Ashland University head softball coach Sheilah Gulas has announced six players have signed in the 2016-17 recruiting class.
Joining the Eagles starting with the 2016 fall offseason are Cuyahoga Heights center fielder Dayna Denner, Norwayne utility player Bree Gill, Midview catcher/third baseman Cassie Haight, Notre Dame Cathedral Latin infielder/outfielder Camille Pollutro, Loudonville catcher/third baseman Sarah Wickline and Tecumseh pitcher/middle infielder Jessica Wilson.
"We're real excited. I think that the exciting thing about this class is there's a lot of athleticism in it," Gulas said, "a lot of great work ethic. They're all very good students, and the thing that probably strikes me the most is that they all can contribute in multiple roles."
Denner's 2015 junior season featured some of the best single-season numbers in Ohio high school history, including 14 home runs and 62 RBIs – both tied for seventh all-time. Last spring also saw her hit .545 with 47 runs scored, nine doubles and six triples.
Denner has set four program single-season records and three program career marks. Her three-year prep totals include a .493 average, 108 runs scored, 28 doubles, 14 triples, 19 home runs and 149 RBIs, in addition to a team record of 79-10 and a state title in 2014.
"She's definitely a top hitter. She will be a left-handed hitter into our lineup," said Gulas. "She can hit the long ball, she's a very clutch hitter and can do a lot of things offensively. She does have some infield experience, also, and she probably will be playing some first base this summer."
Gill hit .473 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs as a junior. A four-year letter winner in softball, she is a two-time first-team All-Wayne County Athletic League selection.
"Just love the competitive spirit of this kid," Gulas said. "She's a versatile player. She played with the Ashland Blaze in the summer, and she definitely will bring some good skills, also. We just like her competitive spirit and versatility."
Haight has had season-highs of a .412 average and 12 doubles, and has had success throwing out baserunners behind the plate. She is a two-time first-team all-conference catcher, and will be a four-time softball letter winner.
"She's come to a lot of our camps. She's an outstanding catcher with a great arm," Gulas said.
Pollutro hit .412 with 34 runs scored and 23 RBIs as a junior. She is a three-time member of the All-North Coast League Blue Division first team, and will be a four-time softball letter winner.
"She's got a strong arm. She's someone we could possibly be looking at in that shortstop position," said Gulas. "She'll bring good speed, strong arm, good fielding."
Wickline is familiar to local softball fans, having been a two-time Ashland Times-Gazette Player of the Year. A soon-to-be four-year letter winner, she did not strike out at the plate and hit .617 during her sophomore season, and followed that with a .592 average as a junior in 2015.
"Sarah definitely is going to bring that little spark," Gulas said. "She loves playing the game, and she's a very good hitter. She's got some good pop on the ball."
Wilson, who also will earn four varsity softball letters, stole 26 bases as a junior. She is a three-time member of the All-Central Buckeye Conference team, and earned All-Southwest District honors in 2015.
"Jessica will definitely give us some depth in the circle," Gulas said. "She's got some good potential for growth in that position, and also will give us some depth in the infield and outfield, as well."