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Oregon State Signs Nine Exceptional Student-Athletes

Nov 10, 2020

CORVALLIS – The Oregon State softball program will welcome in nine players as part of its 2021 signing class, head coach Laura Berg announced Wednesday. Lici Campbell, Kiki Escobar, Sarah Haendiges, Eliana Gottlieb, Ainsley Lambert, Erin Mendoza, Kaylah Nelson, Des Rivera and Kristalyn Romulo have all signed to join the Beavers in the 2022 season.
Lici Campbell – C/1B, Fr., Vallejo, Calif. (St. Patrick – St. Vincent High School)
Campbell joins the Beavers as a catcher/first-baseman out of Vallejo, Calif. She was nominated for Vallejo Times Herald Athlete of the Year. Campbell hit over .400 in 2019 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs. She played club softball for Lady Magic out of Sacramento, earning the Club Hustle Award. She batted .423 for the club, and is among Extra Innings Softball's Top-100 for the class of 2021.
According to Berg: "Lici, brings a lot of versatility at the corners as well as behind the plate.  She's a true power hitter with a fantastic work ethic."
The daughter of Kristina Alvarez and Jody Campbell, Lici made the Principals Honor Roll from 2016-2020.
"I chose to attend OSU so I could play for one of the top collegiate softball teams in the country and to be led by their world renowned coaching staff," Campbell said. "I also chose OSU for its commitment to academic excellence and innovative research opportunities."

Kiki Escobar – SS/2B, Fr., Oxnard, Calif. (Camarillo High School)
Escobar is a middle-infielder out of Oxnard, Calif. She led Camarillo High School to three-straight league titles, and hit .420 during her sophomore campaign. Escobar played club ball for Batbusters and Choppers, helping her team finish eight in Premier Girls Fastpitch and winning numerous tournaments.
According to Berg: "Kiki has very smooth hands and great instincts on the field.  I'm looking forward to working with her offensively, she brings great speed and versatility as a hitter."
The daughter of Rosie and Joe Escobar, Kiki hopes to one day become a sports reporter.
"I chose to attend OSU because of the beautiful campus and amazing coaching staff," said Escobar "When I walked on the campus I immediately knew it was my second home. The coaching staff made me feel welcomed and not afraid to be myself."
Eliana Gottlieb – OF, Fr., Newport Beach, Calif. (Newport Harbor High School)
Gotlieb joins the Beavers as an outfielder from Newport Beach, Calif. She earned All-CIF Southern Section Division 5 First Team honors and Sunset Conference Wave League MVP recognition in 2019. Gotlieb led her team to a conference title in 2019, and hit a blistering .569 as a sophomore. She competed for the Corona Angels for four years, participating in the Premier Girls Fastpitch Tournament four times and earned Boulder IDT All-Star honors twice.
According to Berg: "I'm really looking forward to working with Eliana.  She has speed, power and a strong arm.  She will be a leader in the outfield and a force in the batter's box."
Daughter of Rebecca and Jay Gottlieb, Eliana posted a 4.1 GPA in high school and intends to major in mathematics.
"I chose OSU because of the awesome student-athlete culture, and the opportunity to play for a former Olympic outfielder," Gottlieb said. "It is a great fit for me to challenge myself athletically and academically."
Sarah Haendiges – P, Fr., Upland, Calif. (Upland High School)
Haendiges comes to the Beavers as a pitcher from Upland, Calif. She competed four years for Athletics Mercado, posting a 1.59 ERA and striking out 104 in 96 innings of work last summer. Haendiges helped her squad finish third at the Top Organization Nationals in Oklahoma City. At Upland High School, she earned All-Baseline League honors twice.
According to Berg: "Sarah is going to be fun to watch play.  She's a competitor and wants the ball when the game is on the line.  She plays for one of the top travel ball teams in the country out of So Cal and knows how to handle the pressure in the circle."
The daughter of Liz and John Haendiges, Sarah hopes to become a lawyer.
"I chose to attend OSU because Corvallis feels like home and is an amazing college town," Haendiges said. "The softball program is up and coming and I am excited to contribute to its success."
Ainsley Lambert – P, Fr., Spanish Fort, Ala. (Spanish Fort High School)
Lambert comes to Oregon State as a pitcher from Spanish Fort, Ala. She was selected as a Mex Preps All-American and Alabama 6A Pitcher of the Year in 2019, and also earned All-State Terrific 20 honors in 2020. Lambert competed on the club level with Southern Spirit and So Cal Athletics. She was a member of the Select 30 All-America Team, and was named to the Flo Softball Top-100 Watch List.
According to Berg: "Talk about a competitor in the circle – it's Ainsley. She is passionate about the game and will do everything in her power to win.  She is the ultimate teammate and brings another big stick in the batter's box as well. I look for Ainsley's skills set to complement our staff on day one."  
Daughter of Allyson and Wallace Lambert, Ainsley is a 4.0 student who intends to major in architectural engineering.
"I chose OSU because I felt at home," Lambert said. "The environment was warm and welcoming. OSU is everything I wanted in a college."
Erin Mendoza – OF, Fr., Lakewood, Calif. (Los Alamitos High School)
Mendoza is an outfielder hailing from Lakewood, Calif. A four-year varsity player, she helped her team reach No. 1 in the nation in the Max Preps rankings. Mendoza paced her squad to three Sunset League championships, and two titles at the Dave Kops Tournament of Champions. She played club ball for Firecrackers Brashear and Ohana Tigers.
According to Berg: "Erin, is also a speedy outfielder that I look forward to working with.  Her fundamentals in the outfield remind me a lot of my USA teammates.  She also brings a unique dimension to the team with the ability to hit from either side of the plate."
The daughter of Kathleen and Steve Mendoza, Erin made the honor roll all four years of high school.
"I chose Oregon State because I love the culture of the school and town of Corvallis," Mendoza said. "I'm excited for the opportunity to play for Coach Berg in the Pac-12."
Kayla Nelsen – OF, Fr., Corona, Calif. (Santiago High School)
Nelson is an outfielder joining the Beavers from Corona, Calif. She earned All-State and All-League honors during her rime at Santiago High School. Nelsen was named her team's Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and Rookie of the Year as a freshman. She played her club ball for Bat Busters and Athletics Mercado, helping her squad win Nationals.
According to Berg: "Kaylah, is one of the most consistent hitter's I've seen.  She's a constant threat in the box and gets some of the best jumps on balls in the outfield.  She plays on one of the top travel ball teams in the country from So Cal area and will bring that championship experience."
The daughter of Diana and Kevin Nelsen, Kayla made the honor roll in high school and intends to major in child education.
Des Rivera – C, Fr., Chino, Calif. (Bishop Amat Memorial High School)
Rivera is a catcher out of Chino, Calif. She was an All-Del Rey League honoree every year of high school, and led the conference in batting average her sophomore year. Rivera played six years for OC Batbusters and three years for Athletics Mercado. She helped her team win an OKC National title in 2019.
According to Berg: "Des is a natural leader behind the plate and brings a strong arm and strong bat with her.  She's a fantastic communicator and will be the backbone of the battery.  Des, also plays for one of the top travel ball teams in the country, so she has that championship experience."
Daughter of Michelle and Steve Rivera, Des intends to major in kinesiology.
"As soon as I stepped on campus I felt like I was at home," Rivera said. "I knew there wasn't going to be a better fit for me. The coaches are amazing and I've always wanted to compete in the Pac-12."
Kristalyn Romulo – OF, Fr., Cerritos, Calif. (Gahr High School)
Romulo will join the Beavers as an outfielder from Cerritos, Calif. She led Gahr High School to an appearance in the California Division I semifinals in 2019, a year after taking her team to the final. Romulo also helped her team win a pair of San Gabriel Valley League titles. She played six years for Ohana Tigers, based out of Cerritos, Calif.
According to Berg: "Kristalyn has so much speed. I can't wait to watch her run down balls in the outfield and cause havoc on the bases.  She's a triple threat in the box and has a cannon of an arm in the outfield."
The daughter of Jackie and George Romulo, Kristalyn intends to major in digital communications.
"I chose OSU because of the hometown feel," Romulo said, "and family feel in the area."
Oregon State Athletics strives to Build Excellent Authentic Visionary Student-Athletes (Go BEAVS).