TUCSON, Ariz. ?C Arizona softball head coach Mike Candrea announced Friday that three high school seniors have signed National Letters-of-Intent to attend The University of Arizona and play for the eight-time national champion Wildcats.
The trio of signees -- Kristen Arriola, Perelini Koria and Karissa Buchanan -- is scheduled to arrive on campus in fall 2008.
"Our staff is very pleased to announce this recruiting class, and we are confident that each of these young women will contribute to the Arizona softball tradition," Candrea said.
"As with all of our recruiting classes over the years, each signing is a result of many hours of recruiting and scouting from our staff," Candrea continued.
Arriola is a right-handed hitting middle infielder from Garden Grove, Calif. She attends the same Pacifica High School that produced Wildcat All-American Toni Mascarenas.
"Kristen is a player with tremendous pop in her bat and possesses outstanding speed," Arizona assistant coach Larry Ray said.
Additionally, Arriola comes with a winning pedigree on the club circuit, where she is a four-time national champion with the Worth Firecrackers, which calls current Wildcats Sarah Akamine, Kˇ?Lee Arredondo and Lauren Schutzler alums.
Koria, who is known as Lini, is a highly-touted catcher out of San Pedro High School. In her junior year, the backstop from Gardena, Calif., belted 17 home runs for the CIF City Section champions.
Koria has spent the last two years with the Worth Firecrackers, but has also spent time with the Orange County Batbusters and USA Athletics club softball teams.
"Lini is a player with tremendous power and great hands," Ray said. "We expect that she will be an asset both at the plate and on defense."
Buchanan hails from Tucson, Ariz., where the left-handed hitting outfielder attends Sabino High School.
An outfielder, Buchanan currently plays club ball for the Arizona Hotshots, after coming over from the Desert Thunder.
The two-time NFCA first-team All-West Region selection possesses extremely good speed and quickness, and according to Ray, she could be the next player in a long line of excellent Arizona slap hitters.
Arizona will open its back-to-back national championship title defense in Tempe at the Kajikawa Classic on Feb. 15, 2008, against Notre Dame.