Tarr Signs Four To National Letters Of Intent

Nov. 17, 2009

SEATTLE - Washington softball head coach Heather Tarr announced the signing of four high school seniors to National Letters of Intent this week, all of whom will join the Huskies next fall as the class of 2014.

The signees include infielder Marki Creger-Zier (Steilacoom, Wash.), outfielder Victoria Hayward (Mountain View, Calif.), pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby (Portland, Ore.) and pitcher/outfielder Whitney Jones (Upland, Calif.).

'This recruiting class has the potential to rival some of our best here at Washington,' Tarr, who enters her sixth season as the Huskies head coach in 2010, said. 'There is a great mixture of speed and power, with two left-handed short-game offensive threats, and two power-hitting righties. We expect all four of these young ladies to come in next year and immediately compete for playing time right away.'

Creger-Zier is three-sport athlete at Steilacoom High School, excelling in cross country and basketball in addition to softball. On the diamond, the infielder has been named First Team All-State the last two seasons and First Team All-Nisqually League in each of her first three seasons, including being voted the league's Most Valuable Player her sophomore year. She has led her team to three league titles and back-to-back fifth-place finishes in the state tournament.

Her freshman year, she led the league with a .597 average and 49 stolen bases while also pitching a no-hitter and posting a 0.23 ERA in the circle. She went on to top herself her sophomore year by leading the league in average, on base percentage and stolen bases to earn MVP honors and Tacoma News Tribune All-Area honors.

'Marki brings Ashley Charters-like speed to our line-up,' Tarr said, referring to the recent All-American graduate who is UW's all-time base stealer. 'She's a three-sport high school athlete who fits in well with our system. Initially, we see Marki competing for a spot in our middle-infield. Athletically, she could have an easy transition to our outfield with a natural ability to cover a lot of ground.'

Creger-Zier has also been a top-10 finisher at the state cross country meet, finishing fourth her freshman year and sixth as a sophomore. She has also played basketball for the Sentinels, earning Second Team All-Nisqually league honors as a junior. She also earned the league's Scholar-Athlete Award the last two years as she boasts a 3.5 grade-point average.

'The Huskies have always been my team,' Creger-Zier said. 'From the time that I started competing, whether it was in softball, track, basketball or soccer, I could only see myself wearing purple & gold. Washington is also my home, where my whole family is as well as all of my friends. They have all supported me in my dreams my whole life and to be able to live out my dream where they can still be a part of it as much as they have been in the past, would add to my success. To be a graduate of a school as prestigious as UW would give me the foundation that I will need to begin the next phase of my life. I will always be a Dawg.'

Hayward, who carries a 4.4 grade-point average, is a three-year captain of the Mountain View softball team, earning All-State honors in her junior year. She is a two-time De Anza league MVP and three-time All-League selection and has been named to the All-Mercury News team in each of the last two seasons. She batted .644 her junior year.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Hayward joined current Huskies Danielle Lawrie and Jenn Salling on the Canadian National Team this past summer, becoming the youngest player ever named to the National Team. She played for Team Canada in this summer's Canada Cup, KFC World Cup and Pan-Am Championships.

'We were lucky to find Victoria Hayward a bit late in the recruiting process this summer when she played with Danielle Lawrie and Jenn Salling for the Canadian National Team,' Tarr said. 'She's a tremendous student who will be able to achieve greatness in some of the toughest academic programs here at UW. Victoria's speed and versatility at the plate will be game-changing at this level.'

Hayward plays for the Sorcerers club team, which won the 2009 ASA 18-and-under Gold National Championship. In addition to playing softball Mountain View, she is also a three-year varsity soccer player, being named an all-league defender in each of the last two seasons.

'I chose Washington for its long-standing tradition of academic excellence and commitment to providing academic support to athletes,' Hayward said. 'I also chose it for the spectacular campus, the quality of the softball program and the opportunity to play for Coach Tarr and her coaching staff at the highest level of college softball.'

Inglesby, who attends Central Catholic High School in Portland, was named the 2009 Oregon State ASA Player of the Year, leading the Northwest Blaze to three major tournament victories. She has also led Central Catholic to a pair of league titles and a second-place finish in state her freshman year. That year, she was named Third Team All-State, which she followed up her next two years by earning league MVP, Pitcher of the Year and all-state honors.

'Kaitlin Inglesby is a strong, versatile athlete who can pitch, hit and play first base,' Tarr said. 'We expect her to make an immediate impact in our program in the circle and with her bat.'

Inglesby is also an accomplished racquetball player, competing for the ASA Junior Olympic Racquetball team and capturing 27 world or national championships.

'I chose the University of Washington because I love the family, community and team atmosphere,' Inglesby said. 'I fell in love with the campus, the location of the university on the water and the city of Seattle. To be able to play at a Pac-10 school so close to home is incredible. I wanted to play and represent a top program on and off the field. Washington has an amazing student-athlete support system, which is an awesome advantage. The fact that the University has one of the best programs for my major (Speech and Hearing Sciences) and has one of the best Audiology graduate programs in the country was the frosting on the cake. I can't wait to be a Husky.'

Jones, who attends Upland High School in Pomona, Calif., carries a 3.83 grade-point average. She was club teammates with current Huskies Morgan Stuart, Niki Williams and Shawna Wright on the Corona Angels under Marty Tyson, the father of former Husky All-American Dena Tyson. Jones has helped the Angels finish second at Nationals in 2007 and 2009.

A four-year letterwinner and two-year team captain at Upland, Jones has led her school to a pair of league championships. She is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-League selection, adding All-Area honors her junior year.

'Whitney Jones was the first of this class to commit to Washington,' Tarr said. 'She is the epitome of a Husky softball player: selfless, accountable, confident and tough. Her primary role will be in our outfield but we are anxious to see how her left-handed arm mixes with our pitching rotation. She's a right-handed power hitter with measureable speed.'

'I chose Washington because it offers everything I wanted in a college and more,' Jones said. 'I'm getting the chance to earn a top-notch college degree in the classroom and will always be striving for a National Championship on the field. There's no doubt that the next four years will be the time of my life.'

The 2009 Nation Champion Huskies begin their 2010 title defense, Feb. 11-14, at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. To view the complete schedule, go to www.GoHuskies.com.

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