Softball Announces Recruiting Class
by Jamie Cavileer
FT. MYERS, Fla. - Florida Gulf Coast University Softball Coach David Deiros announced the signing of six student-athletes. Jessica Carter, Jessica Gary, Desiree Lankford, Jennifer Marietta, Brooke Meeks and Melody Popravak will join a team that posted a school record fifty-eight wins last season and earned a spot in the NCAA tournament.
Carter, from Ocala, Fla., comes to FGCU after spending her freshman season at Santa Fe Community College. She is an exceptional student who graduated a year early with her AA degree this past spring. Carter played 1B and OF for the Saints last season hitting .368 with 1 HR and 9 RBI. Coach Deiros said, “Jessica is very smooth defensively at both of her positions, she is quick and handles her glove very well. She can hit for average and for power, we plan to utilize her in both roles.”
Gary, from Naples, Fla., a Naples High School graduate is one of the fastest softball players to come out of the region. “Jessica has the speed to cover lots of ground in the outfield and to steal lots of bases. She gives another option at the top of our order.” stated coach Deiros.
Lankford, from Melbourne, Fla., helped lead Eau Gallie to four district championships, two state final four appearances, and one state runner up finish during her career. She was selected 3rd team all-state last year while hitting .402 with a pair of homers and 25 RBI. She will be competing for the job at shortstop this year. Coach Deiros said, “Desiree is a very gifted athlete, she is quick and can hit for power and average. She is very capable of taking over at shortstop this year.”
Marietta comes to FGCU out of Park Vista H.S. in West Palm Beach, Fla. She was selected 1st team all-state this past season as she hit over .500 with a team high 33 RBI while playing first base. “Jen is a very strong player who is capable of hitting the long ball consistently. She will be contending for one of the corner positions this fall.”
At Eustis High School in Eustis, Fla., Meeks was used at about every position. She hit .351 at the plate while compiling a 0.28 ERA on the mound. Coach Deiros said “Even though she was an accomplished pitcher in high school, Brooke’s greatest asset for us will be versatility in being able to play both middle infield spots.”
Popravak, a Fort Myers native, is transferring to FGCU after being a two-year starting pitcher at Division I Boston University. The hard throwing Fort Myers High graduate was one of the most decorated pitchers to come out of the area when she graduated from high school two years ago. When asked about Popravak, Deiros said, “Mel will make a great addition to our pitching staff, she throws very hard and has Division I experience. She will make our pitching staff better and deeper.”
These six will join freshman Jessica Corbin from Wellington, Fla., and Nikki Menendez of Miami, Fla., to start this fall for FGCU.