Nov. 19, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas – Lamar University softball coach Holly Bruder announced that four student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Lamar on a softball scholarship starting in the 2014-15 academic year.
Signing with Lamar are right-handed pitcher Laura Napoli (Houston, Texas), infielder Sable Hankins (Moore, Okla.), outfielder Corina Thornton (Converse, Texas) and catcher-infielder Ariel Clogston (Crosby, Texas).
“I think these four players will be a great addition to an already strong team,” Bruder said. “I look forward to the contributions they will all make.”
Napoli, a first-team all-district pitcher for the past two seasons at Clear Brook High School, struck out 207 batters in 184 innings last season, posting an ERA of 1.60. A member of the Texas Sudden Impact during the summer, she has helped that club qualify for two national tournaments and finish second at the prestigious DeMarini Invitational in Chicago.
Napoli helped her own cause offensively last season, batting .435 with a .523 on-base percentage.
“Signing a pitcher of Laura’s caliber will help us immediately,” Bruder said. “You can never have enough quality pitching.”
Napoli also excels in the classroom, ranking in the top 10 percent of her class. She is a member of the National Honor Society.
Hankins was an all-state selection at third base for Moore High School last season after batting .456 with two home runs and 41 RBIs.
She was Oklahoma’s District 6A Defensive Player of the Year as she helped her team reach the state finals.
A member of the Texas Firecrackers Select team during the summer, she helped that club win the USSSA 16-under national championship in 2011. She was a member of the Firecrackers’ team that finished fourth at the ASA National championships in 2012.
“Sable will strengthen our infield,” Bruder said. “She’s strong defensively and will contribute offensively.”
Thornton, a first-team all-district outfielder last season at Judson High School, hit .485 with a .550 slugging percentage for the Rockets. A recipient of the Texas Coaches All-State Award, she had a .977 fielding percentage.
Thornton was an academic all-district selection as a freshman, sophomore and junior. A member of the National Honor Society, she ranks in the top 10 percent of her class.
A member of the Texas Bombers, she helped that squad win the ASA Gold South national championship this past summer.
“Corina will give us some much-needed depth in the outfield,” Bruder said. “We have two outfield starters graduating after this season, so Corina will have a chance to step in and contribute immediately.”
Clogston plays catcher and third base for Crosby High School. As a junior last season, she hit .400 with eight home runs, while posting a .992 fielding percentage. She was a first-team all-district selection as a sophomore and junior after earning second-team accolades as a freshman.
“Ariel fills a need for us at catcher,” Bruder said. “You can never have enough quality catching. She will definitely have a chance to make immediate contributions.”
Lamar posted a 24-35 record last season, including a 14-13 Southland Conference mark, as softball returned to the university for the first time since 1987. The Cardinals open the 2014 season with a doubleheader at UTSA on Feb. 8.