Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cats Ink Seven Softball Stars
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 09, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Nov. 9, 2011

TUCSON--University of Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea announced the signing of seven players to National Letters of Intent for the Class of 2012.

Candrea, who said the group "will be one of the strongest, if not the strongest, recruiting class in the country," inked six prep stars and a junior college transfer.

The class includes three players from California, three from Arizona and one from Oklahoma.

Arizona, an eight-time NCAA Champion, 10-time Pac-10 Champion and Women's College World Series participant 22 times in the past 24 seasons under Candrea, begins play in the Pac-12 Conference this coming spring. The signees will enroll in summer or fall 2012.

Candrea signed, and noted the following student-athletes:

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 Stacie Iveson." ... Sunnyside High School graduate... Daughter of Ivan and Estela Pinon of Tucson...