WTAMU signs De La Cruz
West Texas A&M University”s (WTAMU) head softball coach Kevin Blaskowski has announced five additional signings to the 2005 recruiting class, adding to the first Lady Buff softball class since the early 1980″s.
WTAMU signed pitcher Brittany De La Cruz from Lockhart, Texas; third baseman/catcher Brooks Guidry from Granbury, Texas; outfielder Amy Hitzfield from Roun
d Rock, Texas; outfielder Krista Knapp from Dana Point, Calif.; and catcher Michelle Teller from Pflugerville, Texas.
The Lady Buff softball program is being revived after an absence of over 20 years. WTAMU will begin play in the Spring of 2006.
De La Cruz is transferring from Longwood University, Guidry will come to WTAMU from Western Texas College, Knapp is coming to WTAMU from Odessa College, while Hitzfield and Teller will join the Lady Buffs after being teammates at Howard College.
“This is a solid group of transfers,” Blaskowski said. “They bring an abundance of leadership, talent and experience to our program. I am very excited about the direction our program is taking.”
De La Cruz attended Longwood for one year, but did not play, after a stellar career at Lockhart High School, highlighted by firing a perfect game as a senior. She earned first-team All-District 23-4A for three-straight seasons, as well as being a two-time Galveston County Daily News All-County Team selection and a first-team All-Centex honoree. She also was a two-year letter winner at LHS, earning second-team All-District honors her senior year.
“De La Cruz is a very talented pitcher,” Blaskowski said. “She has the abilities to be the leader of our pitching staff. Her experience at the Dl level will be an asset to her at this level. She has been successful throughout her career and I expect that to continue here at WT.”
Guidry helped Western Texas to the Region V West Tournament last weekend in Snyder, Texas, finishing third. She ranked second on her team and 15th in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) regular season with 33 RBI. Guidry was the Offensive MVP for Grapeland High School as well as All-East Texan MVP in 2002 and a two-time team MVP. She was also a two-year letter winner in basketball for GHS, earning honorable mention accolades as well. Guidry was a member of the GHS National Honor Society and the Beta Club.
“Guidry may be the best defensive third baseman we have seen this year,” Blaskowski said. “She has great hands and a strong arm. Offensively, she will be a solid contributor in our line-up.”
Hitzfield and Teller will continue their playing days together, joining the Lady Buffs from Howard College, leading the Lady Hawks to a 29-19 mark overall and 16-20 in the WJCAC this season, finishing fifth in the league. Last year, the duo helped Howard to the NIJCAA National Tournament.
Hitzfield led Howard and was fifth in the WJCAC with five triples, as well as second on Howard”s squad and tied for 14th in the WJCAC with 12 doubles and was tied for seventh in the league with four home runs. Hitzfield attended Stony Point High School, where she earned honorable mention All-District accolades, as well as academic All-District and named to the National Spanish Honor Society.
Teller was an All-Conference selection and the Region V Co-MVP last year, and ended this year”s regular season tied for tenth in WJCAC with 10 stolen bases. She played for Pflugerville High School, where she was a two-time All-District honoree, as well as an All-Centex selection.
“Hitzfield and Teller both played at the NJCAA National Tournament as freshmen at Howard College. They know how to win,” Blaskowski said. “Hitzfield is a solid contact hitter, who has power. She will be a key member of our outfield corp. Teller is multi-talented at the plate and possesses good speed. She will be called on to lead our program from behind the plate.”
Knapp has led Odessa to a 48-21 mark this season, including 25-3 in the last 28 games, after winning the Region V West Tournament last weekend and a spot in the NJCAA Division I Softball Championship, scheduled for May 19-21 at Clermont, Fla.
Knapp was a first-team All-WJCAC and All-Region V West after hitting 0.386 during the regular season, ranking ninth in the WJCAC, as well as third with six triples, tied for third with 19 doubles, fourth with 50 RBI, sixth with 68 hits, ninth with 11 stolen bases and tenth with 44 runs scored. Knapp attended Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, Calif.
“Knapp may be one of the most talented outfielders at the junior college level,” Blaskowski said. “Offensively, she has the ability to hit for power and has great speed. She is currently ranked in every offensive category in the WJCAC. Defensively, she is an outstanding centerfielder.”
Softball will be WTAMU”s thirteenth sponsored sport (seven women, six men) and will begin play in the Spring of 2006.
WTAMU is the fourteenth school to sponsor softball in the Lone Star Conference, leaving Texas A&M University-Commerce as the lone conference school without softball. Last year, Angelo State University won the conference and the NCAA-11 National Championship.