FORT MYERS, Fla. – After finishing in third place in the Atlantic Sun, FGCU softball head coach David Deiros announced the addition of Gianna Sandstrom (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) and Kayla Ramey (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers/Seminole State College) to the Eagles’ 2012 squad.
The pair joins a team that welcomes back 14 student-athletes and adds to the incoming class of Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo Fla,/Hagerty), Stephanie Metzger (Naples, Fla./Palmetto Ridge), Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe), Britney Pugh (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Pines Charter/St. Petersburg College), Lauren Stevens (Naples, Fla./Palmetto Ridge) and Chelsea Wildey (Oviedo, Fla./Oviedo HS).
A four-year starter and team MVP at Cardinal Gibbons, Sandstrom boasts talent in the circle and at the plate. She led her team to back-to-back Class 4A Regional appearances while holding a 3.70 grade-point average. Sandstrom batted .450 on the season, while recording a 10-4 mark, tallying 98 strikeouts in 83 innings in her final year. The Miami, Fla., product is a four-time Miami Herald All-County first team selection. Under Phil Schmaltz, Sandstrom and the West Pines Diamond Dusters competed in the ASA Nationals and finished in 13th in 2009.
“Gianna is extremely versatile and athletic. She runs well, can hit for average, and we are very excited about her potential development as a power hitter,” said Deiros. “She is a good outfielder, can play first base and can even pitch, while giving us a different look from the left side. We are excited to bring her on the team next year.”
Ramey comes to FGCU after two years at Seminole State College where she was voted onto the Mid-Florida Junior College All-Conference team this season. She ranked third on the team with a .353 average, while registering 21 RBI. As a four-year letterwinner at North Fort Myers, she led her team to a 27-4 record (best record in school history), the Lee County Championship, the district 5A/16 Championship and the Regional 5A Championship as a senior alongside current FGCU outfielder Mariah Fernández (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers). Ramey was also named an All-Conference, All-Area and All-State selection while earning a spot in the Southwest Florida Senior All-Star game.
“Kayla is a versatile defender who can play either shortstop or second base for us,” said Deiros. “She has really blossomed as a hitter in her two years at the junior college level and will give us some welcome depth in our infield.”
The Eagles won 10 out their last 14 games and would have made the A-Sun tournament in its first four years competing at Division I, but due to the NCAA reclassifying period the Eagles could not participate in postseason competition. FGCU will be fully eligible for postseason play in 2012.