November 16, 2021

Three Sign National Letters of Intent with Ohio State Softball


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Three student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to further their academic and athletic careers as members of the Ohio State softball program, head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly announced today. The newest Buckeyes are Hannah Church, a catcher/first base from Land O’ Lakes, Fla., Julia Miller, a pitcher from New Philadelphia, Ohio and Lexi Paulsen, a pitcher from Carroll, Ohio.

“We are thrilled to welcome three tremendous student-athletes to Buckeye Nation,” said Schoenly. “We addressed our needs on the mound and behind the plate with three strong, highly experienced players. One word that would describe this group as a whole would be powerful. Hannah Church, Julia Miller, and Lexi Paulsen all have played at the high level in travel ball and will bring that competitive experience to Columbus.”

Hannah Church • C/1B • Land O’ Lakes, Fla. / Berkeley Prep

  • Hit .576 in 24 games as a junior in 2021 with 12 home runs, six doubles, 25 RBI and 28 runs scored.
  • Named the FHSAA 3A Player of the Year.
  • During a COVID-shortened 2020 season, she batted .552 with five doubles and 18 RBI in nine games.
  • Began her career at Academy at the Lakes where she played in 26 games as a freshman and hit .500 with 11 doubles and 27 RBI in 26 games.
  • Won state championships in 2018 and 2019 at Academy at the Lakes.
  • Miracle Sports All-State catcher in 2019 and a member of the Tampa Bay Times All-State first team.
  • Was Prime Time Prep’s Player of the Week on March 1 after batting .625 with four home runs and seven RBI in Berkeley Prep’s first five games.
  • Is rated by Extra Innings Softball as the nation’s No. 22 overall player and No. 7 catcher.
  • Played club ball for the Wichita Mustangs.
  • Would like to attend law school.

Kovach Schoenly on Church: “From very early in her high school career, Hannah stood out from her peers at the plate. She can drive the long ball to all fields with ease and consistency, as is the tradition with our Buckeye hitters of the past and present. Defensively, Hannah will share time behind the plate and at first base. She has a high softball IQ and a standout arm. We expect Hannah to have an immediate impact within our lineup. Can’t wait to see her develop to the next level here.”

 Julia Miller • RHP • New Philadelphia, Ohio / New Philadelphia

  • Led New Philadelphia to a Division I Regional runner-up finish as a junior in 2021.
  • Went 20-4 on her way to being named first team All-Ohio and the East District Player of the Year.
  • Is a two-time ECOL Player of the Year and ECOL first-team honoree.
  • Has totaled 530 strikeouts in two seasons with six career no-hitters.
  • Struck out 21 batters in a seven-inning game versus Massillon, the second most in state history.
  • Had 17 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over Walsh Jesuit to help the Quakers win their first district title in 15 years.
  • Fanned 19 batters and had two RBI in a 4-1 win over Walsh Jesuit in the regular season.
  • Career batting average of .515 and hit .662 last spring as a junior.
  • Plans to major in nursing
  • Plays travel ball for the Ohio Lasers Red

Kovach Schoenly on Miller: “Julia is an elite right handed pitcher that has a unique combination of speed, movement, and creativity with her pitches. Her strength is her high ratio of swing and misses from the mound. She is a workhorse and wants the ball in big moments. In addition, Julia hits for power from the plate. But probably the most attractive quality about Julia as a recruit was her unwavering love for Ohio State. She wants, more than anything, to lead this team on the mound wearing the Scarlet and Gray.”

Lexi Paulsen • RHP • Carroll, Ohio / Bloom Carroll

  • The 2021 Eagle-Gazette Co-Softball Player of the Year.
  • Finished with a 20-3 record for Bloom Carroll with a 0.03 earned run average.
  • Struck out 280 batters in 120 innings.
  • In back-to-back district playoff games, she struck out 18 in a win over Granville and finished with 18 strikeouts in a 1-0 district final loss against Heath.
  • Was also the Bulldogs’ top hitter as she finished with a .500 batting average and 23 RBI.
  • A three-time Mid-State League-Buckeye Division Player of the Year.
  • Division II Central District Player of the Year in 2021 and earned first team All-Ohio honors.
  • Has already surpassed 500 career strikeouts.
  • Plays club ball for Beverly Bandits.

Kovach Schoenly on Paulsen: “Lexi is a power pitcher from the right hand side that has the potential to dominate on any given day. We sustained a recruiting battle for Lexi for almost 4 years, through new legislation and COVID, and ultimately her heart, family, and faith led her to Ohio State. Lexi has challenged herself through her high school career, always playing at the highest level possible, so she comes to us battle-tested and big game ready. Lexi has the opportunity to be the next hometown kid to do amazing things in Columbus.”