Husky Softball Signs Four Standout Players to Letters of Intent
Nov. 15, 2007
SEATTLE - Washington Husky head softball coach Heather Tarr announced the signing of four high school seniors to National Letters of Intent today. The four players, who will join the Huskies for the 2009 season, all signed during the early signing period, which runs from Nov. 14-21. The regular signing period begins April 9, 2008 and runs through Aug. 1, 2008.
The newcomers include pitcher/outfielder Jenna Clifton (Glendale, Ariz.), pitcher/first baseman Felecia Harris (Kent, Wash.), outfielder Kimi Pohlman (Sammamish, Wash.) and infielder Niki Williams (Lake Forest, Calif.).
'We have two of the best in-state kids that signed letters,' said Tarr. 'Overall, it's a very athletic and versatile class with both speed and power. Each has a chance to play an impact role for us.'
Clifton comes to the UW from Northwest Christian School in Phoenix, where as a junior she earned Arizona Small School Player of the Year honors after leading the Crusaders to the Class 2A State Championship. Clifton garnered numerous awards last season, including being named the Metro Region Player of the Year, as well as named to the All-Arizona Team and Arizona 2A State All-Tournament Team. She was also named First Team All-State and First Team All-Region.
She has played ASA softball for the past nine years, including the past two for the Hotshots Gold. She helped the Hotshots team to 33rd place at the 2007 ASA 18-under Gold Nationals. In 2005, she helped the Killerbees to a ninth place finish at the 2005 ASA 14-under Gold Nationals.
This fall, Clifton helped the Crusaders volleyball team to the 2A State Championship, after the team was state runner-up during her sophomore season.
'I chose Washington because it is located in one of the most beautiful places in the world,' said Clifton on why she chose the UW over the likes of Arizona and Oklahoma State. 'I have always wanted to go to a school that has strong academics and athletics, and Washington is the perfect fit.'
'Pound-for-pound Jenna is one of the top hitters at her level,' commented Tarr. 'She's got great arm strength that will help us immediately in the outfield. She has the ability to pitch but she will make an impact for us as an outfielder.'
Harris is a local product who as a junior last season helped Kentlake High School to a fourth-place finish at state. A three-year letterwinner, Harris has won consecutive League Player of the Year awards and been named First Team All-State, First Team All-Area and First Team All-League all three seasons at Kentlake. Harris has been named the Falcons' Top Offensive Player all three years and was a team captain last season. She played this past summer for the Washington Ladyhawks Gold team and prior to that played for the Washington Sidewinders, helping the team advance to the 2006 ASA 16-under A Nationals. She has been on the honor roll every semester at Kentlake and is a member of the National Honor Society.
'Felecia brings power, presence and versatility to our program,' said Tarr. 'She has always wanted to be a Husky, which I think is great. She was the first of this class to commit to us.'
Harris listed numerous reasons on why she chose to play for the Huskies, most notably the coaching staff.
'After my first softball camp at Washington, I immediately recognized the coaches and their coaching style,' said Harris. 'I really enjoyed the way they taught different aspects of the game and made it a fun learning environment.
'After my first visit to the U, I fell in love with everything. The campus is large and surrounded by numerous things to do. I can't wait to get up there and finally call U-dub my home.'
Pohlman attends The Bear Creek School in Redmond, Wash., and is a standout three-sport athlete in soccer, basketball, and track and field for the Grizzlies. While The Bear Creek School does not offer softball, Pohlman did excel on the diamond as a member of the Washington Ladyhawks Gold Team. Pohlman and the Ladyhawks took 13th at the 2006 18-under Gold Nationals, and 13th at the 2005 ASA 18-under Gold Nationals. She was recruited by some of the nation's top NCAA Division I softball programs, including California, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Mississippi State and Tennessee.
Pohlman is a two-time Washington Class 2B State Champion in the 100-meter dash in track and field, and has been named First Team All-State in soccer twice as well as a First Team All-League soccer player three times.
'I have always been a Husky fan,' said Pohlman on why she chose to play softball for the Huskies. 'Ever since I was a kid I always wanted to play Husky softball. When it was finally a reality, the coaches and players made it an easy decision.'
'Kimi has speed, she's left-handed, she's got a lot of raw talent and she is very competitive,' said Tarr. 'She has played at the ASA gold level for three years. Being a four-sport athlete who has not played softball yet year-round, her potential and ability are limitless.'
Williams was a First Team All-CIF and Second Team All-State selection last season as a junior at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif. Also last season, Williams was named El Toro's Junior Athlete of the Year, was named First Team All-County and won the Orange County Register Player of the Week once. She helped the Chargers to first place league finishes as a freshman and junior and was named First Team All-League both seasons as well as El Toro's Freshman Athlete of the Year in 2005. Williams, who missed her entire sophomore year due to an injury, is a four-year Associated Student Body (ASB) Officer and won the ASB 'Die Hard' Award, as voted on by her peers.
Williams was a starter for the Corona Angels ASA Gold team that placed fifth at the 2007 ASA 18-under Gold Nationals. In 2006, the Corona Angels squad finished 25th at the 18-under Nationals and also won the prestigious Independence Day Tournament in Boulder, Colo.
'I chose the University of Washington because the coaches are amazing,' said Williams. 'The team was welcoming, and most importantly, immediately when I stepped on campus I knew it was the place I wanted attend school and play softball on a collegiate level.'
'Niki has played a major role on her ASA gold team for two years,' said Tarr. 'She can play any infield position, hit for power and average and has great speed. We expect her to come in right away and make an impact.'
Tarr and the Huskies open up the 2008 season in Las Vegas at the Alexis Resort Kickoff tournament, which runs Feb. 8-10. The Huskies are coming off a season that saw them advance to the Women's College World Series for the eighth time in school history and finish tied for third in the nation after going 42-18.
2008 Washington Softball Letter of Intent Signees
P/OF, 5-6, Glendale, Ariz. (Northwest Christian)
P/1B, 5-10, Kent, Wash. (Kentlake)
OF, 5-8, Sammamish, Wash. (The Bear Creek School)
IF, 5-9, Lake Forest, Calif. (El Toro)
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