Carroll Softball Announces Six to Inaugural Roster - News, Sports and Weather

Carroll Softball Announces Six to Inaugural Roster

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The 2014-15 school year will mark the first ever season that Carroll College fields a softball team.  Head coach Aaron Jackson's hard work on the recruiting trail has yielded a large crop of talented in-state products as well as out of state prospects.

Wednesday, Jackson announced six more additions to the incoming class: Megan Gipe, Paige Blake, and Delanie Chapman are coming to the hilltop and will be joined by three current students who excelled during open tryouts this spring: Karlie Snead, Kari Tirrell and Katie Zink.

“The spring and summer have been exciting for us as we have been able to find a number of terrific student athletes.  We were fortunate to have some skilled players on campus and believe that they will be assets for us in addition to the newcomers we have signed,” Jackson said.

Megan Gipe, an incoming sophomore pitcher and outfielder, figures to contribute immediately in the Fighting Saints rotation as the transfer from Harding University (Ark.) appeared in 27 games as a freshman and had a record of 2-2, with two saves working mostly in relief situations.

“Megan adds some much needed stability to our pitching staff.  Having competed for one year at the college level will allow her to pass along that knowledge to our pitching staff.  Megan throws the ball hard and has great movement.  We look for Megan to be a force in the circle but also may find sometime in the outfield, “ Jackson said.

Gipe, originally from Trabuco Canyon, California was 2nd team All-League at Tesoro High School and earned Orange County Scholar Athlete of the Week designations during her softball career.

“Last year I played with a new program as well and the players that had some college experience really made an impact on our freshman players. I hope I can do the same,” Gipe said.

Paige Blake, a centerfielder from Henderson, Nevada comes to Helena following an accomplished prep career at Basic High School.

“Paige is a great pick up for us. I was shocked to see that she was still available this late in the process and I am glad that she has chosen Carroll.  Paige is a speedy slap-hitter and covers a ton of ground in the outfield.  We look for Paige to lead our outfield and be a solid leadoff hitter for us,” Jackson said.

Blake, garnered All-State accolades twice while at Basic, and was a four-year letter winner in both softball and tennis.  Blake also competed in flag football in high school and excelled in the classroom with an outstanding 4.04 GPA.

“I believe this will be a great fit for me, the academics and athletics really stand out to me and I'm excited to be a Saint,” Blake said.

Delanie Chapman, an outfielder/first baseman from Anaconda High School also joins the Fighting Saints this year.  Chapman, a second-team All-Conference selection and member of the Copperheads basketball team will make the short trip from Anaconda to Helena.

“Delanie is a student-athlete that we had watched all summer and she kept showing us something each time we watched her.  Delanie as a great upside and will bring power at the plate and willingness to work hard to reach her full potential,” Jackson said.

Chapman had a 3.4 GPA while at Anaconda and was versatile both in the field and on the basketball court, playing several positions.

“I hope to help create a competitive atmosphere and lend a ‘team first' attitude while at Carroll,” Chapman said.

In addition to the signings of Gipe, Blake and Chapman, the softball coaching staff searched the campus community and found what they believe to be a few gems:

“We were fortunate to find three students athletes through our on campus tryout. Each of these student athletes bought into Carroll College's mission as students and now have the opportunity to play a game that they love,” Jackson said.

Karlie Snead, originally from Eagle, Idaho has spent one year at Carroll as a student.  Snead played her prep ball at Eagle High School and was a three-time varsity letter winner and was twice named team MVP as she split duties between the outfield and pitching mound.

“Karlie adds some great speed to our team and is a tireless worker.  She is committed to not only becoming a great softball player, but continuing to be a productive student,” Jackson said.

Kari Tirrell, originally from Missoula, Montana played her high school softball at Loyola Sacred Heart.  Tirrell has one year of school in at Carroll, brings success at Loyola where she played shortstop and pitched.  Tirrell was a first-team All-State and All-Conference selection.

“We are fortunate to have Kari join our team as she will bring some good power at the plate and also be a solid defender in our infield,” Jackson said.

Finally, Katie Zink, originally of Billings, was an All-State and All-Conference selection at Billings West before deciding to attend Carroll College.  Zink was a standout at second base and pitched for the Golden Bears.

“Katie will add some much-needed depth to our pitching staff, but also will have the opportunity to get some time in the field.  Katie is another student that is the definition of student-athlete as she is truly committed to her studies,” Jackson said.

Carroll College will begin regular season play next spring, but the Fighting Saints are practicing and have a slate of exhibition games scheduled for this fall.

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