By Kyle McKanna
Baylor softball coach Glenn Moore announced the signing of five student-athletes on Wednesday.
The class includes four high school athletes and one community college transfer. The players are: Holly Holl, a catcher from Katy, Texas; Dani Leal, a community college transfer from Pratt Community College in Kansas; Kelsi Kettler, a utility player from Alvin; Courtney Repka, a right-handed pitcher from East Bernard; and Kathy Shelton, a multi-purpose player from McKinney.
For the first time, Baylor was able to use its 2007 success as a tool in recruiting.
"This is the first class in which our 2007 Big 12 championship and Women's College World Series appearance had influence," Moore said. "This class is a great example of the positive effect of that kind of success. My staff did a tremendous job of utilizing those accomplishments for maximum results and I believe this class will compete for Big 12 championships every year."
Holl is a two-time, first-team all-district selection at Katy High School. She plays catcher, which is a rare for a left-handed player, but succeeds by being a strong competitor with an accurate arm.
Leal joins the Bears from out of state. As a sophomore, Pratt earned second-team All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference honors and first-team All-Region. She also played short stop for the Mexican national team for two seasons.
Kettler, who was described by Moore as a "natural hitter," joins Baylor after a successful career at Alvin High School that included winning the 2008 5A state championship.
"Maybe she's no Nolan Ryan (also from Alvin)" Moore said. "But she wouldn't be afraid to hit against him."
The signing of Courtney Repka marks the second straight year Baylor has gotten one of the state's top pitching prospects. Repka played her high school ball at East Bernard High School in East Bernard, Texas, and helped the Brahmas win the 2008 2A state championship. She has recorded 69 wins and 1,023 strikeouts in her career, including 24 no-hitters and 15 perfect games.
Shelton comes to Baylor from McKinney. She was last year's Ms. McKinney softball, Shelton brings versatility and experience to an already deep, but struggling, Lady Bears team.
"She's a right-handed thrower and a left-handed hitter," Shelton's coach and father Kevin Shelton said. "She's a slapper with a speed and she's got a lot of experience at a high level."