Lake-Sumter Community College

 Softball Announces 2017 Class

Head Softball Coach, Jay Miller and the Lake-Sumter State College softball program are extremely excited to announce their 2017 signing class. These 11 individuals have been handpicked to represent the LSSC softball program on and off the field. Three pitchers, a couple power bats and some quickness make this class very unique. Coach Miller was on a mission in the last year to find speed and that he did. His incoming freshman combined to steal over 150 bases as seniors in high school. The addition of three starting pitchers will be instrumental in the team’s success over the next two seasons. He also managed to bring two power hitters on board to bring around the girls at the top of the lineup. The 2017-18 season looks very promising for these Lakehawks.

(Listed from left to right)

Mackenzie Reeves 1B – Leesburg HS

With the potential to hit the long ball, Mackenzie Reeves joins the Lakehawk family as a first baseman. Reeves ended her season at Leesburg HS with 11 hits and seven RBIs. After playing most of the year in the outfield for the Yellow Jackets, the 5’10” freshman will transition to the right side of the infield at 1B. “Mackenzie is going come in and we are going to tweak her swing a little to give her more of a linear technique,” said Coach Miller. “After a fall in our weight room and adapting to her new swing, she should be a solid power option for us offensively.”

Jenna Curtis OF/INF – Oakleaf HS

A sweet swinging lefty from the Jacksonville area, Jenna Curtis will come in and add some pop and speed to the Lakehawks roster. Where will Curtis play defensively? That has yet to be determined. She is currently the left fielder for the 2nd ranked team in the state, but could transition into the infield at SS, 2B or 3B. Miller said of Curtis, “Jenna is one of those kids you watch offensively and just laugh to yourself because she is so good at what she does.” Curtis is a slapper by trade with the speed to lay down a bunt and the raw power to put the ball over the fence.

Lauryn Markis OF/2B – Mandarin HS

With the ability to play both middle infield and outfield, Lauryn Markis brings a ton of athleticism to the program. Don’t let her size fool you, this girl can pack a punch with the bat. “Lauryn will be another beneficiary of our weight room making her stronger and faster,” Coach Miller said. “I just love her tenacity for the game. She is a kid who comes off the field dirty and exhausted.”

Taylor Turner OF – Dunnellon HS

An extremely fast outfielder, Taylor Turner joins a Lakehawks team that stole 135 bases in 2017. Turner herself has swiped 72 bases and only been caught eight times in three seasons at the varsity level. She will start her college career after hitting .500 over 30 games as a senior in high school. A slapper offensively, she can catch any fly ball in the gap with great outfield instincts from centerfield. “Taylor was our first commit in this 2017 class and will help us steal 150 bases next year as a team,” Miller said. Turner will most likely move to a corner outfield role for the Lakehawks.

Leslie Walden C – Cook HS (GA)

The first out-of-state signee for Coach Miller, Leslie Walden is a proven backstop with switch hitting ability. She won’t be the power hitting catcher Lakehawk fans have become familiar with the last couple seasons, but her defensive ability is second to none. “Leslie’s ability to control a defense from a leadership perspective is amazing to watch,” coach Miller said. “Watching her at our camp and in travel ball, she was by far the best defensive catcher available.” The Georgia native can play 1B and outfield, but look for her to be a mainstay behind the plate along with returning sophomore, Aura Blackburn.

Amanda Lopez 1B/C/3B – Miramar HS

With all of the speed LSSC is bringing in, Amanda Lopez represents the biggest power threat. In three seasons of varsity softball she has a career batting average of .380 while driving in 60 RBIs and scoring 47 runs in 55 games. During her junior campaign, Lopez led Broward County with seven home runs. Miller said of Lopez, “The power is real! She will get stronger in the fall and the ball will come off the bat even harder than it does now in the spring.” The right handed hitter will look to play first base and possibly third while also competing for the DP spot in the lineup.

Abbey Primavera RHP – Nature Coast Tech School

A 2016 All-State selection, Abbey Primavera has amassed 61 wins in four seasons for the Sharks. As a senior, Primavera tallied 120 strikeouts while holding opposing hitters to a .194 batting average. One of her highlights from this past season was a no-hitter she threw on Feb. 14 against Fivay High School. “Abbey will be a great addition to our pitching staff and should compete for innings right out of the gate,” said Miller. “She has an attitude about her when she is in the circle and that’s what I love to see in pitchers.”

Emily “Ernie” Murphy RHP – Santa Fe Catholic HS

On Coach Miller’s radar since an Under Armour camp in January of 2016, Emily Murphy is a tall right handed pitcher with a ton of potential. Through 102 innings pitched her senior year, Murphy struck out 131 batters with 18 complete games. She also notched 29 hits and ended the season with a .492 batting average. “Just an all-around tremendous kid who can touch 60 mph with her fastball,” coach said. “We are going get her to add muscle in the fall and that could add 3 to 4 mph onto her velocity.” Look for Murphy to do a lot more pitching than hitting at LSSC.

AlliGeier LHP – Lecanto HS

Coach Miller and his staff were tipped off about the left handed thrower by her Head Coach, Robert Dupler. “It was absolutely unbelievable that she was still available when we heard her name for the first time,” Miller said. Aleyese Geier threw in a district game on a Friday, was on Lake-Sumter’s campus come Monday and committed before she left that day. “To be able to add a freshman lefty to our pitching staff with her talent was the icing on the cake for this class,” Coach Miller added. Geier will join sophomore, Erin Huffman as the second left handed pitcher on the roster next year.

Summer Davenport OF – South Sumter HS

The second local signee in the class of 2017, Summer Davenport is another piece of the speed element the Lakehawks have added. Looking for a defensive specialist, Davenport hit on everything the LSSC staff was looking for. “She has speed, she can slap very well, but she covers a lot of ground in the outfield,” Miller said. Davenport is going to need to get stronger to add the power slap to her game, but until then, expect her to steal a lot of bases for the Lakehawks.

Nini Underwood SS/2B – Dr. Phillips 

Nini Underwood broke her school’s stolen base record this season swiping 40 bags. The middle infielder carried a .592 on-base percentage while hitting .466 and scoring 37 runs in 26 games. Hitting from the right side, Underwood has some pop in her bat, but could also see a transition to the left side of the plate. “I expect Nini to get here and compete for playing time from day one on,” said Coach Miller. “She is a gamer and gets after it, leaving everything on the field.”

Keely Staats 3B/1B – Fort Meade HS

A solid defensive player with exceptional power, Keely Staats will be asked to add pop to the middle of a speedy lineup. The two-time Division 1A State Player of the Year has totaled 17 home runs and 81 RBIs during her junior and senior years combined. Through her final year at Fort Meade, Staats boasted a 22 game hitting streak and failed to reach base in just one game. “Keely was a pleasant surprise at our tryout and we welcome her with open arms,” Coach Miller stated. “Anyone who hits 50% of the pitches you throw them over the fence, you tend to take notice.” With All-Conference first baseman Rachel Phelps returning for her sophomore season, Staats will most likely compete for playing time at third base and the DP position.


Lucia Esposito C/3B/OF – Belleview HS

A solid utility player, Lucia Esposito will add depth behind the plate, at third and possibly in the outfield. “Lucia is the type of student-athlete we want representing our program,” said Coach Miller. “She is always putting her teammate’s success above her own and looking for what she can do to make the team better.” Esposito committed just one error during her junior and senior seasons behind the plate. She joins Rachel Phelps as the second Belleview softball player on the Lakehawks roster.


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