Three Signees Highlight Softball Coach Kathy Arendsen's First Recruiting Class

Nov. 20, 2002

EUGENE, Ore. - First year head coach Kathy Arendsen is quickly turning the Oregon softball program into her own, announcing the signing of three players to join the Duck squad in 2004.

Andrea Nyhus (P, White Rock, BC), Kristi Leiter (IF/OF, Lake Stevens, Wash.), and Susanna Barnes (IF/OF, Lake Forest Park, Wash.) have all signed letters of intent to play for the Ducks.

'We are very proud that these outstanding student-athletes have chosen to be our first recruiting class at Oregon,' Arendsen said. 'They will make great Ducks. Each comes from a wonderful family, has excellent academic accomplishments and is regarded as among the top softball players in their age group.'

Nyhus (Central Arizona/Semiahomoo HS) is the sole transfer of the class and will arrive as a junior in 2004 after playing two seasons under Craig Nicholson at Central Arizona. During her freshman season at Central Arizona, Nyhus led the Vaqueros to a 63-2 overall and 31-1 league record to become a first-team All-American. After just one season, which included the league title, Nyhus stands third all-time at Central Arizona for single season wins (34) and strike outs (249). Following the season, Nyhus earned first team All-ACCAC honors.

'Andrea can be an impact player wherever she goes,' Nicholson said. 'When she is healthy and everything is right, she is a dominant pitcher. She has very good velocity and great locations.'

Adds, Arendsen, 'Ani is a tremendous addition to our pitching staff. Her fire on the mound will be key to the development of our program.'

Both Leiter and Barnes hail from the state of Washington. Leiter (Lake Stevens HS), played for the Lake Breeze club team and earned four varsity letters while at Lake Stevens. Leiter's mother, Margo, coached Kristi's club team and also played collegiate softball at Portland State. Heading into her senior season, Leiter has 112 RBI, 26 doubles and 11 triples. She earned first-team all WESCO as well as first-team All Area first base honors. After helping Lake Stevens to a third place finish at state, Leiter earned team MVP honors.

'As a parent, I'm very excited for Kristi,' Margo Leiter said. 'She's a great first baseman, a great student and she'll give it her all. It's a great fit for her.'

Barnes (Shorecrest HS), played for the Washington LadyHawks summer team, which finished second at the NSA Western World Series in 2001. Last season, Shorecrest finished second in state and ended the season with a 24-2 overall record. Barnes earned All-WESCO honors for her play at shortstop in 2001 and 2002 as well as for her play at second base in 2000. Heading into her senior season, Barnes has 86 hits, 21 RBI, 31 stolen bases and has committed just nine errors in a three year span.

Barnes also plays varsity soccer, club soccer and basketball. She earned MVP honors for soccer in 2002 and was team captain in 2001.

'She's a fun player to watch,' Arendsen said. 'She's athletic, fast and plays with tremendous passion. We anticipate that she will make an immediate impact.'

Oregon opens the 2002 season Jan. 31 in San Marcos, Texas.

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