Nov. 12, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech softball signed six high school athletes to join the Yellow Jackets in 2016-17, a class that ranks No. 24 in the nation by FloSoftball, head coach Shelly Hoerner announced Wednesday. The recruiting class stretches across the country with three recruits from Georgia, one from New Jersey, one from Tennessee and one from California.
The recruiting class includes Karissa Arnold (Temecula, Calif.), Brooke Barfield (Pembroke, Ga.), Crosby Huckabay (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Isabella Many (Annandale, N.J.), Rebecca Prairie (Valdosta, Ga.) and Drew Puckett (Buford, Ga.).
Barfield comes in at No. 48 and Rebecca Prairie checks in at No. 58 on FloSoftball’s most recent Hot 100 list.
Karissa Arnold | INF/OF | L/R | Temecula, Calif./Temecula Valley HS
Karissa Arnold is a four-year letterwinner, and two-year captain at Temecula High School under head coach Todd Hollins. In her junior season, she hit .358 with 14 runs on 19 hits and 13 RBI, with her senior season to come this spring. Through three seasons at Temecula, Arnold is hitting .312 with 20 runs on 34 hits and 19 RBI.
“Karissa is another phenomenal athlete that can play a bevy of positions for our program,” head coach Shelly Hoerner said. “She has the potential to play third, second, and all three outfield positions due to her quickness and athleticism. Karissa can absolutely fly when she gets going and is going to be a valuable asset for our lineup. She has triple threat ability from the left side of the plate, which makes her a very tough out. We couldn’t be more excited to add a player of Karissa’s talents to our program.”
Brooke Barfield | P | L/L | Pembroke, Ga./Bryan County HS
Brooke Barfield is a four-year letterwinner for head coach Al Butler, and is ranked No. 48 on FloSoftball’s Hot 100 List. Barfield is a four-year captain for the Redskins, who finished the 2015 fall season with a record of 29-12 and third-place at the state championship.
Barfield is a four-time first-team all-region selection, and a three-time first-team Coastal Empire Best of Preps selection. After the 2015 season, Barfield was named Region 2AA Pitcher of the Year.
“Brooke has the potential to be a top flight pitcher in the ACC,” Hoerner said. “She is a long lefty with long levers and uses them well. She has the excellent athleticism required to repeat her delivery and become a pitcher that can consistently locate her pitches and move the ball. Her ceiling is incredibly high, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her and help her reach that ceiling.”
Crosby Huckabay | INF | R/R | Chattanooga, Tenn./Baylor School
Crosby Huckabay is a five-year letterwinner as an infielder for head coach Kelli Smith at the Baylor School, and recently led the Lady Red Raiders to a 25-3 record and the team’s fourth state title in the last five years with her senior season yet to come. Huckabay was part of the state championship team in 2012, 2013 and 2015. The Chattanooga native joined Baylor’s varsity squad as an eighth grader and earned significant playing time as a freshman.
“Crosby is one of the most athletic players that we have seen over the past few recruiting cycles,” Hoerner said. “She plays corner infield with quickness and soft hands, and has the ability to consistently erase mistakes at first base with her athleticism. Offensively, Crosby has the chance to develop into a potent middle-of-the-lineup type hitter for our program. She has a great, fluid stroke with a lot of power that has the potential to do damage on a game-by-game basis.”
Isabella Many | INF | R/R | Annandale, N.J./North Hunterdon HS
Isabella Many is a four-year letterwinner as an infielder under head coach Anthony Rotondo at North Hunterdon HS and still has her senior season yet to come. She batted .459 her sophomore season and helped the Lions claim the 2014 NJSIAA Group 4 State Championship.
In her junior season, she posted .469 batting average and collected a team-high 38 hits.
Many was named first-team all-area and all-county in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons. She was second-team all-state in 2014 and was named Courier News breakout Player of the Year.
“Isabella is an athletic catcher that also possesses the flexibility to play the corner infield positions,” Hoerner said. “She will provide a unique ability to play multiple positions at a high level with consistency. Offensively, Bella is a consistent line-drive hitter that will always put together professional at bats. We are looking forward to seeing Isabella develop into the player that we expect her to be.”
Rebecca Prairie | C | R/R | Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes County HS
Rebecca Prairie is a four-year letterwinner under head coach Stewart Thomas and is ranked #58 on FloSoftball’s Hot 100 list. Prairie led the Vikettes to back-to-back Region 1-AAAAAA Championships in 2013 and 2014. She was named first-team all-state in 2014, and all-region first team in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by GHSA. Prairie was named second-team all-state in 2012 and 2013. As a junior, she hit .417 with six home runs, 10 doubles and 32 RBI.
“Becca is one of the most complete catchers in her class and one of the best all-around softball players in the state of Georgia,” Hoerner said. “She controls the running game, takes control of the defense and frames like the elite level catcher that she is. Offensively, Becca provides a lot of power with her bat that will be an extremely beneficial piece of our lineup. We are excited to have a catcher of Becca’s ability join our battery.”
Drew Puckett | SS/OF | R/R | Buford, Ga./Buford HS
Drew Puckett is a four-year letter winner as a shortstop and outfielder under head coach Tony Wolfe at Buford High School, and recently led the Wolves to their ninth consecutive state title. She recorded two hits and drove in three runs, including a two-run home run, to help Buford claim the 2015 Class AAAA state championship in Columbus, Ga.
Puckett was first team all-region in 2013 and second team all-region in 2012 and 2014. She was recently named Scholar-Athlete by the Gwinnett Diamond Club.
“Drew is a phenomenal athlete at the shortstop position,” Hoerner said. “She is a very long player that has the range to take hits away both up the middle and in the 5/6 hole. She has a plus arm as well, which allows her to take away different facets of the short game that will be very beneficial for us. Drew will also provide stability at the plate for us. She has the potential to be a very consistent gap to gap hitter that will bring excellent situational awareness at the plate.”
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