Varner Announces '18 Early Signees
Nov. 20, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette softball Head Coach Jexx Varner announced the signings of five high school seniors who will be enrolling at Lafayette in the fall of 2014. The recruiting class comes from five different states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida and Oregon.
"We are extremely excited about this class and the immediate impact they will have for us," Varner said. "We worked hard to find players with the competitiveness and energy Lafayette softball is all about and ended up touching all corners of the map."
"This class has a little bit of everything; speed, power, great defense, clutch performers and great pitching," Varner said. "What we are most proud of is that we have found young ladies that will help raise our own academic standards. In the classroom and on the field, our new legacy has a bright future"
Morgan Biddle (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas): Outfielder...three-year varsity letterwinner...two-time Miami Herald's Top-Hitter of the Week...batted .330 last season and had a .440 on-base percentage...member of State Championship team...four year Honor Roll member.
"The first phrase that comes to mind when describing Morgan on the field is `spitfire'," Varner said about Biddle. "Morgan is clutch, will bring great speed and is a ball player with a great softball IQ. The most important trait for any outfielder, in our opinion, is being `fearless' and Morgan is the definition of that. Anything on the green she will run down and she will go through a wall for a ball."
Lauren Shoemaker (Beaverton, Ore./Valley Catholic): Outfielder...named senior captain for upcoming season...First-Team All-League as junior...Second-Team All-League as sophomore...led team in BA, OBP, and steals last two seasons...18-U Fastpitch Northwest All-Star Championship member...three-year letterwinner in volleyball...2013 Physics Student of the Year...National Honor Society Member from 2012-14...currently maintains a 3.986 GPA.
"Lauren stood out to us right away because of her presence on the field. She is such a sparkplug and plays the game the right way," Varner spoke about Shoemaker. "She is hardworking, has great speed and wonderful energy. She will add much needed speed to the program but beyond that Lauren brings an attitude and desire that will go above and beyond expectations."
Miranda Skurla (Bedford, Mass./Bedford): Infielder...was team captain as a junior...Dual County League All-Star selection in her sophomore and junior seasons...2013 Lowell Sun Second-Team selection...named to Boston Globe Players of the Week in May 2013...named Bedford Minuteman Athlete of the Week four times during her sophomore season...2013 National Merit Scholarship Program Letter of Commendation recipient...High Honor Roll for her first three years...ranks in the top five-percent of her class...President of her school's National Honor Society chapter.
"Miranda is gamer, plain and simple," Varner said. "She is strong, tough, has good pop and is extremely competitive. Her bat and glove will help make an immediate impact in the program. She continues to get better every time we watch her play and that's a credit to her desire and athletic drive. We look forward to the kind of work ethic and attitude she will bring to Lafayette softball."
Samantha Sweigart (Mertztown, Pa./Brandywine Heights): Second Baseman...Team MVP as a junior...2013 Reading Eagle Berks All-County team...2011 and 2012 Reading Eagle Honorable Mention...member of 2013 PIAA AA State Championship team...two-time Reading Eagle Scholar Athlete of the Week...Distinguished Honor Roll member since 2010.
"There are so many cliché words to describe Sam: clutch, gritty, defensive vacuum, great presence and a natural leader, but bottom line: Sam is a ballplayer," Varner declared. "She has played against some of the best teams in the country and performed at a winning level. Day in and day out she will step up and help everyone else around her bring their best."
Stephanie Thomas (Pompton Plains, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy): Pitcher...2013 Newark-Star-Ledger North Jersey Player of the Year...2013 Pitcher of the Year...First-Team All-State in 2012 and 2013...Second-Team All-State in 2011...First-Team All-League and All-County from 2011-2013...First-Team All-East Region in 2012...2012 Second-Team All-American...2013 Third-Team All-American...MaxPreps Underclassmen All-American...currently boasts an 82-5 all-time record at IHA...set the all-time wins record at IHA as a junior...National Honor Society member.
"We are excited to add Steph's movement and speed in the circle. She will be a great compliment to the staff and we know that she will be well prepared to win against tough Division I programs," Varner said. "From the first game of my first recruiting trip at Lafayette I knew we had a competitor and someone who will help us realize our championship vision. Beyond making an impact in the circle she will also help us with a bat in her hand. She's an all-around player."