Softball Signs Four Preps

Nov. 24, 2013

BOISE, Idaho -

Boise State softball signed four high school seniors to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, head coach Erin Thorpe announced. The Broncos will welcome Sara Ketelsleger, ShaeLee Pearson, Rachel Rodriguez and Makenzie Sullivan beginning with the 2015 season.

The class includes a middle-of-the-order power hitter who has an athletic pedigree (Sullivan), a right-handed pitcher with a track record of winning (Rodriguez), a left-handed bat with speed on the bases (Pearson) and an athletic up-the-middle defender (Ketelsleger).

Three states are represented in the Broncos’ latest signing class. Two hail from California in Ketelsleger (Chino Hills; Ayala High School) and Rodriguez (Fresno; Central High School). Sullivan is out of Tucson, Ariz., and Canyon Del Oro High School. Pearson becomes the first Beehive State product to sign with the Broncos, coming to the Treasure Valley by way of Taylorsville High School in Taylorsville, Utah.

Ketelsleger is a three-year starter for Ayala, beginning her career as the team’s shortstop before moving to center field the last two seasons. She was a second-team all-league choice each of her first three seasons and a team captain as a junior. She has also been named a team captain heading into her senior season. A career .353 hitter, Ketelsleger has 90 hits with 25 going for extra bases. She has four home runs, all coming last season.

"Sara's overall athleticism will allow her to help this team in a variety of areas,” said Thorpe. “She has the ability to play anywhere on the field and is one of those athletes a team needs to have."

The past two summers Ketelsleger has played for Explosion during the travel ball season, seeing time predominantly at shortstop and third base. In 2011, she was the shortstop for the OC Batbusters team which won the PGF 14U National Championship.

Pearson is a three-year varsity starter at Taylorsville, garnering Region 2 Co-MVP and 5A All-State First Team honors as a sophomore. The third baseman and corner outfielder has led the Warriors to a top-five finish at the state tournament each of her first three years to go along with two league championships. Pearson owned the team’s top batting average all three years, hitting .446 as a freshman, .519 as a sophomore and a career-best .556 as a junior with 50 hits. She has also stolen 50 bases over the past two seasons.

"ShaeLee brings a left handed bat that, combined with her speed, will make her a dangerous threat at the plate,” said Thorpe. “In addition we are excited to use her speed and athleticism to help elevate our defense."

A member of the Utah Predators travel ball team, Pearson batted over .500 last summer with 36 stolen bases.

Rodriguez is a three-year letterwinner at Central, compiling a 34-14 record, 0.76 earned run average and 18 shutouts during her career. She was named last season’s All-Valley Pitcher of the Year in addition to first-team all-league, all-valley and all-state honors. She was also a first-team all-league and all-valley selection as a sophomore.

She has helped the Grizzlies to back-to-back CIF Central Section Division I titles, including being the ace on the 2013 championship squad. As a junior last season Rodriguez was 17-10 with a sterling 0.82 ERA and 197 strikeouts in her 171 innings. She hurled 10 shutouts, including the first perfect game of her career. On the biggest stage, Rodriguez tossed a four-hitter to win the sectional crown in a 2-1 victory.

"We are very excited to welcome a pitcher who has such a competitive drive and desire to win,” Thorpe said. “She has already shown that she wants to be in the circle in a big game and is definitely someone who can make an immediate impact on our program."

Rodriguez plays with the Dirt Dogs on the travel-circuit, advancing to the quarterfinals of the 16U national tournament last summer. She was a member of SoCal Athletics in 2011, helping the team to a third-place finish at the 18U tournament.

Sullivan is a three-year starter for Canyon Del Oro, where she has guided the Dorados to a three-year record of 99-12 with two state championships (2011 and 2012) and three district titles. Sullivan played outfield as a freshman before moving to the corner infield positions the past two seasons. 

During her breakout junior campaign, Sullivan was named the Region Player of the Year, first-team all-state and first-team all-Arizona for all divisions. In a 37-game schedule she batted .467 with 57 hits, 63 RBI, 51 runs scored, nine doubles, four triples and 13 home runs. Her home run and RBI marks set school records. Included was a nine-RBI game with two grand slams. She hit .511 with seven home runs as a sophomore on her way to being named second-team all-region.

"Mak is a very strong corner player whose bat will be a much-welcomed addition to our lineup,” said Thorpe. “Her raw natural power will allow her to quickly compete for a spot."

Sullivan plays her travel ball for the highly-regarded Arizona Hotshots Gold squad. She has started at the corner infield positions. Her father played football at Texas A&M.


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