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Arizona softball’s recruiting class strong on versatile athletes

Arizona Wildcats softball coach Mike Candrea signed seven players earlier this week, including one who he said reminds him of a “young Nancy Evans.”

That would be pitcher Nancy Bowling from Royal High in Simi Valley, Calif. She has been committed to Arizona since before her sophomore season.

“She’s very competitive,” Candrea said.

Like Evans, the national player of the year in 1998, Bowling is a top athlete who also is a threat with the bat. Bowling hit .500 as a junior in high school, had a 0.49 ERA, and she has played at the top level of travel-ball competition.

Candrea said he likes the versatility in this class, with shortstop-type athletes who can play other positions.

“I’m excited,” he said. “They look good on paper. We’ll see what they do when they get here.”

The addition of Estela Pinon from Yavapai College will give Arizona a more-comfortable number of pitchers on staff for the 2013 season. She and Bowling will join Kenzie Fowler and Shelby Babcock in 2013.

Here is Arizona’s signing class, via a UA news release:

Pitcher Nancy Bowling, Royal High School, Simi Valley, Calif.
“Nancy is an outstanding athlete who will be one of the top pitchers in the country. She also is a superb hitter who can play first or third when not pitching. She has all the tools to be a dominant performer in the Pac-12.” …Daughter of Bill and Debra Bowling… Plays for the Orange County Batbusters, a team that has produced many Wildcats over the years… Ranks academically in the top 10 percent of her class…

Infielder Lauren Young, Canyon High School, Anaheim Hills, Calif.
“Lauren can play shortstop, second, first — or catch. She has great versatility for our lineup and will be a valuable player in the next four years.” …Also plays for the Orange County Batbusters as a teammate of Bowling… Currently a 4.0 student at Canyon High… Has a brother who attends the UA… Daughter of Terry and Cecile Young…

Infielder/Outfielder Mandie Perez, Whittier Christian High School, Whittier, Calif.
“Mandie was a member of the 2007 12&Under National Champion Victory USA, and the 2010 16&Under National Champion Orange County Batbusters and is a fierce competitor who can play second base or outfield.” …Left-handed hitter with a good short game, and power… Daugher of Michael and Lucee Perez… 3.0 student…

First Baseman Darcy Taylor, Jenks High School, Jenks, Okla.
“Darcy is an outstanding hitter with good power. She also has pitched and played in the outfield. She has the ability to be a very good Pac-12 batter.” …Six-foot stature… Attends Jenks, Okla., High School but will be playing for the Desert Thunder out of Tucson in club ball… Daughter of Charles and Susan Taylor… Father is an M.D. who’s come to Tucson to practice oncology… 3.6 student…

Outfielder Gabby Sandstedt, Independence High School, Glendale, Ariz.
“Gabby, left-handed, possesses extremely quick hands at the plate and will be a great offensive threat for the Wildcats. She’s a superior athlete and will be an outstanding student at the University of Arizona.” …Plays for the Arizona Storm as a first baseman and outfielder… Daughter of Mike and Kelley Sandstedt… Carries a 4.5 grade point average…

Shortstop Courtney Rodriguez, Seton Catholic High School, Scottsdale, Ariz.
“Courtney has the good hands to play shortstop, and the speed to play the outfield. She’s a left-handed hitter with a very good short game, good speed and can hit with power – and has a great work ethic. She plays the game hard.” …Teammate of Sandstedt on the Desert Storm club team… Daughter of Adam and Lisa Rodriguez… Carries a 2.8 grade point average…

Pitcher Estela Pinon, Yavapai College, Prescott, Ariz.
“Estela will bring added strength to the Arizona pitching staff and also is an outstanding hitter with very good power. She rounds out our class with some intangibles, too, coming off the 2011 NJCAA National Championship team (then) coached by our current assistant Stacy Iveson.” … Sunnyside High School graduate… Daughter of Ivan and Estela Pinon of Tucson…

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