Dec. 10, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio-Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head softball coach, today announced the signing of five student-athletes to the 2003 recruiting class. They will be eligible to participate beginning in the fall of 2003.
Jamee Juarez (La Puente, Calif./Wilson), Nycole Koyano (Walnut, Calif./Walnut), Megan Schwab (Glendale, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain), Christina Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Dobson) and Nicole Gragson (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson) make up the Ohio State softball class of 2007.
“We are very pleased about the quality of athletes and young women we have signed to play softball at Ohio State in the 2003 recruiting class,” Kalafatis said. “We were especially looking for pitching and lefty hitters and we achieved that in this exceptional class.”
Juarez is a 5-foot-7 right-handed pitcher/infielder from La Puente, Calif. Juarez earned Tribune Player of the Year honors after going 19-3-1 last season while leading the Valley in both ERA (0.17) and strikeouts (251). She also was second in the area in hitting with a .483 average. She also had 29 RBIs and five home runs. A member of the 2000 CIF Division III Champions, Juarez also was a 2000 Arroyo All-Tournament Team selection. A highly decorative athlete, she also participates in basketball and volleyball at Wilson High School.
“Jamie Juarez not only comes in as a pitcher, but can hit and play just about anywhere for us,” Kalafatis said. “She’s cut out of the same mold as our own Kristi DeVries, so we’ll expect her to be able to contribute right away.”
Koyano was a first and second team all-league selection the past two seasons at shortstop for Walnut High School in Walnut, Calif. The 5-foot infielder was named team MVP in 2002 and received Best Defensive Player accolades. Koyano, timed at 4.3 in the 40-yard dash, throws right and bats left.
Schwab is a 5-foot 3-inch outfielder/first-baseman from Glendale, Ariz. Named first team Wells Fargo Region (2002) and West Valley Region (2001), Schwab was a member of the Wells Fargo Region Softball team that finished fourth in the state in 2002. She also is a three-year letterwinner in soccer and cross-country going into her senior year at Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, Ariz. Schwab also excels in the classroom and was named a scholar-athlete in each sport from 1999-2002.
A 2001 and 2002 first team all-region selection in Mesa, Ariz., Douglas batted .467 which included a .604 on base percentage as a junior at Dobson High School. She was the recipient of the East Valley Coaches Award in 2001 and 2002 and was named MVP of the Vipers Under-16 national team in 2002. Douglas, winner of the President’s Award for Academic Excellence (4.20 GPA), throws and bats left.
“Nycole Koyano, Megan Schwab and Christina Douglas, are all lefty hitters that can do a multitude of things with the bat,” Kalafatis said. “They will all be able to hit for high average and be aggressive on the base paths. Nycole is a really exciting player that could play middle infield or outfield for us. Megan, like Christina, is a left-handed thrower so we will put her in the outfield or at first base. Christina is a catcher by trade, but also has considerable experience in the outfield and we will see if she will able to play any first base for us as well.”
Gragson is a 6-foot 2-inch right-handed pitcher from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif. Gragson was a third-team Press-Telegram selection in 2002 and also participates in track and field.
“Nicole Gragson came on to the recruiting scene late for us, but that doesn’t limit our excitement in signing her,” Kalafatis said. “She has a great pitcher’s build at 6’2” and has a world of potential. I know Belinda Cernava, our pitching coach, is eager to get both of these young ladies on the mound for us and I’m eager for them to develop even further under her tutelage.
“These five players compliment each other very well and fit in perfectly to the style of ball we play at Ohio State. We’re also very pleased that, like our other classes, they are over a 3.0 GPA and have excellent academic potential.”
Ohio State Softball 2003 Recruiting Class Player Hometown High School B/T Jamee Juarez La Puente, Calif. Wilson R/R Nycole Koyano Walnut, Calif. Walnut L/R Megan Schwab Glendale, Ariz. Sunrise Mountain L/L Christina Douglas Mesa, Ariz. Dobson L/L Nicole Gragson Long Beach, Calif. Woodrow Wilson R/R