One comes from Fertile, one from Hawley, and two from Arizona
The University of Minnesota Crookston softball program announced the signing of four student-athletes to either National Letters of Intent or Institutional Letters of Intent.
The Golden Eagles have signed Tavia Lawson (C, 5-8, Hawley, Minn./Hawley H.S.), Michaela Meine (C/UT, 5-2, Mentor, Minn./Fertile-Beltrami H.S.), Mikaela Rodriguez (2B/SS, Laveen, Ariz./Briar Cliff University) and Luisa Silvain (RHP/IF, 5-4, Tucson, Ariz./Pima Community College).
The four signees give the Golden Eagles eight incoming recruits for the 2018 season. Minnesota Crookston signed Taylor Allen (C/OF, 5-5, Neepawa, Manitoba/Neepawa Area Collegiate Insitute), Haley Strachan (OF, 5-2, Phoenix, Ariz./Paradise Valley C.C.), Jordan Peterson (C/UT, 5-7, Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North H.S.) and Amanda Trandem (C/3B, 5-7, Crookston, Minn./Crookston H.S.) during the early recruiting cycle.
Minnesota Crookston will enter the fall of 2017 with 22 players on the roster. The Golden Eagles posted a 12-35-1 mark on the 2017 seasons, tying the school record for wins in a season. The U of M Crookston also picked up 12 wins during the 2004 season. The Golden Eagles are entering their fourth season under Don Stopa in 2018. Minnesota Crookston returns a strong core including eight starters in the field and two starters in the circle. The Golden Eagles return 14 players overall from the 2017 roster.
• Tavia Lawson (C, 5-8, Hawley, Minn./Hawley H.S.): Lawson was an All-Conference and All-Section selection as a junior and senior at Hawley High School. As a sophomore, she was named All-Conference Honorable Mention. Lawson hit .538 as a junior and .534 as a junior. She was an Academic All-State selection in volleyball, basketball and softball. In addition, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 3.93 GPA.
“Tavia is another Minnesota player that has a chance to play close to home and be pretty good,” said Head Coach Don Stopa. “She will bolster our depth behind the plate as she is a great receiver. Her biggest attribute is her bat: she can swing it. She has a great swing and I think she will be a good college hitter, with a little pop.”
• Michaela Meine (C/UT, 5-2, Mentor, Minn./Fertile-Beltraimi H.S.): Meine was a four-year letter winner at Fertile-Beltrami High School. She earned 2017 All-Conference Honorable Mention for the Falcons. Meine coaches youth softball and baseball in the summer. In addition, she also played volleyball and was a cheerleader at Fertile-Beltrami High School. In the classroom, Meine earned the High Honor Roll each year. She was also a member of 4H and won awards in choir.
“Michaela comes to us from just down the road at Fertile-Beltrami and she is looking for an opportunity to compete,” Stopa said. “She is a great athlete with a desire to play at the next level. As a catcher, she will add even more depth to a position that could be a strength for our program for years to come.”
• Mikaela Rodriguez (2B/SS, 5-4, Laveen, Ariz/Briar Cliff University): Rodriguez played her freshman season at Briar Cliff University, an NAIA in Sioux City, Iowa. She started all 38 games for the Chargers, hitting .286 on the season. Rodriguez notched 11 runs scored, seven doubles and 12 RBI’s. She posted a .357 slugging percentage. In the field, Rodriguez had a .940 fielding percentage with 75 putouts and 83 assists. She played as a prep at Fairfax High School. As a junior, Rodriguez hit .418 with 27 runs scored, 11 doubles, three triples and four home runs. During her senior season, she batted .386 with 10 runs scored, seven doubles, one triple and two home runs.
“Mikaela is a transfer who is ready to jump onto the field right away,” Stopa said. “As a freshman in college she was an every day starter at short stop and that experience will be huge as she makes the transition to the NSIC and the maroon and gold. She played her high school and club ball in Phoenix so she has played against a lot of great competition her whole life."
• Luisa Silvain (RHP/IF, 5-4, Tucson, Ariz./Pima Community College): Silvain played two seasons at the junior college level for Pima Community College. She appeared in 62.1 innings pitched with a 3-4 mark with three complete games and a 5.17 ERA. In addition, Silvain struck out 28 on the season. At the plate, she tallied three at-bats. As a freshman, Silvain posted a 5-2 mark with a 4.68 ERA in 76.1 innings pitched in the circle. She notched 17 strikeouts on the season and picked up two saves. At the plate, she hit .250 in four at-bats. Silvain played at the prep level for Cholla High School. As a senior, she posted a 3.11 ERA in nine innings pitched with five strikeouts.
Silvain is the daughter of Hector and Marisela Silvain. She was born March 8, 1997. Silvain plans to major in animal science.
“Luisa is a transfer from Pima Community College in Tucson,” Stopa said. “I know that program very well and their conference. In the circle, she held her own in what could be the best JUCO conference in the country. I think she is a hidden gem that could be an impact pitcher for our program. She is also a pretty good infielder, who can swing it a little.”
All signees are contingent upon admission to U of M Crookston and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center. Everyone released today has signed their National Letter of Intent or Institutional Letter of Intent prior to release of information.