PISCATAWAY, N.J. (January 11, 2013) – Rutgers softball coach Jay Nelson has announced the signing of five recruits to the Scarlet Knights’ 2013-14 roster; Carly Todd (Deptford, N.J.), Shayla Sweeney (Barrington, N.J.), Danielle DeMarco (Brookfield, Conn.), Dana Hendry (Yorba Linda, Calif.), and Ashlynn Martinez (Corona, Calif.).
“I am extremely pleased with our talented group of early signees for the incoming class of 2013,” said head coach Jay Nelson who is in his seventh year at the helm. “The class consists of five very impressive athletes including two of New Jersey’s finest softball athletes, two extremely talented California natives and a superior athlete from Connecticut. Their talents will lead the Rutgers softball program to new heights.”
Out of Brookfield, Conn., hails Danielle DeMarco who is ready to kick off her fourth year as a starter on the Brookfield High School varsity squad. DeMarco has used her talents to help lead her squad to a conference victory in 2011 and conference runner-up spot in 2012. Her team-leading on-base percentage and .560 batting average performance in 2011 notched her Brookfield Offensive Player of the Year as well as All-State and All-Conference honors. In her most recent season, DeMarco notched a .464 batting average and led the team in RBIs.
“Danielle DeMarco is a corner infielder who’s wields a great bat,” said Nelson. “She plays for the 18 and Under Wicked travel ball team from Connecticut coached by Mark Macchiarulo and former Hofstra stand out Sara Michalowski. She led her travel team in hits, home runs and RBIs in her sophomore year. Danielle was named team captain of her high school team for her senior year. Our team is made up of leaders and it is a quality we search for when recruiting. She is going to fit right in to our program.”
Next on the docket, RU went across the U.S. to pick up a pair of Califorinia talents in Hendry and Martinez.
“Both of our California athletes come to us from the 18 and Under Gold OC Elite team coached by Gregg Esteban,” said Nelson of Hendry and Martinez. “Hendry has earned All-League First Team honors and was her high school offensive player of the year leading them in hits, batting average, on base percentage, as well as stolen bases. She adds immediate offense to our program. In addition to her great offensive skills she adds depth to our catching and out fielding crew.”
Hendry is set to begin her fourth year as a letterwinner at Yorba Linda High School in Yorba Linda, Calif. The catcher notched Empire League Scholar Athlete honors three years running, and finished her junior campaign ranked second amongst the Mustangs in runs scored and slugging percentage (.467). Hendry has deep rooted ties to the game, as her great uncle is Hall of Fame baseball player and current CEO and President of the Texas Rangers, Nolan Ryan.
Ashlynn Martinez is a Corona, Calif., native, and is the second of the signing class to come to Rutgers out of The Golden State. Martinez excelled as a middle infielder throughout her career at Santiago High School helping team to three league championships (2009, 2010, 2011), and was selected for the Coaches Award two of those three years. In 2011, Martinez helped lead the Sharks to both a CIF Division I title and a Division 1 state title, all the while notching the Scholar-Athlete award for earning the team’s top GPA.
“Ashlynn Martinez also comes to us from the OC Elite,” Nelson said. “Ashlynn will help us with her speed and ability to hit from either side of the plate. Her knowledge of the game is a great asset knowing when to move a runner or hit behind a runner gives us the ability to maximize our run scoring potential. She is a very mature athlete that has been a vital part of a number of championship teams, including high school league, city and state championship teams. She knows what it takes to win and will fit into our program’s competitive drive to be champions.”
Carly Todd, a four-year member of the Gloucester Catholic High School varsity softball team, will come to Rutgers after a wealth of experience at the shortstop position.
“Carly Todd is a tremendous athlete,” said Nelson. “She comes to us from Gloucester Catholic and the New Jersey Mystics travel team coached by Stacy Jackson and Tom DiBernardo. Carly is a middle infielder with great hands and a high softball IQ. As a freshman and sophomore she compiled a fielding percentage of 990 and 985 on route to two New Jersey State Championships. She is also an offensive threat with great speed that hits from the left side.”
The Deptford, N.J., native was selected to the All-Conference Second Team her first two seasons and was selected All-South Jersey third team during her sophomore year. As a junior, she was named First Team All-Conference and First Team All-South Jersey. Todd was named MVP during her sophomore and junior seasons and her leadership led to her being selected to captain her Gloucester Catholic squad during her junior and senior years.
Fellow Jersey recruit Shayla Sweeney comes to Rutgers out of Haddon Heights High School in Barrington, N.J.
“Shayla is a highly touted pitcher from Haddon Heights High School and has been a member of the New Jersey Gators 18 and Under Gold team coached by John Biasi,” said Nelson. “She earned numerous All-State honors and pitched her high school team to a conference championship as a sophomore. As a junior Shayla earned the role of team captain and led the team to another conference championship. She also pitched her team to the State sectional championship while compiling 25 wins and striking out 272 batters.”
Sweeney will begin her fourth year as a member of the Haddon Heights Garnets varsity squad, and was named First Team All-Conference and First Team All-Group in each of her years as a Garnet. During her junior campaign, she led South Jersey in hits (batted) with 47, and sat third in South Jersey in RBIs with 36. As the Haddon Heights pitcher, she compiled 175 strikeouts and 14 wins her freshman year, 230 strikeouts and 19 wins her sophomore year, and 272 strikeouts and 25 wins her junior year. Sweeney also spread her athletic talents on the hardwood, as she was a varsity starter on the Garnet basketball squad each of her four years.
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