November 16, 2000

Softball Signs Three to Letters of Intent

Nov. 16, 2000

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Softball head coach Marcy Crouch announced this afternoon the signing of Kelley Johnson of San Jose, Jennifer Ponzo of San Carlos and Lacey Smale of Tujunga to National Letters of Intent.

"We've deepened our pitching core and increased our hitting power with this trio," Crouch said. "They've had such success on their high school and club teams that their game experience will be valuable to our team next season."

Johnson, a 5-9 power pitcher from Archbishop Mitty High School, finished 18-5 last season with a 0.48 ERA, striking out 201 and walking only 12 in 180 innings. Additionally, she batted .362 as the cleanup hitter and drove in 17 runs while scoring 14. A first-team All-CCS selection, Johnson was also MVP of the Mount Hamilton League. Last summer, she helped lead her travel team, the West Bay Nuggets, to a fifth-place finish at the 18-U Gold Nationals.

"Kelley is a great all-around athlete," Crouch said. "She'll be an immediate impact player for us as a pitcher and a hitter. I'm excited to be able to work with her."

Ponzo, a 5-8 pitcher and outfielder from Notre Dame Belmont High School, played with Johnson on the West Bay Nuggets team. She is also a three-time All-GPSL League first team member and Notre Dame MVP. Ponzo was the League's MVP her sophomore year while posting a 0.38 ERA and recorded a .392 batting average last season.

"Jenn will be another pitcher/hitter for us but will also see time in the outfield," Crouch continued. "Her dedication and experience will enable her to step in and be an immediate team leader."

Smale, a 5-7 first baseman at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, bats and throws left-handed. Her team's Co-Offensive Player of the Year last season, she is also a two-time All-CIF and All-Mission League honoree. Smale received the CIF Academic/Athletic Excellence Award in softball three times, in basketball twice, and once each in soccer and cross country. In 1998, she also named MVP for her team and was and Honorable Mention in the Mission League.

"Lacey is a strong left-handed hitter," Crouch said. "She will add some much-needed power to our lineup while also strengthening our infield with her solid first-base play."

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