STORRS, Conn. – University of Connecticut softball coach Jen McIntyre and her staff announced the signing of seven student-athletes for the 2017 campaign. The Huskies will welcome Carissa Brizzi, Carli Cutler, Ashlee Dahman, Chloe Kerns, Katie Koshes, Kaily McDaniel and Olivia Sappington to the Storrs campus to compete for a Husky program that boasts eight NCAA Tournament berths.
“We are very excited to welcome the Class of 2020 to the UConn Husky softball family,” McIntyre said. “This is a large class that will have more additions as we grow. It is a very talented group that will compete in the classroom, on the field, and represent the University of Connecticut with pride and distinction. We anticipate this class will bring a ton of energy and tenacity to our current Husky roster and we look forward to seeing what each one will be able to achieve in a Husky uniform.”
Carissa Brizzi | Utility | Warrenton, Va. | Kettle Run High School
Brizzi was a four-year letterwinner under head coach Tori Hill at Kettle Run High School. She was named to the 4A All-Conference team during her final three seasons. She was also selected to the All-Region team in her junior campaign after leading the Cougars in runs, RBIs and stolen bases. As a sophomore, the squad made it to the regional tournament. Brizzi also earned varsity letters as a member of the volleyball and swimming teams. Off the field, she volunteered with the Special Olympics and also was an honor roll student and mentor to incoming freshman.
“Carissa is a spark plug on the field and a true utility player. She has a grittiness about her that is evident in the way she plays as she usually has the dirtiest uniform on the field. She can play multiple positions and we are looking forward to watching her continue to develop throughout her career.”
Carli Cutler | Pitcher | Roseville, Calif. | Rocklin High School
Cutler has played four years of softball for head coach Marissa Hardy at Rocklin High School, earning Sierra Foothill All-League honors during her sophomore and junior year. She received the team’s Sportsmanship Award as a freshman and All-Metro recognition as a sophomore.
In the classroom, Cutler is an honor roll student and was honored as the Rotary Student of the Year in 2012. She also is a member of the National Honor Society with a current 4.0 grade point average.
“Carli is the right arm to the class and a natural born leader. She is extremely deceptive on the mound, can change speeds, and makes the ball simply dance. When she isn’t on the mound, she can swing a pretty good bat and fill in defensively as well. I am anxious to see her grow into her own at the next level.”
Ashlee Dahman | OF | Amherst, Ohio | Amherst Steele High School
Dahman comes to Storrs after competing at Amherst Steele under head coach Lacey Reichert. The outfielder was named a 2015 Southwestern All-Conference, All-Lorain County and All-Northeast Ohio First Team member during her junior campaign. The team captain also received All-Ohio Second Team honors on her way to being named Offensive Player of the Year for the second time.
“Ashlee has a lot of range in the outfield and will crash through a fence to make a play. She has a blue collar work ethic that will only continue to elevate her game. She will add depth to our outfield and provide offensive speed to our lineup.”
Chloe Kerns | C/Utility | Paso Robles, Calif. | Paso Robles High School
A four-year letterwinner at Paso Robles High School under Hailey Jazner, Kerns was chosen as a San Luis Obispo All-County and Pac 8 All-League member twice. She also earned varsity letters as a member of the volleyball team, serving as the team captain for two years. Academically, Kerns ranks among the top-20 of her 2016 graduating class.
“Chloe comes from a talented travel ball program that simply breeds hitters. She is going to be a force behind the plate for us and potentially on one of the corners. Offensively, I anticipate she will be a big run producer and add much needed power to the lineup.”
Katie Koshes | Pitcher | Orange, Conn. | Amity Regional High
Koshes earned four varsity letters under head coach Loren Purcell at Amity Regional High. The pitcher helped lead her team to consecutive Southern Connecticut Conference Division Championships crowns before capturing the 2015 SCC Championship title. She garnered All-State, All-Conference, All-Area and All-Connecticut Softball Team honors during both her sophomore and junior year. As a junior, she was named the conference tournament’s Most Valuable Player with 36 strikeouts in three complete games with only six total hits allowed. She was picked as the pitcher for the Connecticut High School Coaches Association’s Junior Select All-Star game and named as a team captain for her final season at Amity. Koshes is also a member of the women’s soccer team, which won the SCC Division Championship in 2014 and 2015.
“Katie is a local talent that we found through our successful clinic programs. She has crazy spin on the ball and as another natural lefty in the class, it provides the hitters with a different look. She has the ability to create a lot of swings and misses and knows how to dig in and compete. I am looking forward to her adding depth to our pitching staff.”
Kaily McDaniel | MIF | Vacaville, Calif. | Vanden High School
As the Daily Republic 2014 Female Athlete of the Year recipient, McDaniel has spent four years with head coach Don Wakefield at Vanden High School. She earned a spot on the SCAC All-League team during her first three years with the program and was named the conference’s Most Valuable Player as a sophomore. In addition, McDaniel thrived as a member of the women’s tennis team as the 2013, 2014 and 2015 SCAC Singles Champion. The four-year letterwinner tallied All-League recognition every year and was chosen as the MVP in 2015.
McDaniel strives for excellence on and off the field as an honor roll student.
“We are looking to Kiwi to compete and add stability to the middle infield. One thing we love is the fact that she is a multi-sport athlete. As a tennis champion, she has been able to develop multiple skills that have translated to her softball game. She has great range, a solid arm, and a great nose for the ball. She is quick to the ball and makes everyone around her better.”
Olivia Sappington | 1B/OF | Ashburn, Va. | Stone Bridge High School
Sappington was a varsity starter under head coach William Rice at Stone Bridge High School. As a junior, she notched All-Conference, All-Region and All-State honors on her way to being named Most Valuable Offensive Player of the 2015 season. Entering the 2016 season, Sappington will be serving as team captain. Off the field, she is a member of the National Honor Society and has a constant presence on the honor roll.
“Olivia is the consummate student-athlete. She is bright, competes in the classroom, and is going to provide power to our lineup. As a natural lefty, she can play first base and the outfield as her arm strength is a big asset. She will boost the RBI production in the middle of our lineup.”
Each of the seven incoming Huskies will enroll at UConn in the fall of 2016.