Sailfish Softball Adds Five Talented Players to 2010 Roster

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

The Defending NCCAA National Softball Champion Palm Beach Atlantic University Softball Team will Add Five More Members in 2009-2010. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. The Defending NCCAA National Softball Champion Palm Beach Atlantic University Softball Team will Add Five More Members in 2009-2010. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Coming off a historic season that witnessed the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team earn the program’s first-ever National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championship, head coach Kimmy Bloemers has opted to re-load with another impressive recruiting class for the upcoming 2010 season. Five new players will be among the teams fall practices beginning soon that will be competing for a starting spot for the Fish.

These five new-comers are Natalia Ojeda, Karli Newton, Cassady Faircloth, Kimberly Doney, and Miranda Welch. To learn more about these talented ball-players and how they could potentially impact not only the 2010 Sailfish softball squad but for years to come, please read their recruitment profiles below.

Natalia Ojeda- Wellington, Florida (W.T. Dwyer High School)

An athletic infielder from W.T. Dwyer High School, Ojeda is expected to provide the Sailfish a player with an outstanding skill set that includes speed, a strong arm, and a solid bat. Ojeda signed her national letter of intent during the early signing period which made for an excited head coach in Bloemers.

“Without a doubt, Natalia will help our Sailfish program in great ways. Nat is a hard worker and a phenomenal softball player. She will do whatever it takes to win a ball game and will get us to that next level. I am thrilled that Nat will play a big part of the Sailfish family,” said Bloemers.

While playing for the Panthers at W.T. Dwyer and head coach Joe Dellarocca, Ojeda brought in her fair share of accolades including being named team MVP and 1st-Team All-County after her senior season.

Ojeda began her high school career at Ocala Forest High School where she was named Marion County Player of the Year as a sophomore while also being recognized on the All-State 2nd Team. She also brought in 1st-Team All-County honors and team Offensive MVP honors following her freshman season at OFHS.

Natalia is the daughter of Mario and Betty Ojeda with one sister, Monica.

Karli Newton- Tallahassee, Florida (Maclay High School)

A corner infielder who also competed as a pitcher at the high school ranks, Newton will join the Sailfish this fall after a solid prep career at Maclay High School.

Standing at 6’0”, Newton provides the Sailfish some obvious size but Bloemers believes she will also add depth and versatility to the Fish roster from the beginning.
“Karli has what it takes to dominate at the Division II level. Through our fall program she will gain strength and power to be ready for the tough schedule we have in the spring. Karli is a leader and will be a positive contributor for this team,” said Bloemers.

Under the direction of MHS head coach Angela Croston, Newton earned a reputation as both a solid hitter at the plate and defender in the field as she earned numerous team awards including best batting average and best fielder award. She also made a name for herself as her school’s Female Athlete of the Year after her senior campaign in 2009.

While undecided on her college major to date, that hasn’t stopped Newton from excelling in the classroom while in high school as she graduated with high honors while also being a member of the Maclay National Honor Society.

Not only active on the softball diamond, Newton has also found time to involve herself in a number of other extracurricular activies including Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Mu Alpha Theta, the Multi-Cultural Awareness Club, and the Green Club.

Karli is the daughter of John and Deborah Newton and has one brother, Sean.

Cassady Faircloth- Lakeland, Florida (South Florida Community College)

The Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team has announced their latest signing in South Florida Community College graduate Cassady Faircloth to a national letter of intent for the 2009-2010 academic year. An outfielder originally from Lakeland, Florida, Faircloth will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Sailfish as she will look to continue the success she showed at the junior college level.

A former standout at McKeel Academy of Technology in Lakeland under the guidance of head coach Larry Harvey, Faircloth was a part of the very strong program built at McKeel over the years. A four-year varsity starter, Faircloth was a part of the 2005 3A State championship team won by McKeel as well as four district winning teams (04-07) and two regional championship teams (04-05).

Individually, Faircloth not only helped lead the Wildcats to a state championship during her sophomore season but also brought home All-State honors in 2005. She was named All-State honorable mention after her senior season and also received the Coach’s Award in 2007.

On the travel circuit, Faircloth competed for the Tampa Wildcats Red under head coach Walt Rozanski where she was a member of a top-ten nationally ranked team in 2007. They competed at the ASA Nationals for three straight seasons from 2005-2007.

“Cassady will make an impact on our team right away after her outstanding junior college career. I need that leadership in the outfield and I know she is up for the challenge. I am excited to have this solid athlete on our team,” said Bloemers.

Most recently in her junior college career while playing for Coach Carlos Falla, Faircloth has advanced her skills while being named 1st-Team All-Conference following the 2009 season and helping SFCC advance to the JUCO State Tournament.  She was given the MVP Award and Offensive Leader Award by her coach after leading the team in hits and runs batted in.  

Off the field, Faircloth brings a solid background in academics in addition to her strong skill set on the diamond. Faircloth graduated with honors from McKeel while being named to the Vice President’s Honor Roll while graduating with her Associates degree from SFCC in Journalism. She plans to continue her study of Journalism with a minor in Psychology while enrolled at PBA.

Cassady is the daughter of Barry and Judy Faircloth.

Kim Doney- Lake Worth, Florida (Palm Beach Central High School)

Adding to the team’s outfield depth and giving them a potentially dangerous weapon off the bench in terms of speed and athleticism will be local Palm Beach Central High School product Kim Doney.

A 5’5” outfielder during her time at PBCHS, Doney finished as one of the county’s top hitters in terms of batting average and earned a 2nd-Team All-Conference distinction following her senior season. Playing for head coach Kim Sears at Palm Beach Central, Doney spent most of her time as either an outfielder or behind the plate.

“Kim adds a dimension to our team that we lacked last season in terms of team speed. She has the ability to change the game on the base paths and we are very excited about her future in a Sailfish uniform,” said Bloemers.

Off the field Doney found success as well by being named to the Honor Roll and Honor of Recognition for her outstanding academic work.

Kim is the daughter of Dwaine Doney and Starr Hunter.

Miranda Welch- Sarasota, Florida (Riverview High School)

A versatile and athletic player, Welch brings experience as an infielder and outfielder to the Sailfish roster for 2010 as she will most likely fill a utility role for the Fish. Spending time at third-base and the outfield while at RHS, Welch competed for head coach Marcia O’Gorman while batting from the left-side and throwing from the right.

With career aspirations to work as a Pharmacist, the choice of PBA made sense for Welch in a number of ways.

“PBA is the ideal place to build a stronger relationship with God, play the sport I love, and work towards fulfilling my dream of becoming a Pharmacist. I knew right away it was the perfect school for me,” said Welch after signing to suit up for the Fish.

Blessed with speed and athleticism, the fit seemed dead on for Coach Bloemers as well.

“I am so happy Miranda decided to come and play softball at PBA. She is a great athlete and she can play multiple positions. I feel she is going to do great things for us on the diamond,” said Bloemers.

While playing her high school days for the Riverview Rams, Welch found success on and off the field. As a standout player, Welch was named Team MVP in 2007 while earning the coveted Coach’s Award in 2009. In the classroom, Welch was named a Scholar-Athlete for her good work in athletics and academics.

Miranda is the daughter of Rick and Tina Welch with one sister, Alexis.

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