The Commerce Journal


November 20, 2013

13 signed in inaugural softball class

COMMERCE — Texas A&M University-Commerce softball hit another program milestone as head coach Richie Bruister announced the first-ever Lion softball signee class. The 13-player class spans five states as A&M-Commerce continues to prepare for its inaugural season in 2015.

“Words cannot express how excited I am about the group of girls we have signed this week,” Bruister said. “If you like speed, we got it. If you like power, we got it. If you like pitching, we got it. This is a very talented group in every aspect of the game and I can’t wait to see them on the field together. It is definitely a great day to be a Lion!”

The 13-player class represents an incredible recruiting undertaking by Bruister and assistant coach Jenna DeLong. Five states are represented, including Texas, Hawaii, Idaho, New Jersey and Washington, with a total distance from the players’ hometowns to A&M-Commerce of roughly 10,806 miles. Since beginning the recruiting process in August, Bruister and DeLong have logged approximately 24,198 miles in seven states, including scouring the state of Texas.

The end result is a group of players who will all provide an immediate impact as the A&M-Commerce softball program becomes a reality. The class includes four pitchers (Cyanne Fernandez, Courtney Moore, Emma Neuweiler and Selena Rima), a pair of catchers (Kayleigh LeBlanc and Johnna Sturm), three infielders (Monica Cherry, Brenda Iparraguire, and Cherie Jackson), two outfielders (Ellysse Boughey and Baylea Higgs) and pair of utility players (Tyler Oppenheim and Mackenzie Payne).

“Many miles, phone calls and sleepless nights have been the story of the past three months, but it has been worth it,” Bruister said. “What a joy ride and a big thank you to everyone involved in making this first recruiting class a very successful one. To the good Lord, my family, coach DeLong, our current players, our support staff and administration, I wish to offer a very sincere thank you.”

A&M-Commerce continues the process of building the program’s first-ever softball program. The roster currently stands at 17 players, including the four transfers who are already on campus going through conditioning and skill exercises. A new softball coaching suite is nearing completion with renderings of the new softball complex getting set to begin coming to fruition with more details being released soon.

The Lions will begin competing in fall exhibition contests in September of 2014, leading up to A&M-Commerce’s inaugural season in the spring of 2015. Stay tuned to as we continue to chronicle the building of the softball program from the ground up.

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What should be new A&M-C women's basketball coach Jason Burton's goals for the 2014-15 season?

Winning 10 games
Winning and LSC tournament game
His focus should be on recruiting/building the team, rather than immediate success
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