Four Players Ink National Letter of Intents with PBA Softball

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

Clockwise (L-R), Jen Hunter, Ashley Roberts, Chelsie Hersey, and Mary Pippin make up the Early Signees for PBA Softball. Clockwise (L-R), Jen Hunter, Ashley Roberts, Chelsie Hersey, and Mary Pippin make up the Early Signees for PBA Softball.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Beyond the skill development of current players perhaps the most important job of a collegiate head coach is in recruiting future talent to rebuild each season. With the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball program gaining a growing reputation both regionally and nationally, recruiting high quality student-athletes on and off the field is obviously very important to Sailfish head coach Kimmy Bloemers.

With the 2011 season ready to kick off in just over three weeks, the Sailfish are gearing up for what they hope to be another successful campaign this season after making it to the NCAA Regional Tournament for the first time in program history last season.

With regards to 2012, Bloemers and assistant coach Ron Kotouch feel they have a very talented and hard-working group slated to put on the Sailfish uniform next season. With the early signing period occurring in early November, Bloemers has announced four signings with two set to join the Blue and White after solid junior college careers while two more have signed on with the Fish after accomplished playing careers at the high school level.

Jen Hunter of Brevard Community College and Mary Pippin of Alabama Southern Community College will close out their junior college playing careers this spring while Chelsie Hersey of Union County High School in Lake Butler, Florida along with Ashley Roberts from Northern Portage High School in Schoolcraft, Michigan will don the Blue and White after their senior seasons conclude this spring.

A group loaded not only with potential, but balance as well, each of the four players inked their names in November and officially decided on Palm Beach Atlantic as their college choice.

Hunter is coming off an outstanding freshman season at Brevard where the 5’7” shortstop claimed a spot on the FCCAA All-State 2nd-Team. A former standout at Tarpon Springs High School, Hunter produced a memorable first season with BCC by hitting .413 including a team-leading five homeruns and 44 runs batted in.

An all-around athlete blessed with quickness on both offense and defense, Hunter comes from a baseball background as she was part of Team USA for women’s baseball while also performing as an All-County soccer player while at TSHS.

A Dean’s List student while at Brevard, Hunter is the type of student-athlete that coaches like Kimmy Bloemers search for on the recruiting trail.

“Jen is a solid athlete and a fun player to watch on the field,” said Bloemers.

“Having the baseball background has made her into a very talented softball player. She will do anything to win and has the heart of a champion. Jen will be a great addition for the 2012 season,” continued Bloemers.

Jen is the daughter of Dave and Brenda Hunter with one sibling, Paul.

Joining Hunter as a junior at PBA next season will be Mary Pippin who proved to be one of the top junior college pitchers in the state of Alabama as a freshman hurler last season.

Pippin tallied a record of 21-6 with an earned-run average of 1.11 as a freshman last season at Alabama Southern while tallying 218 strikeouts and only 30 walks in 188.2 innings pitched. For her efforts she was named to her respective All-Conference and All-Region listings while also being honored as a NFCA Louisville Slugger All-South Region 2nd-Team selection.

A native of Bonifay, Florida, Pippin will return to the Sunshine State as a PBA pitcher after suiting up for Holmes County High School before enrolling at Alabama Southern. While at HCHS, Pippin was named to the All Big Bend Conference team while graduating with high honors in the classroom.

“I am very excited that Mary will pitch in a Sailfish uniform next season,” said Bloemers. “She will have one more season as a junior college player to prepare for our program and make an immediate impact for the 2012 season. I believe Mary will do great things in the pitcher’s circle”. 

Mary is the daughter of Kelly and Stephanie Pippin with two siblings, Sarah and Seth.

In addition to the exciting futures of both Hunter and Pippin, Bloemers is equally looking forward to the impact of her two high school signees in Chelsie Hersey and Ashley Roberts.

Hersey will suit up for the Fish in 2012 after a solid all-around career at Union County High School in Lake Butler, Florida where the speedy outfielder was named to both the All-Area 1st-Team and All-State 2nd-Team following her junior campaign last season. Hersey batted .491 as a junior with a .561 on-base percentage and 26 stolen bases for the UCHS Tigers.

With hopes of perhaps working one day as a pediatric nurse, Hersey expects to enroll at PBA next fall as a nursing student while closing out her high school academic career with high honors and near the top of her graduating class.

“Chelsie is a fast outfielder who is a leader and a fighter. She loves the game and is a hard worker. I am thrilled Chelsie chose PBA and I believe she will help us win games throughout her career,” said Coach Bloemers.

Chelsie is the daughter of Buddy and Wendy Hersey with one sibling, Treyce. 

Roberts will join the Sailfish next fall following what has been a tremendous prep career at Portage Northern High School  which is located in Schoolcraft, Michigan near Grand Rapids. While wearing the PNHS Huskies uniform, Roberts is a four-time All-Conference selection as well as an All-State 1st-Team (Division 1) selection.

The 5’5” outfielder led her team with a .506 batting average while connecting for nine doubles, two triples, and 32 runs batted in as a junior in 2010.

A National Honor Society member and an expected PNHS graduate with highest honors, Roberts appears ready to excel on and off the field at Palm Beach Atlantic.

“Ashley is a true competitor and I am anxious to see her talent on the Florida clay. I believe Ashley will have a solid career as a Sailfish,” concluded Bloemers.

Ashley is the daughter of Rod and Rose Roberts with two siblings, Nick and Justin.

Palm Beach Atlantic is slated to open the 2011 season on February 2nd with a home matchup with cross-town rival Northwood University at 6 pm. The Sailfish will play all home games at the Lake Catherine Complex in Palm Beach Gardens for the 2011 season.

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