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Softball Welcomes Nine Freshmen to 2013 Roster
Head Coach Maria DiBernardi welcomes nine freshmen to the 2012-13 squad.
 
Head Coach Maria DiBernardi welcomes nine freshmen to the 2012-13 squad.
 
Head Coach Maria DiBernardi adds nine newcomers to the roster for the upcoming 2013 softball season. Freshmen Aleshia Ayers (Sacramento, Calif.), Samantha Blemker (Camarillo, Calif.), Stephanie Butler (Barnegat, N.J.), Carly Danek (Des Plaines, Ill.), Sierra McConnell (Katy, Tx.), Shea Palmer (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Kate Poppe (Downingtown, Pa.), Sara Ruiz (Davie, Fla.) and Taylor Secemski (Scottsdale, Ariz.) all look forward to dressing in Wildcat uniforms and hitting the field for their first collegiate softball season.

DiBernardi has high hopes for the new squad as she said, "We have an extremely talented group of freshman. This is one of the best freshman classes we ever had Villanova. They bring both speed and power to the lineup and give us the depth we need off the bench that will enable us to make strategic moves on the field as we need them. They are very motivated and energetic and are working hard to fill the holes left by graduation."

#20 Aleshia Ayers (Sacramento, Calif./Rosemont)
5-4/OF

Rosemont High School: Earned four varsity letters in softball and one letter in basketball ... Captain of the softball team 2011, 2012 ... All-City First Team 2011, 2012 ... All-Conference MVP 2011, 2012 ... Team MVP 2010, 2011, 2012 ... Holds the school records in strikeouts (395) and stolen bases (115) ... Class Valedictorian ... Army National Scholar Athlete Award ... Air Force Mathematics and Science Award ... Golden State Seal Merit Diploma Recipient ... National Achievement Scholarship Winner.
Personal: Only child of Trina Honea ... Born 06/05/1994 in Sacramento, Calif. ... Mother played softball at Chapman University ... Majoring in Civil Engineering.

#13 Samantha Blemker (Camarillo, Calif./Rio Mesa)
5-4/P

Rio Mesa: Earned four varsity letters in both softball and golf ...First Team All-Pacific View League in softball 2011, 2012 ... MVP in softball 2011 ... First Team All-Pacific View League in golf 2010, 2011, 2012 ... So Cal Madness Club Team ... MVP in golf 2011, 2012 ... Scholar Athlete.,br> Personal: Born April 10, 1944 to Doug and Nancy Blemker ... One sister, Michelle ... Father Doug played baseball at Georgia Tech ... Grandfather Ray "Buddy" Blemker pitched for Georgia Tech and the Kansas City Athletics ... Majoring in Environmental Sciences.

#2 Stephanie Butler (Barnegat, N.J./Barnegat)
5-8/SS/UT

Barnegat High School: Earned four varsity letters in softball ... Team captain 2011, 2012 ... Lifetime Achievement Award 2012 ... First Team Ocean City County 2011, 2012 ... MVP Offensive Player of the Year 2011 ... School record for highest career batting average (.588) ... National Honor Society ... Executive Vice President of Student Government 2011, 2012 ... Honor Roll ... Science Award for Class of 2012.
Personal: Daughter of Mark and Jacqueline Butler ... Born 03/08/1994 in Hackensack, N.J. ... One sister Kerry ... Studying in the Villanova School of Business.

#11 Carly Danek (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove)
5-3/C/3B

Elk Grove High School: Lettered in varsity softball and volleyball ... Softball team was finished fourth in the state in 2012 ... Highest Honors ... Honor Roll ... Excellence in Core Subjects ... National Honor Society .. IHSA Academic Award.
Personal: Daughter of Kevin and Arlene Danek ... Born 06/23/1994 in Hinsdale, Ill. ... Two brothers, Cody and Austin ...Majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

#5 Sierra McConnell (Katy, Tx./Katy)
5-8/OF

Katy High School: Earned four varsity letters in softball ... First Team All-District 2011-2012 ... Second Team All-District 2010 ... National Honor Society ... Academic All-State 2012.
Personal: Daughter of Allen and Sue McConnell ... Born 12/23/1993 in Katy, Tex. ... Two siblings, Kaleb and Madison ... Majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

#8 Shea Palmer (Scottsdale, Ariz./Pinnacle)
5-9/OF

Pinnacle High School: Earned three varsity letters in softball ... Pillar Award 2012 .... United States Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete 2012 ... First Team All-Section 2012 ... NFCA First Team Western-Region 2011 ... Scholar Athlete Award 2010-2012 ... Pioneer Award 2010, 2011 ... All Region Award 2010, 2011 ... School record for highest career batting average (.476) and on-base percentage (.543) ... Gold Award 2012.
Personal: Daughter of Alan and Carol Palmer ... Born 07/30/1994 in Scottsdale, Az. ... Three siblings, Tanner, Braxton and Jaden ... Has yet to declare a major.

#21 Kate Poppe (Downingtown, Pa./Bishop Shanahan)
5-7/ P

Bishop Shanahan: Earned four varsity letters in softball ... MVP 2011, 2012 ... Player of the Year 2010, 2011, 2012 ... Most Outstanding Female Athlete 2012 ... First Team All-Chesmont 2010, 2011, 2012 ... Chesmont Player of the Year 2011, 2012 ... Southeast PA Player of the Year 2012 ... First Team All-State ... Team finished second in the state in 2012 ... 938 career striekouts, .76 ERA, 70 career wins.
Personal: Daughter of Chris and Christine Poppe ... Born 07/28/1994 in Downingtown, Pa. ... Two siblings, Alex and Ali ... Grandfather John Brokars played basketball for Villanova ... Studying in the Villanova School of Business.

#6 Sara Ruiz (Davie, Fla./Saint Thomas Aquinas)
5-8/2B

St. Thomas Aquinas: Earned four varsity softball letters ... FHSAA All Star Team 2012 ... Broward Country All Star Team 2012 ... Second Team All-County 2011, 2012 ... Honor Roll ... National Honor Society.
Personal: Daughter of Catherine Leonard ... Born 07/21/1994 in Davie, Fl. ... Two brothers, Dominic and Brad ... Has yet to declare a major.

#16 Taylor Secemski (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro)
5-9/P/1B

Saguaro High School: Earned varsity letters in softball and track and field ... 4A Division All-State Honorable Mention 2009, 2010, 2011 ... Arizona All-Northeast Valley Team 2009, 2010, 2011 ... 4A Desert Sky All-Region Softball Team 2009, 2010, 2011 ... Scottsdale All-City Softball Team 2010, 2011 ... All East Valley Tribune Team ... 477 career strikeouts ... National Honor Society.
Personal: Daughter of Bruce and Cynthia Secemski ... Born 06/03/1994 in Phoenix, Az. ... One brother, Brett ... Has yet to declare a major.

The nine freshmen will get their first taste of collegiate softball in February when Villanova opens the season and travels to the FGCU/La Quinta Inns and Suites Tournament in Fort Meyers, Fla.

 

 

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