Softball Inks Five During Early Signing Period

Nov. 14, 2007

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech softball head coach Sharon Perkins announced today that five student-athletes have signed national letters of intent during the early signing period. Jessica Coan (Duluth, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian), Danielle Dike (Scottsville, Va./Fluvanna), Kate Kuzma (Sharpsburg, Ga./Northgate), Jessica Sinclair (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter) and Kelsi Weseman (Hutto, Texas/Hutto) will each join the team in the fall.

“When our staff took over at Georgia Tech in September of 2006, this is the class that we hit the ground running from day one to put together,” Georgia Tech Head Softball Coach Sharon Perkins said. “After working six years as an assistant college coach in this state, it was vital when I became head coach here, that we make recruiting in-state athletes our No. 1 priority. They each bring different talents softball-wise to the program and will help us continue our goal to win ACC championships and make the Women’s College World Series.”

“Each of these incoming student-athletes has an amazing balance of what it takes to get it done on the field, in the community and in the classroom. They will easily continue the tradition of what has been put in place with the Georgia Tech softball program. We have something really special going on here and I am thrilled these five incredible players have chosen to be a part of our program. This state produces some of the best softball players in the country. There is great coaching at the travel ball and high school level so it’s important to our staff that we look in-state before we look anywhere else.”

Coan was just recently named the Atlanta Journal Constitution Pitcher of the Year after going 29-2 in 2007 with a 0.32 ERA and 463 strikeouts in 212.2 innings pitched. She had 18 shutouts and walked just 34 in the circle while also batting .361 with a .459 slugging percentage and 23 RBI. Coan finished her career with 106 wins, over 80 shutouts, over 20 no-hitters and three perfect games. According to rivals.com, Coan’s 1,743 career strikeouts are the third-most ever in high school behind just Alicia Hollowell (Arizona) and LaTonya Coates (Texas). She is ahead of former UCLA standout and Team USA member Lisa Fernandez as well as Anjelica Seldon (UCLA), Holly Currie (Auburn), Erica Strutz (Michigan State), Michelle Granger (Cal) and Kirsten Shortridge (Baylor) among others.

“Jessica was definitely the best of the best as far as pitching was concerned in our state,” Perkins said. “The great thing about her is the fact that each time we have gone out to see her pitch, she has continually gotten better and better. She has an amazing work ethic and her statistics in high school speak for themselves. She also handles herself with tremendous poise.”

Coan was a four-time all-County, all-State, AJC first-team, and Gwinnett Daily Post first-team. She was also a three-time team MVP and co-MVP for a season while being named Gwinnett County Pitcher of the Year twice. Coan helped lead team to three regional championships and two runner-up and two third-place finishes in the state tournament. She plays summer ball for the East Cobb Bullets Gold team.

Dike, a third baseman and outfielder, plays travel ball for the Richmond Ruckus 18-under elite team. She is a three-time all-district member as well as a two-time All-Central Virginia. Dike, who will play her senior season this spring, batted .339 as a junior with two home runs, 26 RBI, 22 hits, 22 runs and 39 total bases. She also had a .600 slugging percentage and a .482 on base percentage.

“Danielle is an extremely versatile player who can play numerous positions,” Perkins said. “She is a very athletic player who, we believe, can become an elite hitter and leader on the college level. Her versatility will be a strength to her when she arrives on campus next fall.”

The 2007 Offensive Team MVP was a 2005 All-Academic softball pick and received honorable mention honors in 2006 while also earning multiple letters in volleyball and basketball.

Kuzma is a catcher who has plays summer ball for the Atlanta Vipers Gold team. A four-year letterwinner, Kuzma led Northgate to a 2007 AAAA state title as well as a 2006 runner-up finish. She is a two-time all-county selection and received the 2007 Student-Athlete Award for highest GPA, Best Offensive Award in the post-season (batted .471) and co-MVP.

“Kate was our first verbal,” Perkins said. “She is the best defensive catcher we saw last year and she is an outstanding hitter. She has worked with some excellent pitchers in her travel ball career and is a great pickup, especially with Savannah Brown graduating after this season. She is also another outstanding student who fits the mold of what a Tech student athlete is all about.”

Kuzma is also a member of the Spanish Club, International Club, National Honors Society and Spanish National Honors Society. In addition, Kuzma was elected secretary of the Spanish National Honors Society.

Sinclair, an outfielder, plays her summer ball with the East Cobb Bullets Gold team. She helped lead her team senior year to the 5A State title last month while batting .369 with eight home runs and 49 RBI. A two-time all-county, all-region and all-state member, Sinclair was named the team’s Best Offensive Player in 2006 and 2007 while batting .300 with two home runs. She also hit .340 with three more round-trippers as a junior in 2006. In addition, she is a four-time Lassiter Scholar Athlete.

“Jessica is one of the top power hitters this state has produced in a long time,” Perkins said. “She can play outfield and infield and will help give us some options when she begins her Tech career next fall. Her father played in the Cardinals’ organization so she has been around ball her entire life. She is a gamer.”

Weseman is a shortstop who plays her summer ball with the Texas Round Rock Blaze Gold. A two-time, first-team all-district and academic all-district, Weseman was named the Newcomer of the Year in 2006. She batted .619 with four home runs, 25 RBI and a 1.204 slugging percentage. She was also voted a first-team all-state in 2006 by the Texas Sports Writers as well as MVP. Weseman will play her senior season this spring.

“Kelsi fits the mold of what we are looking for in a middle infielder,” Perkins said. “I have been blessed to work with one of the best players I have ever coached in (senior shortstop) Aileen Morales. Kelsi has that same fight and spirit in her and is a natural leader on the field. “She has had an outstanding high school and travel career in Texas and we were thrilled when she decided to choose our program and be a part of what we are putting together here at Georgia Tech.”

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