AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific softball head coach Carrie Webber has announced the commitment of three new players to the program for the 2015 season, adding to a group of 13 returning players who head into the coming year after posting a successful 40-win season in 2014.
The Cougars bring back all three pitchers from 2014, plus the entire lineup of starting position players, and the three-player group of newcomers includes another pitcher along with a catcher and a first baseman.
“We didn’t lose anyone from last year’s starting group, so we wanted to make sure the players we added would complement the team that we have coming back,” Azusa Pacific head coach Carrie Webber said. “This year’s team exceeded our expectations in a great way, so as long as we continue to grow together as a team, we should continue to rise both in the PacWest and nationally.”
Allyson Wimer is a catcher who transfers to Azusa Pacific after playing two seasons at Shasta College in northern California, where she was a two-time all-conference first team catcher for a program which claimed back-to-back undefeated league titles. Wimer hit a combined .355 in her two years at Shasta, which ranks 13th on the school’s career batting average list, and her 12 home runs in two years ranks seventh all-time at the school. In 2014, she batted .333 with five home runs.
“Allyson provides a lot of power and strength to our lineup,” Webber said. “It’s going to be nice to add another catcher who really complements Madison (Hernandez) and makes us stronger in the lineup, in the battery, and in the bullpen.”
Joining Wimer are two incoming freshmen: Kayla Jimenez from Riverside Poly High School and Anneliese Davis from Oakdale High School near Modesto, California.
Jimenez is a left-handed position player whose natural position is first base, and she helped Riverside Poly win consecutive Inland Valley League titles, including an undefeated league championship in 2014. She helped lead the Bears to an appearance in the CIF Southern Section Division I quarterfinals.
“Kayla is going to supply a good amount of power and consistency at the plate,” Webber said. “She’s a good defensive player, and I’m looking forward to what she can contribute at the plate.”
Davis, meanwhile, joins Azusa Pacific’s pitching staff after helping lead Oakdale to a 24-5-1 season and the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship (Oakdale’s second title in three years) in 2014. Davis and the Mustangs shared the Valley Oak League title with East Union, going 13-1 in league play, before knocking off their league rivals in the section title game. Davis had an RBI single in the 3-0 title-game win.
“Anneliese could work her way into the rotation to complement the pitching staff we have in place, but she has a really good presence and attitude,” Webber said. “She will be able to contribute both on and off the field with the presence that she brings.”
The trio joins a program which is entering its third year of NCAA Division II competition for Azusa Pacific, which was approved in July 2014 for full NCAA membership and postseason eligibility beginning with the 2014-15 school year.
In 2014, Azusa Pacific finished third in the Pacific West Conference, going 22-10 in conference play and 40-19 overall. Five Cougars earned all-PacWest honors last year, including PacWest co-Player of the Year and NFCA All-American third baseman Nicki Sprague.