SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Indiana University South Bend softball team and head coach Brittney Lightfoot are excited to announce its first recruiting class for softball's inaugural season set to begin this fall.
Coach Lightfoot's thoughts on the upcoming season: "What a fun and unique opportunity this team has. To be a part of the first softball team in school history and build something from nothing makes for an already exciting season. I can't wait to get this group of girls out on the field. We have a lot of athletic talent just waiting to be developed even further and I am blessed to have the opportunity to help this team grow athletically as well as academically."
Kaylee comes to IU South Bend after a prep career at Elkhart Memorial High School. The utility player earned Northern Lakes All-Conference Honorable Mention accolades in 2015 batting .333 with 32 hits and 13 runs batted in (RBI). Off the field, Warner was involved in the Indiana High School Athletic Association Council as well as volunteering for numerous events such as the Special Olympic Indiana.
Kaylee is the daughter of Chris and Sherry Warner and plans to study nursing at IU South Bend.
Kaitlin Bessler joins the Titans after a successful career at Benton Central Junior-Senior High School. The three-year varsity starter amassed 116 hits, 41 RBI, 79 runs scored, and 48 stolen bases. Bessler also participated on the cross country team for one year while at Benton Central. She was a member of the French club, speech and debate team, as well as the Student Council treasurer for two years.
Kaitlin is the daughter of Eric and Tammy Bessler and plans to study dental hygiene at IU South Bend.
Brooke Boss will join the Titans after a successful prep career at Delavan-Darien High School in Delavan, Wisconsin. Boss helped the Comets to back-to-back regional championships as a sophomore and junior. As a senior, the shortstop batted .381 with 18 runs scored, 32 hits, and 27 RBI while slugging .583. Off the field, Brooke was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated with honors.
Brooke is the daughter of Frank and Becky Cove and plans to study social work at IU South Bend.
Shannon McCarty played her prep softball at Mishawaka Marian High School where she excelled as a two-way player for the Knights. Most of McCarty's damage was done at the plate as she played in 76 games, batting .356 with 45 runs scored, 89 hits, 59 RBI, and nine home runs during her three years on the varsity team. In the circle, McCarty amassed 18 wins in 171.2 innings.
Shannon is the daughter of Dennis and Kristine McCarty and plans to study marketing at IU South Bend.
Katherine "Kat" Witting
Katherine Witting brings two years of college softball experience to IU South Bend after transferring from South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois. The Lynwood, Illinois native was an all-conference performer in her junior and senior seasons at Illiana Christian High School where she also earned the 12-sport award in her final year. In her final season with the Bulldogs at SSC, Witting earned second team all-region honors along with being named to the all-tournament team at the Region IV Tournament.
Kat is the daughter of Roy and Diane Witting and plans to study psychology at IU South Bend.
Taylor Long is a junior college transfer from Lake Michigan College where she was named to the Dean's List in every semester. The Goshen, Indiana native prepped at Northridge High School where she batted .384 with 28 hits, 21 runs, and 20 RBI in her final season. Long received the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) award for exemplary academic achievement at LMC. This award is given to student-athletes with a grade point average between a 3.60-3.79.
Taylor is the daughter of Brent and Lori Long and plans to study dental hygiene at IU South Bend.
Madalyn "Maddy" Hovius
Maddy Hovious comes to IU South Bend after a year at Indiana Wesleyan University where she appeared in 21 games for the Wildcats including two starts. Prior to IWU, Hovious was a standout at Jennings County High School where she earned All-Area Honorable Mention accolades. She was named a two-time Gold Glove Award winner as well as All-Conference Honorable Mention goalie in soccer.
Maddy is the daughter of Barry and Lydia Hovious and plans to study applied behavior analysis at IU South Bend.
Brooke Miller joins the IU South Bend softball program after four years at Goshen High School. The shortstop also participated in volleyball and basketball for the RedHawks. The four-year varsity letter winner showed improvement every season and had a breakout year during her junior season. Miller batted .297 with 15 stolen bases and was named a team captain and the defensive player award winner. In her last season with Goshen, Brooke batted .380 with 23 stolen bases and received the Most Valuable Player award.
Brooke is the daughter of Jeryl and Kim Miller and plans to study biology at IU South Bend.
Molly Marsh comes to IU South Bend from fellow Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference member, Purdue North Central. Marsh brings valuable experience to the Titans' first-year program as she started in 67 games for the Panthers during her two years at PNC. During her time at West Noble High School, Marsh was a three-time all-conference selection, three-time all-area selection, and participated in the North/South All-Star game.
Molly is the daughter of Tom and Michelle Marsh and plans to study communication at IU South Bend.
Kaylee Pletcher joins the Titans after a stellar career at Jimtown High School. The pitcher was a three-time all-conference selection for the Jimmies and a three-time selection for the North vs. South All-Star game. During her sophomore season at JHS, the right-hander belted a school record six home runs and finished with a career total of 14 home runs. In the circle, Pletcher posted a 2.36 earned run average (ERA) while tossing a perfect game during her junior season. The Elkhart Kiwanis Athlete of the Month selection sported a 1.91 ERA in her final season at Jimtown while also batting .452.
Kaylee is the daughter of Mark and Sheila Pletcher and plans to study pre-physical therapy at IU South Bend.
Kelli Frieling comes to South Bend from Lake Central High School and South Suburban College. While at SSC, Frieling helped the Bulldogs to back-to-back Region IV runner-up finishes. During her freshman season at SSC, the switch-hitting outfielder collected 47 hits including one homerun. In her final year with the Bulldogs, Kelli was named second team all-region while spraying 49 hits including six long balls.
Kelli is the daughter of Steve and Alona Frieling and plans to study sport and exercise science at IU South Bend.
Kim Lucas comes to IU South Bend via Elkhart Memorial High School where she was a four-year letter winner for the Chargers. During her junior season, Lucas batted .402 while fielding .969 in the outfield and was named first team all-Northern Lakes Conference. The 2016 graduate improved in her final season at EMHS batting .412 and was named Kiwanis Athlete of the Month for the month of May.
Kim is the daughter of Randall and Josephine Kreider and plans to study nursing at IU South Bend.
Brittany Probasco is another junior college transfer who brings experience to the first-year program. Probasco collected 106 hits and 12 home runs in two seasons at Ancilla College. The third baseman posted a career batting average of .394 for the Chargers.
Brittany is the daughter of Ronald and Sandra Probasco and plans to study criminal justice at IU South Bend.
Philny joins the Titans after two years at Palm Beach State College where she was named second team all-conference in both seasons. In her sophomore season with Palm Beach State, Llewellyn batted .303 with four home runs and 23 RBI. Prior to PBSC, Philny prepped at Trinity Christian High School where she was named the Small School Softball Player of the Year in 2014. She finished her 2014 campaign with a batting average of .618, five home runs, and 61 RBI. In the circle, the right-hander went 15-3 with 114 strikeouts and a 0.82 ERA.
Philny is the daughter of Philbert and Moniue Llewellyn and plans to study social work at IU South Bend.
Nichole Kirkpatrick is a local standout from South Bend Riley High School. During her freshman year at Riley, Kirkpatrick helped the Wildcats to a Northern Indiana Conference title as well as a sectional crown. The right-handed pitcher was named second team all-conference in her junior season and was named a team captain during her final season with Riley. Kirkpatrick surpassed 100 strikeouts during her senior season. Nichole also qualified for golf regionals during the fall of her season year.
Nichole is the daughter of Matt and Heidi Kirkpatrick and plans to study elementary education at IU South Bend.
Taylor Astell joins IU South Bend after a prep career at Brownsburg High School in Brownsburg, Indiana. Astell played in 81 games over her three year varsity career for the Bulldogs collecting 83 hits, 15 RBI, and scoring 58 runs while batting .439 over her career. Her breakout season came in her junior year as she hit .478 with 43 hits and two homeruns while committing no errors on defense earning the left-handed hitting outfielder all-conference accolades.
Taylor is the daughter of Erin Zollner and plans to study nursing at IU South Bend.
The IU South Bend softball team will open up its inaugural season over spring break as they travel to Clermont, Florida.
Visit www.iusbtitans.com for up to date news, schedules, and rosters for the Titan softball program.