AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific softball head coach Carrie Webber has announced the commitment of four new players to the program for the 2013 season, helping replenish a squad that lost four seniors following a 42-11 campaign in 2012.
Although all four seniors who graduated were starters, the Cougars’ entire pitching staff returns intact after posting a 1.69 team ERA in 2012 along with the individual leaders in virtually every major offensive category. The four-player recruit class includes one pitcher and three position players.
“We’re very excited about this group coming in and making an immediate impact, even with the type of veteran program we already have,” Webber said. “I’m sure the returners will welcome them and integrate them into what our program expects, and I expect it to be a nice, smooth transition.”
Desiree Chavez transfers into the program from College of the Desert, where she led state junior college players in batting average (.607), hits (82), and stolen bases (39) while leading the Roadrunners to a 35-7 overall record and a share of the 2012 Foothill Conference title. Chavez, a 5-foot-1 utility player, spent her 2011 freshman season at NCAA Div. I UC Davis, scoring 13 runs in in 42 appearances for the Aggies.
Chavez is joined by the freshman trio of Narissa Garcia, Jessica Melcher, and Madison Hernandez.
Garcia is a three-time All-Citrus Belt League first team pitcher from Redlands High School, where she compiled a 43-14 pitching record over the past three years and helped lead the Terriers to four consecutive league titles with a four-year league record of 54-4. In 2012, Garcia registered a 1.12 ERA and registered 193 strikeouts in 156 innings, collecting six shutouts along the way.
Melcher, a 5-foot-11 right-handed first baseman, played for four-time Desert Valley League champion La Quinta High School, where she batted .379 over her final two seasons to help lead the Blackhawks to back-to-back undefeated conference seasons in 2011 and 2012. She was named to the all-league first team in 2011 and earned honorable mention in 2012.
Hernandez is a 5-foot-4 right-handed hitting catcher who prepped at Upland High School, where she was a four-time All-Baseline League first team selection.
Together, they join a program which has made back-to-back national tournament appearances, posting a 42-11 record in 2012 for the fourth-highest single-season win total in program history.