Santa Clara Signs Five to National Letters of Intent

Dec. 1, 2005

Santa Clara, Calif. - Head coach Steve Rianda announced the signing of five players who will attend and compete for Santa Clara University, starting next fall.  Emily Batt, Jennifer Clarke, Ashley Grove, Alyc Kalamaha, and Lauren Passafuime comprise the Class of 2010 and Rianda believes the quintet of players will help elevate the SCU softball program to new heights.

"This is a great start to our recruiting class. When you graduate five starting seniors, you have to bring in players that can compete for a starting position immediately," said Rianda. "All five of these student-athletes have great talent and the ability to play various roles. We are excited to have them join our family and build our program!"

Batt hails from Poway, Calif. and attends Poway High School. As the starting catcher for her high school team the past two seasons, Batt was named to the San Diego Union Tribune All-Academic Team as a junior. Competing for the San Diego Legacy the past two years, she helped guide her club squad to a first-place finish at the ASA Western National Championships in 2004.

"Emily is a solid student-athlete with outstanding softball skills. A strong throwing arm, she will help solidify a position currently riddled with injury," said Rianda. "Emily is a great hitter and can also play other positions on the diamond. We are excited to have her and look forward to her contributing at Santa Clara."

Clarke is a native of Walnut Creek, Calif. and attends California High School. The infielder was named to the All-East Bay Athletic League Team honors as a junior and sophomore. She was also the California High School Scholar Athlete in 2004 and 2003. She competes for the San Jose Strikkers.

"Jennifer is a strong player with a great work ethic and exceptional skills. Offensively and defensively we see her making a big impact on the league. She had a variety of offers and chose Santa Clara for the academic reputation and to have a chance to help move the softball program upwards," said Rianda. "Jennifer was a great last minute acquisition and will help our team in many areas."

Grove hails from Tucson, Ariz. and attends Salpointe Catholic High School. The 5-9 catcher has earned three varsity letters playing for her high school softball team and competes for the Phoenix Storm Gold. Previously, she was a part of the AZ Goldrunners squad that captured the Arizona 16U ASA State Championships in 2004. In 2003, she competed for the Tucson Bandits who went on to win the 16U AZ ASA State Championships.

"Ashley is a smooth, talented catcher that can also play other defensive positions. She works well with a pitching staff, has good footwork and a strong throwing arm," said Rianda. "She comes from a winning tradition and we expect her hard work and dedication to continue at Santa Clara."

Kalamaha is from El Cajon, Calif. and attends University of San Diego High School. The shortstop has been a starter for her high school since her freshman year and earned All-Western League honors the past three seasons. As a junior, she was named to the San Diego Union Tribune All-Academic Team. In club softball, she helped the San Diego Breakers to a third place finish at the 16U Triple Crown World Series in 2003. This year, she will compete for the San Diego Legacy.

"Alyc brings a lot of untapped talent to Santa Clara. She is a strong infielder with good speed," said Rianda. "She knows that she has some big shoes to fill and is ready for the challenge of Division I softball. We are excited to see everything she will bring to our program."

Passafuime is a native of Soquel, Calif. and attends Soquel High School. The 6-0 pitcher received her second consecutive First Team All-League honor last season after hurling a 9-3 record and 0.48 ERA. As a sophomore, she was named League Pitcher of the Year. Passafuime also earned three varsity letters as a member of the Soquel basketball team. In club softball, she competes for the Salinas Storm.

"Laruen has been an outstanding two sport athlete in high school. With her focus now on pitching, I know we will grow in one of the top pitchers in the conference," said Rianda. "She has a great demeanor about her, excellent physical tools and will complement our staff."