinson has a dominating rise ball, and good horizontal spin as well that helps her to get the timely strikeout at times! Wilkinson will immediately make an impact as a freshman on the 2013 squad by taking pressure off of Morgan Montemayor and fellow freshman, Geri Ann Glasco. ESPN ranked Wilkinson as the #75 overall recruit while College Sports Madness ranks her at #87.
#9 / IF (jr.) Paige Wilson
About: Paige Wilson, an All-SEC Freshman, returns after a stellar breakout season as a UGA rookie in 2012. Paige Wilson reigns from Chicago, Illinois where she competed for Wheaton North High School and played travel ball for the Illinois Chill Gold. Wilson batted an impressive .342 clip as a UGA rookie and belted 9 long balls, including two off of national championship pitcher, Jackie Traina. Wilson played almost all of her time in 2012 exclusively at shortstop, where she is presumed to play mostly in 2013, although it wouldn’t be surprising to see her at a couple of other places on the infield. Paige is a great, smooth hitter from the left side and has decent speed. Also in her arsenal is a 70+mph overhand that comes in handy for dealing with slap plays and fast runners. Do not be surprised to see Wilson as an All-SEC performer in 2013.