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Nov. 29, 2012

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—Virginia softball head coach Eileen Schmidt announced Thursday (Nov. 29) that Ariana Hawkins, Iyana Hughes, Lindsay Mayer and Katie Park have signed Nationals Letters-of-Intent to join the Cavaliers for the 2014 season.

“This is an incredibly athletic and diverse class,” Schmidt said. “They bring a lot of power to the lineup as well as gifted defensive ability. This class is strong in the classroom and will be an exciting group to watch on the field.”

6699875.jpegAriana Hawkins
Middle Infielder
Mountain House, Calif. – John C. Kimball High School
Travel Squad – Grapettes

A middle infielder from Mountain House, Calif., Hawkins was named to The Record’s All-Area First Team, hitting .583 with 14 doubles, three home runs, 28 RBI and 35 runs scored in 2012. She was named the Valley Oak League Offensive MVP in 2011, VOL co-MVP in 2012 and was the All-Area Offensive MVP in 2011.

“Ari really has the ability to be a force in the ACC and nationally,” Schmidt said. “She is so smooth and versatile defensively. She can hit for power or just as easily drop a bunt. She is really just one of the players you watch and say, ‘thank goodness she chose softball,’ because she could have very easily been a star at whatever sport she picked.”

6699876.jpegIyana Hughes
Manteca, Calif. – Sierra High School
Travel Squad – Grapettes

An outfielder from Manteca, Calif., and travel squad teammate of Hawkins, Hughes was named to the All-Valley Oak League First Team, along with being recognized on the Academic Honor Roll 2010-12. She helped lead Sierra to the San-Joaquin Section Division IV Championship in 2011 as well as being named the Modesto Bee Player of the Year.

“Iyana impresses with her strong arm in the outfield and her versatility at the plate,” Schmidt said. “She can run and slap, drop the bunt or hit for power. A little frame with a lot of go, Iyana’s tenacity and attitude is what makes her so special. There is no quit in her and that is what we expect her to bring to our team everyday.”

6699878.jpegLindsay Mayer
Middle Infielder
Lincoln, R.I. – Lincoln High School
Travel Squad – RI Thunder

A middle infielder from Lincoln, R.I., Mayer is a three-time All-Rhode Island First Team selection by the Providence Journal and led Lincoln to the state championship in 2011. She was named both the Cox and the Gatorade Rhode Island Player of the Year in 2011, hitting .450. In addition, she has earned First Academic Honors all throughout high school.

“Lindsay was one of the most sought after infielders on the east coast in this class,” Schmidt said. “She turned down a lot of great schools to be a Cavalier and we are excited to see her in the orange and blue. She can play the middle or corner position. Lindsey is extremely knowledgeable at the game and is going to be a great leader for us in years to come. The ball jumps off her bat already, so it is exciting to think of her potential once she hits the weight room and gains more experience.”

6699877.jpegKatie Park
Scottsdale, Ariz. – Xavier College Preparatory Catholic High School
Travel Squad – Killer Bees

A catcher and outfielder from Scottsdale, Ariz., Park was named honorable mention All-Arizona in 2012. She was named the Varsity Fiesta Region Second Team in 2011 and earned the Varsity Fiesta Region Play of the Year her sophomore season at Xavier College Prep.

“I really think Katie is just coming into her own on the softball field,” Schmidt said. Her potential is amazing. She can catch, play centerfield or any position in between. Katie is so competitive. She loves the game, loves competing and is going to have a great career at UVa.”

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