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Offseason SB news: Signing Day, Roster Adjustments

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Gabbie Plain will play despite Olympic selection

Husky softball bolstered a strong recruiting class with SEC All-Freshman 3B Baylee Klingler transferring from Texas A&M.
UW Athletics/Red Box Pictures

Olympics

With baseball & softball on the Olympic slate for 2020 but already removed for 2024, this may be the last chance to play at an Olympic level. Australia does not appear to have officially named their roster, but UW junior Gabbie Plain was their second-most-used pitcher during the Asia/Oceanic Qualifier, so her inclusion seems to be certain as long as she’s healthy. Plain is one of six players with current college eligibility likely to participate in the Olympics:

  • USA: Rachel Garcia (UCLA), Madilyn “Bubba” Nickles (UCLA), Dejah Mulipola (Arizona)
  • Mexico: Nicole Mendes (Oklahoma), Cielo Meza (Arizona State)
  • Australia: Gabbie Plain (Washington)

The three players for Team USA will redshirt the 2019 season to train with the national team during spring and then resume their careers in 2020. However, the Australian team feels that Plain will get better training and competition with the Huskies than she would with their team, so she will play her junior year as normal with the Huskies before reporting to Australia after the end of the season. Mexico’s Mendes and Meza seem likely to follow Plain’s path, but it is not fully clear.

Signing Day

The following players have signed NLI’s for the 2020-21 academic year (likely final but will be updated if more are added; current as of 11:30 a.m. on 11/14/19):

OF Lilly Agan

East Coweta HS (Sharpsburg, Ga.)
Birmingham Thunderbolts
Bats: L/Throws: R
Notes: #31 on Softball America’s Top 100 list...A longtime UW commit, Agan was a major factor in UW successfully landing current freshman P/1B Kelley Lynch, her teammate at East Coweta (although due to NCAA recruiting rules, Head Coach Heather Tarr couldn’t mention her by name when she did so).

FloSoftball

SS/3B Raigan Barrett
Rogers HS (Puyallup, Wash.)
Georgia Impact
Bats: R/Throws: R
Notes: #63 on Softball America’s Top 100 list...Also stars in basketball at Rogers, including one game where she outscored the opposing team...her twin brother Jace is a star point guard for the boys’ team at Rogers.

Incoming freshman Raigan Barrett (right) with twin brother Jace
Peter Haley/The News Tribune

P/OF Sarah Willis
Norco (Calif.) HS
Corona Angels
Bats: R/Throws: R
Notes: #8 on Softball America’s Top 100 list...Originally committed to Auburn in Feb. 2016 before switching to Washington during Auburn’s coaching scandal.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

C Jennifer Cummings
Redmond (Wash.) HS
NW Bullets
Bats: L/Throws: R
Notes: #97 on Softball America’s Top 100 list...Ended up hitting .653 as a sophomore, but she was profiled mid-season by the Seattle Times while hitting a ridiculous .741.

Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times

IF Stormy Kotzelnick
Carmel (Ind.) HS
Beverly Bandits
Bats: L/Throws: R
Notes: #29 on Softball America’s Top 100 list...Was the first softball player in the 2020-21 class to give a verbal commitment when she committed to Tarr and UW in Sept. 2015 as an eighth grader...if nothing has changed since a feature by USA Today was published almost four years ago, Kotzelnick will play for Husky women’s basketball as well.

The Kotzelnick family, via Indy Star

Roster Changes

Outgoing

Four players graduated from the 2019 team: P Taran Alvelo (who has been named a volunteer assistant coach at Louisiana-Lafayette), OF Amirah Milloy, C Rachel Ogasawara and IF Brittany Werre. In addition to those four, three Huskies have transferred out of the program:

  • Freshman P McKenzie Schulz (North Dakota State)
  • Sophomore IF Morgan Allen (Oregon State)
  • Sophomore UT Nawai Kaupe (transferring to be closer to home in Hawaii; may or may not continue playing softball)

Incoming

Four Huskies signed an NLI in fall 2019: P/1B Kelley Lynch, OF Jadelyn Allchin, P/1B Brooke Nelson and OF/1B Hannah Dardano. Expect to see the first three fairly regularly in the 2020 season: Lynch and Nelson are likely the #2 and #3 starters for UW in some order (with Lynch also often playing first base when she’s not pitching), and Allchin is the expected everyday center fielder.

Additionally, Washington has added one transfer for 2019. After making the SEC All-Freshman team at Texas A&M, IF Baylee Klingler joins UW with three years of eligibility left. She started every game for the Aggies, hitting .289 with five home runs, but was the #4 recruit in FloSoftball’s Hot 100 coming out of high school. She is expected to compete with Pac-12 All-Freshman team SilentRain Espinoza for the starting job at third base, and may see time at first base or designated player as well.

Injury report

The only injury coming out of fall practices is one of the newcomers. Dardano will use a redshirt while she misses the entire 2020 season with a hip injury suffered prior to the start of practice. She is expected to fully recover in time for her redshirt freshman season in 2021.