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    Ladyjack Softball Signs Eight
    Coach Jenifer Wells
    Coach Jenifer Wells

    Nov. 23, 2005

    NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack softball coach Jenifer Wells announced Wednesday the signing of eight recruits to national letters of intent. All eight athletes signed during the early signing period and will come to SFA from the Texas high school ranks. Wells, in her first year as the Ladyjacks' head coach, is looking to turn around a program that hasn't posted a winning record since the 1999-2000 season.

    The early signing class consists of seven infielders - three of whom also pitch - and an outfielder. Signees Briana Bishop, Candise Juarez, Megan Lackie and Katie Risner can each play a pair of infield positions. Pitchers Magen Butler, Chelsea Carr and Ashley Wilburn each play a middle infield position when they're not in the circle, and Kendal Harper brings great speed with her to the outfield.

    "I am very excited about our 2006 class," Wells said. "With eight great athletes who are capable of playing numerous positions, this will be an exciting group to coach. They bring a tremendous amount of experience to the field, along with great attitudes."

    Bishop hails from College Station, Texas, where she plays high school softball at A&M Consolidated. The corner infielder who can play either first or third base also plays for the Texas Avengers Gold travel team. Bishop is the daughter of Billy and Kerry Bishop.

    "Briana is a true competitor and a force at the plate," Wells said. "We expect her to step in and be an offensive impact, which will be great, in addition to her solid defensive skills."

    Butler is a right-handed pitcher and second baseman from Ennis, Texas. She plays on the Texas Glory 18-and-under travel team and is the daughter of Carl and Monica Butler.

    "We look for great things from Magen, both offensively and defensively," Wells said. "She will see time in the circle as well as the infield."

    Carr, a product of Rowlett High School in Rowlett, Texas, is a pitcher and shortstop. The versatile right-hander plays for a pair of travel teams - the Yellow Rose of Texas and the Texas Travelers. Her parents are Dwight and Jan Carr.

    "Chelsea will bring versatility to the Ladyjacks and be an immediate impact on the field," Wells said.

    Harper is the lone outfielder signed so far. The Palmer, Texas native is a teammate of Butler's on the Texas Glory 18-and-under team. Harper is the daughter of Carl Harper and Melanie Wade.

    "Kendal is a great athlete and has tremendous speed," Wells said. "She will cover a lot of ground in the outfield and will be a tough out at the plate."

    Juarez is a middle infielder from Pearland, Texas. She can play either shortstop or second base. Juarez plays on the Texas Cobras travel squad and is the daughter of Gabriel and Lindi Juarez.

    "Speed and versatility will help Candise excel in her college career," Wells said. "She brings talent and experience to the field."

    Lackie plays third base and catcher at Rockwall High School in Rockwall, Texas. Like Butler and Harper, the hard-hitting Lackie is also a member of the Texas Glory 18-and-under team. Her parents are Jeff and Shelley Lackie.

    "Megan is a power hitter with great defensive skills both behind the plate and at third base," Wells said.

    Risner is a shortstop and second baseman from Houston. She plays her high school ball at Clear Lake and travels with the Humble Cobras. Risner is the daughter of Randy and Connie Risner.

    "We expect great offensive production from Katie," Wells said. "Her athleticism will be a great addition to our team."

    Wilburn is a local talent from Harmony High School in Gilmer, Texas. The hard-throwing right-handed pitcher and shortstop plays her travel ball with the Queen of Diamonds and the JAZZ.

    "Ashley is a power pitcher with the ability to put up big numbers on offense as well," Wells said.

    The Ladyjacks will open their 2006 season on Feb. 10 at the South Dakota State Purple and Gold Challenge.

    - SFA -