November 10, 2016

BY STEVE O'KEEFE
College Relations

CARTERVILLE--First year JALC softball coach Taylor Orsburn has hit the ground running with the signing of her first recruiting class.  Orsburn arrived on campus just in time to start the fall semester which meant that in addition to getting to know her current players, setting up practices, and training to be an academic advisor, she had to start recruiting players. 

Orsburn met the challenge with the same level of energy that she displayed as a star player during her own playing career.

“I love the challenge,” said Orsburn. “Most coaches have had a year or two to recruit these players, I only had a couple of months so I knew what I had to do.”

What she did was sign three top athletes to her first class. On Wednesday she signed Missouri standout RikkiLyn Wright from West County High School in Park Hills, Missouri where she was a pitcher and utility player in high school. Wright was an all-state selection as a junior while helping the Lady Bulldogs earn their second consecutive appearance in the spring softball final four. She posted a 19-4 record and 1.62 ERA while batting .560 with 38 RBI and 31 runs scored.

“We are excited to have RikkiLyn join the Lady Vols Softball program,” said Orsburn.  “She is a great athlete and she brings versatility to the team with her pitching as well as her batting.”

On Thursday Orsburn signed two local players from tradition rich Herrin High School. Shortstop Rebecca Moffett and second baseman Lexi Childers pledged to join the Lady Vols in 2017. Rebecca Moffett is an extremely talented athlete.  According to Orsburn, Moffett is a stand out when it comes to Southern Illinois Softball.  She finished her junior season with a .451 batting average with 51 hits and 14 homeruns. She also excelled in the field showing excellent mobility and range as a short stop. We are excited to have Rebecca’s great athletic ability and her extreme passion for the game.

For Orsburn Chiders brings many different aspects to the plate as a hitter. As a junior she batted .363 with 45 hits and 23 stolen bases.   

“She is able to do all three things when it comes to hitting away, bunting and slapping,” said Orsburn. “She has speed that not only helps her with base running, but also defensively at second base as well.

In addition to the three signees current JALC sophomore Katie Sandusky signed to play with McKendree University. 

“I have never coached such a hard working student athlete that shows so much passion and love for the game, said Orsburn. “She not only succeeds on the field but also in the classroom.  Katie shows great leadership, maturity and athletic ability when she is on the field and she will do great things at McKendree next year.”