Hokies announce 2011 softball signing class
Six student-athletes make up strong group
November 10, 2010

BLACKSBURG - Head softball coach Scot Thomas and the Virginia Tech Athletics Department announced Wednesday the signing of six student-athletes who make up the 2011 signing class and will enroll at Tech next fall. The group is one of the strongest in the program’s history and will begin play in the spring of 2012.

Isabella Corrao, Lauren Gaskill, Kylie McGoldrick, Kelsey Mericka, Jessica Rappe and Logan Spaw all signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday and are now officially Hokies. The group consists of two players from New Jersey, along with one from Georgia, New York, North Carolina and Missouri. Several earned all-state awards and Gaskill was named the Gatorade New Jersey State Player of the Year as a junior.

“This is arguably the best overall class that we have ever signed in program history,” Thomas said. “This class has it all ... power, speed, solid pitching. Combine this class with the talent we already have coming back and you just have to be extremely excited. On top of that, these are just some tremendous young ladies with great families! It was an awesome job by the staff in getting the job done on the recruiting front!”

“I'm really excited about this class. It's strong from top to bottom and meets all of our needs,” assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Barb Sherwood said. “All of these kids will vie for a starting position their first year and all will make an immediate impact on the field. This class of fine athletes will set a precedence for years to come.”

Thomas also indicated that he is excited about several quality walk-ons who are committed to join the program next fall and will also compete for playing time, as well.

Below is a bio on each player, along with a head shot.

Isabella Corrao
P • Farmingdale, N.Y.
Farmingdale H.S.
Team Long Island

Pronounced cuh-RAY-oh … Plays at Farmingdale High for Coach Laura Malone … A second-team NYSSWA all-state and a third-team NYSSCOGS Group AA all-state selection as a junior … Had a 0.93 ERA that season with 229 strikeouts and two no-hitters … Batted .410 with two home runs … Named NYSSWA first-team all-state as a sophomore at St. Dominic High for Coach Mike Gordek … Also earned N.S.C.H.S.G.A.A. all-league honors, along with all-county and all-conference accolades that year … Posted a 0.28 ERA with 258 strikeouts, two perfect games and three no-hitters … Batted .397 with 17 RBI, seven doubles, four triples and two home runs … Plays travel ball for Team Long Island and Coach Nick Galati.

Coach Sherwood on Corrao: “Bella is a big, strong pitcher. She is a competitor, she wants the ball in any situation and she has multiple pitches. Bella will help our pitching staff in numerous ways. In addition to being a great pitcher, she also swings the bat with authority.”

Lauren Gaskill
OF • Mt. Holly, N.J.
Rancocas Valley H.S.
Newtown Rock Gold

Plays at Rancocas Valley High for Coach Erin Mattio … The Gatorade New Jersey softball Player of the Year as a junior … Batted .684 with 10 home runs, 31 RBI, 42 runs scored, 21 stolen bases, 10 doubles and eight triples that year, earning South Jersey Player of the Year honors … Produced a 1.421 slugging percentage and a .733 on-base percentage en route to first-team all-state honors … Also earned first-team Group 4 and first-team All-South Jersey honors … A second-team all-state and first-team All-South Jersey selection as a sophomore after hitting .567 with 32 runs scored and 22 stolen bases … A three-time all-conference softball and basketball player … A member of the National Honor Society who is also a Wendy’s High School Heisman Top 10 female finalist … A three-year Varsity Club member, who helps with Special Olympics and under-privileged families during the holiday season … Plays club ball for Coach Rick Waye and the Newtown Rock Gold.

Coach Sherwood on Gaskill: “Lauren is a tremendous athlete. She runs extremely well and has pop at the plate. Batting from the left side, she truly is a triple-threat. In addition to that, she can play shortstop and centerfield with the best in the country. Lauren will be recognized by the entire ACC very quickly.”

Kylie McGoldrick
IF • Stratford, N.J.
Sterling H.S.
Newtown Rock Gold

A three-year starter for Coach Kelly Tallant at Sterling High in Somerdale, N.J … A first-team All-South Jersey honoree as both a sophomore and junior … Finished her junior season with a team leading 48 hits, .522 batting average and a .728 slugging percentage … Had a .564 slugging percentage as a sophomore, hitting .382, with 26 hits, 18 runs scored and nine RBI … Led the team in nine offensive categories while winning the Group II State Championship her freshman year … Named team captain her sophomore year and is a two time All South Jersey infielder selection by the South Jersey Coaches Association … Collected her 100th career hit her junior year during the South Jersey Coaches vs. Breast Cancer tournament and received the actual “PINK” game ball as a souvenir … Is in her third year playing club ball for Coach Rick Waye and the Newtown Rock Gold … The Rock finished tied for ninth place in the 2010 ASA Gold Nationals … Is a member of the National Honor Society and is the co-founder of 17K – Diamonds for All, a non-profit organization established to collect used softball and baseball equipment to be redistributed to needy youth organizations.

Coach Sherwood on McGoldrick:
“Kylie is a lefty hitter who can hit for average and power. She has the ability to put up big numbers and will compete for a middle infield position very quickly.”

Kelsey Mericka
C/IF • Kennesaw, Ga.
Kell H.S.
Atlanta Vipers (Berry)

Pronounced muh-RICK-uh … Plays at Kell High for Coach Lindsay Faber … As a junior, was a Class AAAAA first-team all-state selection after batting .577 with 10 home runs, 43 RBI, 12 doubles and 26 walks … The .577 average is the third-highest in state history … The 2009 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Softball Player of the Year … Also named first-team all-region, earning player of the year accolades … Was second-team all-state as a sophomore … A three-time member of the all-region squad and a two-time member of the all-county team … Is third in the state for career home runs with 24 heading into her final season.

Coach Sherwood on Mericka:
“Kelsey is an ox in a positive sense. She has home run power and she will be a force behind the plate and at either corner infield position. Kelsey is a big-time player who will have a tremendous career here at Virginia Tech.”

Jessica Rappe
U • Charlotte, N.C.
Butler H.S.
New Jersey Breakers Gold

Pronounced Rapp … Plays at Butler High for Coach Brian Cottom … An all-state selection by the North Carolina Softball Coaches Association as a junior … Named to the All-Mecklenburg County team by The Charlotte Observer … Was also all-district, all-conference (SW4A), and named to the All-Observer Team … Named Carolina Weekly All-Area Player of the Year … Batted .444 with 40 hits, 40 runs scored and 21 stolen bases … As a sophomore, was named all-district, All-Mecklenburg County and all-conference (SW4A) … As a freshman, was named All-Mecklenburg County, all-conference (SW4A) and to the All-Observer Team as her team won a 4A state title.

Coach Sherwood on Rappe: “Jessica will be a utility player in the truest sense of the word. She will see time at third base, shortstop, second base and in the outfield. Her versatility will allow her to find a place in the lineup over the next four years. Jess has speed and pop. She will be a reliable option in any task she is asked to perform.”

Logan Spaw
C/OF • Blue Springs, Mo.
Blue Springs South H.S.
Zephyrs Gold

Plays at Blue Spring South High for Coach Vickie Brummel … Missed most of her senior season due to injury … Named second-team All-Suburban Big Seven as a junior … Also named all-conference and all-district … As a sophomore, was all-conference and all-district … Set a new school record for doubles in a season and attended the National Elite Futures Camp-OnDeck Softball as both a freshman and sophomore … Was all-conference and all-district as a freshman … A member of the National Honor Society who will graduate in the top 15 percent of her class … Plays club ball for Coach Rob Wade and the KC Zephyrs Gold.

Coach Sherwood on Spaw: “Logan is a power hitter, a tremendous five-tool catcher and a leader on the field. She will also see time in the outfield. Logan will make an immediate impact for the maroon and orange.”