COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State softball team has signed three high school seniors to NCAA National Letters of Intent to compete for the Buckeyes, head coach Linda Kalafatis announced. Megan Coletta, Melanie Nichols and Julia Pecina will join the team for the 2009-10 campaign.

All three players hail from southern California. Coletta and Pecina compete for rival high schools, but have been teammates on their SoCal Wicked club team for six years, while Nichols is a member of SoCal Explosion Gold.

“This is a small, but very talented class,” Kalafatis said. “We are confident that they will add continued depth to our team and to the bright future of Ohio State Softball.”

Coletta is a four-year letterwinner with Sonora High School in La Habra, Calif., and a six-year member of the SoCal Wicked travel club team under head coach Dave Limon. A shortstop and third baseman, Coletta holds a .393 batting average and .975 fielding percentage through three seasons of high school softball. She is a three-time captain and second team all-league player. Coletta also lettered in basketball, winning defensive player of the year honors in 2007.

Kalafatis on Coletta: “Megan was our first commitment in the class and we are very excited to have her. She loves the game you can tell by her style of play and the way that she carries herself on the field. She is a terrific defensive player and has developed into an offensive threat with good speed.”

Nichols, a four-year starting pitcher at San Jacinto High School, signs with the Buckeyes after finishing her junior season with a .682 ERA and 251 strikeouts in 144 innings. She helped her team to three-consecutive Mountain Pass League championships and earned league MVP honors each of the last two seasons. As a member of SoCal Explosion Gold, Nichols and the team finished fourth at the ASA 18U Gold Nationals.

Kalafatis on Nichols: “Melanie has good size and fields her position well. She also throws in the mid-60s with a good array of pitches. We will need her to step in and pitch right away, and her experience at the 18U Gold level against top competition has prepared Mel for that. I believe that she is one of the best pitchers in this 2009 recruiting class.”

Pecina is a four-year starter with the La Habra High School softball team and seven-year member of SoCal Wicked, along with Coletta. She is a two-time All-Freeway League player with La Habra and the 2007 Offensive Player of the Year. Pecina also lettered in water polo for three seasons and earned all-league and All-CIF honors.

Kalafatis on Pecina: “Julia is a terrific athlete. She is highly-motivated and loves to work hard and train hard. She can play at either second base or in the outfield and her athleticism will be an asset at each position.”