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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Softball Welcomes Five in Signing Period

Release: 11/20/2013
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AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State softball team made five additions during the November signing period for the 2015 season, head coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler announced Wednesday. The Cyclones welcomes Nychole Antillon of Orange, Calif., Madison Bright of Oologah, Okla., Kelsey McFarland of New Prauge, Minn., Gabby Voulgaris of Lockport, Ill. and Bri Weilbacher of Columbia, Ill.

“I think overall the class that we have is very strong,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. “A lot of them will have the potential to make an impact right away. We have two seniors in the outfield right now so when this class gets here they will have a chance to play right away.”

Antillon, who plays at Mater Dai High School and club for the Corona Angels, helped lead the Mater Dai Monarchs to a 22-5 record and the Trinity League Championship. Antillon is a versatile player who has ability hitting for average (she hit .367 last year) and for power (she recorded seven home runs in 2012-13). She has started each of her first three seasons at Mater Dai and is a team captain for her senior season.

“Nychole is a true utility player,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler noted. “She can do quite a few things. She can play in the middle, she can play in either of the corners, she can play in the outfield, she has good power and good speed. She is an all-around good player.”

Bright just finished an accomplished high school career for Claremore High School. Bright earned All-State honors as she helped lead the Lady Zebras to the 2013 District and Regional Championships, and the semifinals of the Class 5A State Championships. A three-year letterwinner and three-time All-District honoree, Bright hit .412 her senior season with three homers and 21 RBIs from the lead-off spot.

“Madison is a table-setter,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler noted. “She has good speed and understands the role of the lead-off spot.”

McFarland, who played for New Prauge for four seasons before moving to Las Vegas prior to her senior season at Foothill High School, was a three-time Missota All-Conference first team selection and a two-time all-state honoree. Combined across her last three seasons, McFarland was successful on all 69 of her stolen base attempts and brought in 23 RBIs as a junior. She played club softball for the Minnesota Stars 95’.

“Kelsey will continue to get better and better as she gets stronger,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler stated. “I think she will become a very good power lefty hitter.”

Voulgaris, who played for Lockport Township High School, came back from missing her 2012 high school season with injury with a strong 2013. Earning all-conference and all-area honors, Voulgaris had one of the highest RBI totals in the Chicagoland area with 39 in 2013. She has been very active in summer softball, playing at the 18 Gold level the last three seasons and leading the teams in most hitting categories.

“Gabby can play a lot of positions, both in the middle of the field and the corners,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. “Regardless of where she plays, she will add depth to our power hitting.”

Weilbacher, a pitcher at Columbia High School, has been one of top pitchers in the St. Louis area for many years now. In three years starting for Columbia, she has a 40-10 record with 409 strikeouts to her name. Her ERA has been under 2.00 each of the last two seasons, sitting at 1.47 last year. A two-time all-conference honoree, Weilbacher helped lead Columbia to the sectional championship game last season and two regional championships in her high school career.

“Bri will have a chance to really help our pitching staff,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler noted. “Pitching is so important in our sport. She is a great competitor, she brings a lot of energy and she will be ready to work.”
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