Junior College Kickoff Classic & Showcase Watchlist

Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Florida Southwestern

More than 20 junior college teams, including six ranked in the top 20, will compete at the 2018 Junior College Kickoff Classic and Showcase in Clearwater, FL, on Jan. 27-28.

We've compiled a list of some of the top athletes and Division I stars of tomorrow to watch at the annual showcase.

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JUCO Kickoff Classic & Showcase LIVE Schedule

NamePositionYearCollegeScouting Report
Morgan CushmanPSophomoreCollege of Central Florida
Cushman is primed for a stellar sophomore season. Part of the 1-2 punch for the College of Central Florida, Cushman recorded 174 strikeouts last season.
Shayne O'ConnellPSophomoreCollege of Central Florida
O'Connell is the top pitcher to watch at the JUCO Kickoff Classic after accumulating 210 strikeouts with a 1.19 ERA in 2017.
Giovanni WattsPSophomoreFlorida Southwestern StateWatts returns as the ace for Florida Southwestern, which made it to St. George, Utah, finishing third. She held a 1.37 ERA with 104 strikeouts. 
Riley RussellOFSophomoreFlorida Southwestern StateWe know one thing is for sure: Russell loves to run. With over 60 stolen bases last season, Russell is projected to crush it this season. Batting .390 last season, she will be a force at the top of the order.
Carolina ColliMIF/C/OFSophomoreFlorida State College at JacksonvilleColli mainly plays second base but could easily play shortstop, catcher, or outfielder. She is an aggressive and intense player. She will make diving, acrobatic plays as well as the routine ones. Colli has a strong arm and good range. Offensively, she handles the bat very well and hits the ball hard to both gaps and can also go yard on occasion. Considered the team leader, Colli is an impact player.
Noa ArmirottoSSSophomoreFlorida State College at JacksonvilleAll the way from Edegem, Belgium, Armirotto is a terrific athlete who was a member of both Belgium’s national softball and handball team programs. She will play shortstop but can also catch and roam center fielder. She has a cannon for an arm, runs well, and has good pop in her bat. Her intensity and work ethic is tremendous. She is a dynamic player and a game changer.
Alia Booth1BSophomoreGeorgia Highlands CollegeBooth is a Gardner Webb University transfer who is a true lefty with power. At Gardner Webb, she was a first-team All-Big South selection and also made the all-freshman team. She currently holds a 3.60 GPA.
Micayla McCoyPSophomoreGeorgia Highlands CollegeWith a 19-5 record, McCoy was selected to the 2017 NJCAA All-Region team. She held a 2.21 ERA with 101 strikeouts. She throws in the low 60s.
Shayla SmithUTLSophomoreGeorgia Highlands CollegeSmith was selected to the 2017 NJCAA All-Region team. She was a Carolyn Hamrick Advocacy Scholarship recipient. As a utility player, she has tremendous arm strength and power. Batting over .400 as a freshman, Smith will be a powerful component of the Chargers offense. She has a 3.40 GPA.
Chandler SparkmanP/DPSophomoreGulf Coast State CollegeSparkman is a transfer from the University of South Alabama. She has good speed and mixes well. Sparkman has a great stick and will hit in the middle of the order. She will graduate in May with her AA degree.
Kristina MantheiPSophomoreGulf Coast State CollegeManthei is GCSC's leading returning pitcher. She had a great fall and is expected to continue to build on that success this spring. She will graduate with her AA degree in May.
Morgan GrecoOFSophomoreIndian River State CollegeGreco batted .394 last season earning first-team all-conference honors. She will be essential to Indian River's offense.
Savannah JulyliaSSSophomoreIndian River State CollegeJulylia was a 2017 first-team all-conference selection.
Valerie AlvaradoPSophomoreIndian River State CollegeA redshirt sophomore, Alvarado was the 2016 Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year.
Brooke Ferguson2B/OFSophomoreLake-Sumter State CollegeFerguson is a returning all-conference infielder who has only played softball for five years. She is one of the best under-the-radar players in the state of Florida.
Jasmine McQuaigPSophomoreLake-Sumter State CollegeMcQuaig had a rocky freshman season but is poised for a big sophomore year. She has put the work and will see the benefits in 2018.
Rachel Phelps1BSophomoreLake-Sumter State CollegePhelps was honorable mention all-conference selection as a freshman. She is a two-time captain, selected by her teammates. 
Emma MaitlandPSophomoreMiami Dade CollegeLast season, Maitland earned first-team All-Southern Conference honors. She's been lauded as a leader to Miami Dade's freshman class.
Danielle deRuiterSS/C/CFSophomorePensacola State CollegeA member of the Canadian junior national team in the summer of 2017, deRuiter is a true athlete who can play multiple positions.
Jensen StricklandP/DPSophomorePensacola State CollegeStrickland made the All-Panhandle Conference team as a freshman. She throws great off-speed pitches and a solid drop ball. She made the dean's list at Pensacola State and is studying criminal justice.
Lia JohnsonOFSophomorePensacola State CollegeFrom Panama City, FL, this lefty leadoff possesses DI speed with tremendous acceleration out of the box and base-stealing instincts. Johnson has a 4.0 GPA and is an NJCAA Academic All-American.
Chelsea PeaceC/3BSophomoreSeminole State College of FloridaPeace is a power hitter with a strong arm and great defensive skills.
Kyra GipsonP/1BSophomoreSeminole State College of FloridaOne of Seminole State's top pitchers to watch is Gipson, who held a 2.02 ERA while hitting .298 with 25 RBIs last season.
Meghan SextonSS/OFSophomoreSeminole State College of FloridaSexton played outfield last season and will take on a new role at shortstop. She will continue her softball career at Florida Southern next season.
Dienna WhiteCSophomoreSpartanburg Methodist CollegeFrom Arizona, White has been called the heart of her team and commands the defense behind the dish.
Maegan StoneSSSophomoreSt. John's River State CollegeStone is one of the most athletic players in the state. She’s fast, has a great arm, and has become a great leader on the infield.
Selena Bezares1B/DPSophomoreSt. John's River State CollegeA pure power hitter, Bezares had 11 home runs last year and is projected to top that number this season. She is an RBI machine who is clutch in pressure situations.
Caitly BerryP/MIFFreshmanFlorida State College JacksonvilleFrom Jacksonville, FL, Berry can pitch and play middle infield. She has gap-to-gap power and occasional home run power. She will likely be the ace in the circle clocked in the upper 50s to low 60s range. Her mixes a curve, screw, drop, change, and a late-breaking rise. She has solid control and is very poised on the mound. 
Eliza Artiles3BFreshmanMiami Dade CollegeArtiles is quick on a bunt and has an above average arm. She has a tremendous work ethic and continues to get better every day. She's positive and vocal on the field.
Melissa Mayeux SSFreshmanMiami Dade CollegeMayeux is the first woman to make the International Registration list and is eligible to be drafted by an MLB team. She's athletic and has a good glove with a strong arm. The more game time experience she gets in the game of softball the better she'll be. She's a hard worker on the field.
Maggie WhelessC/IFFreshmanNorthwest Florida State CollegeA solid defender with a lot of athleticism, Wheless has good speed and great power offensively. 
Marcie BewleyOFFreshmanNorthwest Florida State CollegeBeweley is a quick player with an accurate arm. From the left side, she can hit for power and average and can slap. 
Summer FryeOFFreshmanNorthwest Florida State CollegeFrye possesses true lefty power from the box but throws right-handed. She's a Georgia native with solid grades.
Savannah FosterPFreshmanPensacola State CollegeA former Florida Class 8A Pitcher of the Year at Niceville (FL) High School, Foster packs a strong punch in her 5-foot-3 frame. She throws a strong curveball and screwball. Could she be the next Kaitlin Lee?
Kiersten MooreMIF FreshmanSpartanburg Methodist CollegeWith great range and terrific ball-off-bat reads, expect Moore to be a staple on defense and put up solid power numbers.
Kristen GassOFFreshmanSpartanburg Methodist CollegeGass is a leadoff slapper in peak shape who is quick on defense and offense.
Kelsea FriendOFFreshmanSt. John's River State CollegeFriend showed lots of promise in the fall season. Her speed and softball IQ make her a tough out and a great defender.
Brooke DiazCSophomoreEastern Florida State College
Carina McCarver1B/3B/OFSophomoreEastern Florida State College
Gabby OrlandOFSophomoreEastern Florida State College
Jordan LawlisPSophomoreEastern Florida State College
Mary WaldronIFSophomoreEastern Florida State College
Savana GarrisonCFSophomoreEastern Florida State College
Dream AaronC/1BSophomoreIndian River State CollegeAaron was a 2017 first-team all-conference selected.
Jaden KlineCSophomoreIndian River State CollegeKline earned 2017 first-team all-conference after racking up 63 RBIs.
Michalyn BinghamOFSophomoreIndian River State CollegeBingham was a 2017 NJCAA All-American for IRSC.
Meghan CallahanOF/CSophomorePalm Beach State
Stacy PericlesP/OFSophomorePalm Beach State
Sydney Fugate1B/DPSophomorePalm Beach State
Aleysha N. SantiagoPSophomorePuerto Rico-Carolina
Andrea PeñaIFSophomorePuerto Rico-Carolina
Carolina MorenoOFSophomorePuerto Rico-Carolina

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This Week's Verbal Commits & Team Changes (3/22)

Orlando Jorge Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports Dirt Divas

If you follow the verbal commitments list from week to week, you may have noticed that Clemson is putting in work on the recruiting trail. This week alone, Tigers coach John Rittman has picked up three more strong recruits. Some players were committed to other programs but have since changed their decisions. Regardless, the prospects for Clemson's inaugural season in 2020 are looking brighter after adding one of our favorite Tampa Mustangs, McKenzie "Pie" Clark.

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Eastern Michigan Drops Softball Program, Along With Three Other Sports

EMU Athletics Eastern Michigan

By Marc Raimondi

Softball is one of four sports programs being dropped by Eastern Michigan University, the school announced Tuesday.

From Houston To Babson, Meet Josephine Mares

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When Houston native Josephine Mares decided she wanted to pursue college softball and business school in the Northeast, she made the unlikely choice to join a club team from Pennsylvania. 

College Softball Weekly Recap: UW, UCLA See Undefeated Streaks Snapped

Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports ASU

Conference play is slowly getting underway across the country, which means rivalries are being renewed and the level of competition is increasing. In the Pac-12 that meant college softball’s last two undefeated teams finally lost over the weekend, showing just how competitive things are going to be out on the West Coast in 2018.

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Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports Lilli Piper

FloSoftball is providing live and on-demand coverage for 25 non-televised Big Ten softball games this week.

No. 14 Babson Holds Off Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Rolls Past Plymouth State

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CLERMONT, Fla.—The 14th-ranked Babson College softball team racked up 21 hits in two games and extended its winning streak to five with a pair of victories on Sunday morning at Hancock Park. The Beavers defeated the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 6-4, in their opener before finishing the sweep with an 11-3 five-inning victory over Plymouth State University.

Tufts Triumph 1-0 In Season-Opener Over Chicago

Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports Spring Games

CLERMONT, Fla. – Freshman Kristi Van Meter pitched a four-hit shutout in her collegiate debut and junior Kristen Caporelli hit a walk-off single as the Tufts softball team opened 2018 with a 1-0 victory against the University of Chicago on Saturday.

Transylvania Split With St. Mary's and Lakeland At THE Spring Games

Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports Spring Games

Clermont, Fla. – The Transylvania softball team forged a split on their fourth day of competition at the PFX Games on Thursday afternoon, taking a 3-1 defeat to the St. Mary's College (Ind.) Belles before defeating the Lakeland University (Wis.) Muskies, 9-1 in six innings.

Cathedral Catholic Pitcher Megan Faraimo Poised For Another Title

Don De Megan Faraimo Meet 2018 No. 1 Hot 100 Player Megan Faraimo

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For those who were hoping Cathedral Catholic of San Diego's star pitcher and No. 1 Hot 100 player Megan Faraimo would come down with a case of senioritis this season, forget about it.