Bridgeport, Conn. – Head softball coach Dawn Stearns announced the signing of ten new members of the Purple Knights Softball Team, they will be joining the team for the 2020 season. "I am thrilled to announce our 2019 incoming freshmen class. Our biggest and probably most talented class I've seen in my ten years at UB," explained Coach Stearns. "This class brings their talents from all over the country and I am so excited for them to continue our success and bring UB softball to new heights in the years to come."
Kaite Burawski joins the Purple Knights bullpen from Polytech High School in Magnolia, Delaware. The pitcher has completed three seasons of varsity softball, winning Academic All-Conference each year. She was chosen for the First and Second Team All-Conference Pitcher-At Large award as well as Polytech Defensive Player of the Year. Burawski also earned Polytech's Most Valuable Player award as a junior after having 146 strikeouts and a 2.17 ERA. She also competed with the Delaware Express travel program. Coach Stearns on Kaite, "Kaite is a strong lefty pitcher from Delaware who will have an impact right away. Her movement and power will help UB win a lot of games next year."
Also joining the bullpen with Burawski is pitcher Samantha Schiebe of Monroe, Connecticut. Schiebe is a four year varsity starter for Masuk High School where she has led her team to two Class L State Championship games and bringing home the title last season. Sam was named CO-MVP for both the Conference and State Championship games last season. She has also earned All SWC Conference awards in 2017 and in 2018 as well as the GameTime CT All State Player Award. In 2018 Schiebe had a .337 batting average while striking out 147 of 390 batters faced. "Sam is a MVP pitcher from right here in CT. Sam will get her chance right away to show off her power pitching as well as the pop in her bat at the plate," said Coach Dawn Stearns.
Additions to the Purple Knights outfield will be Monroe, Connecticut native Megan McFarland another Masuk High School native and Hannah Kirk from Chino Hills, California. McFarland will enter UB after three years of varsity experience. She has played in two SWC Championships and two Class L State Championships winning the State Title in 2018. McFarland earned CO-MVP with Schiebe in 2018. McFarland will come to UB with a .530 batting average, 35 hits, 22 RBI's and an on base percentage of .557. Coach Stearns said, "Meg is a triple threat at the plate and a tremendous Outfield defender. She will make our outfield formidable."
McFarland will be joined by outfielder Hannah Kirk of Chino Hills High School, in Chino Hills, California. In her three years in high school Kirk earned a .500 batting average and a .990 fielding percentage. She has been recognized for her academics by playing in three All-Academic Games and she has also participated in an All-Star Game. "Hannah is an Outfielder from California who will make our defense stronger with her out field skills. Hannah adds more diverse skills from the left side of our batting lineup." States Coach Stearns.
Joining the Purple Knights behind the plate in 2020 will be Cindy Sanchez of Bakersfield, California, Taylor Yates of Elk Grove, California and splitting time between catching and third base, Gina Boccamazzo of Milford, Connecticut. Sanchez will join UB as an Independence High School graduate and a four year varsity starter. Sanchez earned an honorable mention award and first team catcher award in 2017. She has a .470 batting average. Coach Stearns said, "Cindy is a strong catcher with a pop in her bat. She will be a great asset in helping our pitching staff continue to be dominate in the circle." Yates will arrive on the east coast for the Purple Knights having seven years of softball experience. She plays for the NorCal Bandits travel team and has been seeing some time not only as a catcher but as a shortstop when needed. Yates leads her team in home runs (11), RBI's (54) and Slugging percentage (.828) respectively. She has a .424 batting average and has 67 hits. "Taylor is a terrific Catcher and Shortstop from Calif. She carries a powerful bat and will be a presence in our lineup for the next 4 years," Coach Stearns expressed. Boccamazzo is a local Jonathan Law High School graduate. She will be arriving to UB having earned a bid on the SCC All Conference Team as a multi-position standout. "Gina is a great kid with a super personality. We are excited to welcome her into our family. She will be a force off the bench for us." Said Coach Stearns.
Rounding out the 2019 signees is Beatriz Ojeda from La Quinta, California and Sophie Sancho from Fairfield, Connecticut and Isabelle Hansen from Snohomish, Washington. Ojeda earned both First and Second team All DVL awards as well as winning the Palm Springs Tournament and making it to the CIF Tournament for the last three seasons while at La Quinta High School. Ojeda has a .440 batting average and has only four stolen bases and four passed balls in her three years on varsity. Coach on Ojeda, "Bea is a versatile Utility player with a solid bat. She can play Catcher and Outfield for us and we look forward to what she can bring to our lineup." Sophie Sancho of Fairfield will arrive to Bridgeport with three years of varsity experience from Fairfield Warde High School. She earned a .413 batting average and has made All-FCIAC Second team and All-FCIAC honorable mention. Coach Stearns says, "Sophie brings her terrific energy and strong softball IQ to our UB team. Her positivity is infectious and her skills in both OF and INF will be a great help to our squad." Hansen will be a great addition to the Purple Knights infield at both first and third base. Coach Stearns on Hansen, "We are thrilled to have Izzy joining UB in the fall. She is a powerful hitter with a cannon for an arm. She will do some damage for us in the middle of our lineup." Izzy arrives to campus after graduating from Snohomish high school where she was a four year varsity letter winner. She earned a .750 batting average and has hit 66 home runs in her career. Hansen has been awarded with many medals for her sportsmanship, home runs and her plays at third base.
Head Coach Dawn Stearns said, "Again, I am very excited to bring these ten players to Bridgeport from all over the country. This is our biggest and one of the strongest classes we have ever had join us. I cannot wait until they take the field with us in the fall to help us continue to do great things for our softball program."