LOGAN, Utah - Utah State softball head coach Steve Johnson has announced the addition of four players to the 2016-17 roster. Allanah Alvarado, Riley Plogger, Devan Sperry and Kellie White all signed National Letters of Intent with the Aggies this week.
"We’re really excited about the 2016 signing class. As we continue to build this program into a championship contender, all of these athletes not only fill our needs but help us continue to increase our overall talent level," Johnson said. "We have been watching and recruiting these athletes for several years now and are excited for them to join the Aggie family."
Alvarado joins the Aggies from Hillarys, Western Australia. A catcher, she has played the last five seasons with the Carine Cats Softball Club. That team won the state league titles in 2012 and 2014. Alvarado played on the Western Australia U17 team for the 2011-12 seasons and on the U19 team from 2011-14. She has played on the Australian Junior National Team twice, playing in the Junior World Championships in 2013 and 2015. She is a strong batter, while playing well behind the plate.
Allanah was a hidden gem that we were lucky to find. Hailing from Australia, she has played on their Western National and Junior National teams in international competition for several years," Johnson said. "Her experience at that level will be invaluable in continuing our championship mentality. As a catcher, she brings a strong arm and a big bat and will battle for playing time right away."
Plogger is an outfielder from Redlands, Calif. As she prepares for her senior season at Redlands East Valley High School, Plogger is a three-time all-league honoree and was named Rookie of the Year her freshman season. She has batted over .330 each year of her career, tallying 80 hits over the three seasons. Plogger has spent the last four seasons playing club softball with SoCal Athletics.
"Riley is a triple-threat outfielder that I have been recruiting since 2012. She can play anywhere in the outfield, has great range, reads the ball well and possess a strong arm," Johnson said. "Offensively, she can hit for power or slap and brings some more speed to our lineup replacing Sarah Chow, who will graduate this year."
Sperry is a three-year letterwinner from Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. The shortstop has helped her team to the postseason all three years of her career, earning honorable mention all-league honors as a sophomore, while being named to the second-team as a junior. Sperry plays club softball with the Orange County Batbusters.
"Devan is a versatile middle infielder who can play any of the infield spots and has even played some in the outfield," Johnson said. "At the plate, she’s a strong contact hitter, working gap-to-gap, but also has the ability to hit the long ball. Her versatility will give her multiple opportunities to play right away."
Rounding out the fall signing class, White is a native of Chula Vista, Calif. The pitcher is a three-year letterwinner at Mater Dei Catholic High School, where she has compiled a 24-8-1 record. As a junior, White had a 1.10 ERA, pitching 161 innings and striking out 170 batters. With a strong performance at the plate, she batted .370 on the year with 37 hits. White also plays at the club level with the California Cruisers. Outside of softball, she is also a two-year starter on the Mater Dei soccer team.
"Kellie came to us with Coach (Windy) Thees, to whom she had previously committed to at Ole Miss. Kellie has great command of all of her pitches and is able to produce a lot of swings and misses," Johnson said. "With the departure of Noelle Johnson to graduation, Kellie will be counted on to step into the rotation immediately with our returners and give us a lot of quality innings."
Fans can follow the Aggie softball program on Twitter, @USUSoftball, on Facebook at /USUSoftball or on Instagram, @ususoftball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.
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