Softball Signs Five in Early Signing Period
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Florida Gulf Coast University’s head softball coach, Dave Deiros, announced the signing of five players in this year’s early signing period. Sophomore Desiree Miller will join the Eagles this season, while Jessica Paez, Dore Ferber, Amanda Leiter, and Morgan Campen will join her on next season’s squad. “We are very excited about our incoming class of players,” said Coach Deiros. “We were able to fill every position of need based on the players who will graduate after this coming season.”
Miller, a native of Hartville, Ohio, transfers to FGCU from Bowling Green State University (OH). She hit .264 with four HR and 25 RBI as a freshman at BGSU. The versatile utility player played in 48 games with 43 starts at the catcher, first base, third base, and designated player positions. At Marlington High School, Miller was a First Team All-Conference selection and Second Team All-State as a senior after missing her entire junior year due to injury. In addition to playing at Marlington High, Miller was also a member of the Ohio Maddogs Gold travel team. Deiros said, “We are very fortunate that Desiree has decided to transfer and complete her education and playing career at FGCU. She is an accomplished catcher and corner infielder who can hit for power as well as for average. A natural leader, she will fit in very well with our team this spring."
Paez (Belle Glade, Fla.) will transfer to FGCU as a junior in the fall from Santa Fe Community College. The shortstop earned First Team All-State and First Team All-American honors after her freshman year at Santa Fe. Paez hit an impressive .385 with 13 doubles, three HR, 23 RBI, and 40 runs scored. The speedy Paez also had 26 stolen bases in 27 attempts. A graduate of Glades Day High School, she played travel ball for the Davie Power. “Jessica is an exceptional athlete who has all the tools needed to be successful--she has tremendous speed and can hit for power and average. In addition, she has super range and a strong arm on defense,” added Coach Deiros.
Ferber, an outfielder originally from Lakeland, Fla. will also transfer next season to FGCU as a junior. She comes to Florida Gulf Coast via Brevard Community College where she was selected First Team All-Conference last season after hitting .342 with one homer, 29 RBI, and 20 runs scored. Ferber led the Titans in nearly every offensive category last year. Deiros said, “Dore is a very strong hitter who will make an immediate impact in the middle of our lineup.” A graduate of Lake Gibson High School, Ferber played her travel ball for the Tampa Mustangs organization.
Campen will be an incoming freshman from Rougemont, NC. FGCU coach, Dave Deiros said, “Morgan is a big, strong pitcher who has great command on all her pitches. She always demonstrated great poise in the pitcher’s circle and never gets rattled in game situations.” The skilled pitcher was selected to First Team All-Conference after leading Northern Durham High School to the North Carolina State playoffs as a junior last year. She struck out 1.5 hitters per inning while posting an ERA under 1.00. Campen played for the North Carolina Dominators travel team.
Coach Deiros signed local talent in Amanda Leiter of Naples, Fla. Last season as a junior at Naples High School, the second baseman was named Second Team All-State after posting a .447 batting average in the lead-off spot. She added 27 runs and 24 RBI in just 29 games last year. Leiter competed for the Tropic Wave travel team in addition to her high school ball. When asked about Leiter, Deiros replied, “Amanda is a winner--she was a huge impact player in Naples High's playoff run last year. Her run production from the leadoff spot paid large dividends for the Golden Eagles and we expect the same for us.”
After only losing one starter from last year’s squad that finished 58-9 with a trip to the NCAA South Regionals, the Eagles are expected to make another strong push towards a Division II title this season. The FGCU softball team begins the 2007 campaign on February 2, when they travel to West Palm Beach, Fla. for a double-header with Palm Beach Atlantic. The Eagles home-opener is against Northwood on February 10. The double-header will begin at 2:00 pm at the FGCU Softball Complex.