Nov. 18, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State softball coach Steve Johnson announced Monday the completion of his first signing class with the addition of five players for the 2015 season.
"We are really excited about our first class here at Utah State. Assistant coaches Michelle (Schroeder) and Sarah (Sigrest) did an excellent job in a short period of time finding kids who met our needs and will all compete for playing time right away. Bringing in two pitchers, Paige (Mills) and Jordyn (McCracken), will add great depth to our pitching staff, and we feel both will push for time in the circle next spring," Johnson said. "With two seniors graduating behind the plate, we feel Brina (Buttacavoli) will help us out immediately there but can also compete at third base and in the outfield if needed. Jazmin (Clarke) and Emma (Willenborg) bring the speed element to our team, which we really needed, and both will push for playing time next season."
Brina Buttacavoli, a utility player who has seen time at catcher and third base, hails from Marysville, Calif. She was a three-time letterwinner at Marysville High School. She is a two-time all-Golden Empire League honoree. Buttacavoli was also a three-time all-league Academic Team honoree. The well-rounded Buttacavoli earned the MHS Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and MHS Offensive Player of the Year in 2012. In 2012 and 2013, she was named to the Appeal Democrat all-Metro team. She also earned Sacramento Bee all-Metro honorable mention, and she earned 2013 Cal High honorable mention state team honors.
Overall in high school, Buttacavoli had a .410 batting average with a .970 fielding percentage at the middle infield positions. She also played for the All-American Sports Academy Gold travel team for coaches Bryan Merrida and Roger Exline. Throughout high school, she earned the Principal's List Academic Award.
"Brina is a versatile athlete who is primarily a catcher but can also play third base and the outfield if necessary. She is very mature behind the plate with a strong arm and a good knowledge of the game," Johnson said.
Jazmin Clarke, an outfielder, is a native of Tracy, Calif., who attends Tracy High School. She won the team's Most Valuable Player award as a junior after earning Most Improved Player as a freshman. As a junior, Clarke earned San Joaquin Athletic Association (SJAA) all-conference and all-league honors. She was also all-conference as a sophomore. Her Tracy High School squad was SJAA League Champions as a junior.
Clarke plays for the OBS Monarch travel team coached by Corey Reid and Jesse Rios.
"Jazmin is a dynamic athlete that will make an impact for us right away. She will definitely add speed to our outfield and she brings a powerful bat to the plate," Johnson said.
Jordyn McCracken, is a utility player who will see time in the circle and the infield. McCracken is a native of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and attends Lake City High School. McCracken is a two-time Idaho State Champion at Lake City, going 26-0 and 28-0 during those seasons. During her three years at LCHS, they went 77-2. McCraken had 23 RBI her junior year to go along with a 1.87 ERA.
McCracken plays travel softball for the Spokane Mudhens for coach Octavio Morales.
"Jordyn brings a different dimension to the circle for us as a left-handed pitcher," Johnson said. "She spins the ball well and will add good depth to our pitching staff."
Paige Mills is a pitcher and infielder from Peoria, Ariz. She is a three-year letterwinner at Centennial High School. In 2012 and 2013, Mills earned first-team all-section honors. During her high school career, she has registered a 43-10 record in the circle.
Mills also plays for the AZ Storm Gold travel team for coaches Kara Brun and Rich Beach. The Storm captured Amateur Softball Association (ASA) 16-U State Champion honors.
"Paige is a strong power pitcher who will add depth to our pitching staff and have an immediate impact for us. On the mound, she brings a great presence and has good power potential at the plate," Johnson said.
Emma Willenborg, is a utility player from Irvine, Calif., that can play both in the infield and the outfield. She is a three-year starter at Arnold O. Beckman High School in Irvine. As a junior, she posted a .462 batting average with a career batting averaging of .356. Willenborg was honored as first-team all-conference in 2013 and second-team all-conference in 2011. She was a two-time selection to the Irvine all-City team. She also earned Beckman High School 2013 Defensive Player of the Year.
Willenborg plays for the Cal Lite travel squad for coach Pam Newton.
"Recruited as an outfielder, Emma is another dynamic athlete who can play middle infield or outfield. A triple threat from the left side, she will definitely add speed to our line-up," said Johnson.
The 2014 edition of the Aggies will begin on the road at the St. George Tournament on Feb. 7-8. Utah State's first Mountain West contest will be at home on March 21 against Colorado State.
Fans can keep up with all of the Aggie softball action at www.utahstateaggies.com. Follow Utah State athletics, including softball, at http://twitter.com/USUSoftball.com, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUSoftball.
2015 Utah State Softball Signees Named Position Hometown (High School) Brina Buttacavoli C/IF Marysville, Calif. (Marysville HS) Jazmin Clarke OF Tracy, Calif. (Tracy HS) Jordyn McCracken P/IF Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (Lake City HS) Paige Mills P/IF Peoria, Ariz. (Centennial HS) Emma Willenborg IF/OF Irvine, Calif. (Arnold O. Beckman HS)
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