Cyclones Sign Six for 2011-12
AMES, Iowa - The Iowa State softball team and head Cyclones coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler have announced six additions to the 2011-12 team. The Cyclones will be joined next year by Miranda Kemp (Haymarket, Va.), Jorden Smith (San Antonio, Texas), Lexi Slater (Ramona, Calif.), Kayla Hardiman (Council Bluffs, Iowa), Samantha Claman (Des Moines, Iowa) and Lauren Thimmesch (Overland Park, Kan.).
"We're very excited about our incoming freshmen," Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. "Each of the girls will be an important addition to our team."
A pitching ace from Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Kemp was an ASA Virginia state champion with the Shamrocks fast pitch softball team in 2008 and 2009.
"Miranda is a great addition to our staff," Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. "She has high-quality experience and good velocity and command."
Expected to shine defensively, Smith, who will play both first base and out field for the Cyclones, hails from Johnson High School in San Antonio.
"Jorden's speed and great defensive skill will make a huge impact on our play," Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. "She plays on an excellent Texas team and has played at the highest level which will make her transition to the Big 12 somewhat easier than it otherwise would be."
A member of the Ramona high school and club teams, third baseman and short stop Slater will lend versatility to the Cyclones on offense and defense. Slater is a multiple all-conference selection and earned two consecutive spots on the All North County Softball Team, in 2009 and 2010.
"She is a great all-around athlete," Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. "Lexi has the ability to contribute defensively on a corner and in the middle."
Another player Gemeinhardt-Cesler sees as an offensive and defensive weapon is catcher Hardiman of Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs. Hardiman is a member of the Team Nebraska select team.
"Kayla is a great in-state player," Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. "Catcher is a very important position for us and for her to be able to contribute, as I think she will, on both offense and defense will mean a lot to this team."
Also from the Ames area, Claman, a 5-10 pitcher out of Abraham Lincoln High School in Des Moines, was the MVP of Abraham Lincoln as a freshman and has earned all-district and all-conference honors as a senior. With 10 years of ASA/USSSA tournament experience, Claman promises to be a great addition to the Cyclones next year.
"She is one of the best pitchers in the state," Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. "She competed in a tough CIML conference and has good command coming into Iowa State."
Finally, Overland Park's Thimmesch will play a variety of positions for Iowa State, including pitcher and first base. The St. Thomas Aquinas High School's defensive player of the year in 2008, Thimmesch and her team won the state championship that same year and Thimmesch was named an all-league and all-state selection.
"Lauren is a good athlete that can move around and help us in multiple positions," Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.