SAULT STE. MARIE- Lake Superior State softball coach Lori Shimasaki announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the Fall 2015 signing period. The additions for the 2016-17 season includes one pitcher and three position players.
Hannah McQueen, a native of Portage, Mich., joins the Lakers as the only pitcher in the fall signing class. Heading into her fourth varsity season for Portage Central High School, McQueen was named to the 2015 MLive Kalamazoo Dream Team and was an all-district, all-conference and all-region selection at Portage Central last season.
McQueen also earned all-district and received all-conference honorable mention as a sophomore.
A seasoned veteran of the travel-ball circuit, McQueen was a member of the Lakeshore Storm team that won the 2015 Fall Michigan Blue Chip Championship. In 2012, McQueen’s Michigan Athletics travel squad captured the USSSA 14U state championship.
“Hannah has great ball movement and composure on the mound,” said Shimasaki. “She is a gamer and will bring in added strength and power to our pitching staff.”
Shimasaki also added pair of players, McKenna Gutt and Madeline Gapshes, with experience in both infield and outfield positions, but from very different regions of the country.
Gutt, a second baseman and outfielder hailing from Chandler, Ariz., has led her high school team in batting average and on-base percentage the past two seasons and is a three-year starter at the varsity level for Horizon Honors High School.
As a travel player, Gutt has appeared in tournaments throughout the southwestern United States including Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and California.
“We are very excited to have McKenna on board,” said Shimasaki. “Being immersed in travel ball out west has given her a diverse sense of the game year-round and will bring versatility to our slappers with her great bat control.”
Gapshes is a St. Clair native coming off of back-to-back district championships with St. Clair High School. She has also a Macomb Area Conference-Red All-Academic selection during the past two seasons.
“Maddy has a passion for the game. She is a team ball player who can compete in multiple positions. Her strong defensive arm and pop to her bat will prove valuable within our tough conference.”
Rounding out the Lakers’ recruiting class is Memphis, Mich., native Emily Andrews.
Andrews is a three-year letter winner at Armada High School as a shortstop, and is a former summer league teammate of Gapshes. Noted as a standout in the field and at the plate, Andrews has collected all-district, All-Blue Water Area Conference Team, first team all-county and all-academic honors.
“I have had the privilege of watching Emily grow and develop over the years, and she exemplifies the true Laker mentality of hard work, positivity, and intelligence," Shimasaki said. "Emily is a strong and versatile athlete on and off the field.
“The coaching staff and I are very excited to bring in the class of 2016. Each athlete has her own unique style that will blend very well together as a class, and I am so proud of each one of them. They chose us. Having a group of young women who buy in to the Laker pride and commit to being a part of this program is very special. We are family and will continue to compete together and do great things.”
The Lakers open the 2016 spring season on Feb. 27 with three games in Marquette, Mich. LSSU will play Marian (Wis.) at 8 a.m. before facing Finlandia at 10 a.m. and Concordia at 6 p.m.