Cougars Welcome Four Recruits

(Photo by BYU Graphics)

PROVO, Utah - The BYU coaching staff announced the signing of four recruits to the softball program on Friday.

Marissa "Gordy" Bravo, Mercedes O'Connor, McKenzie St. Clair and Coryn "Coco" Tauali'i each signed National Letters of Intent to join the Cougar program beginning next season.

Bravo, an outfielder out of Roosevelt High in Corona, Calif., is a left-handed hitter who earned Big VIII League First Team, Tri-County Athletic League and Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass honors this past season for the Mustangs. In 2011 Bravo batted .448 and scored 28 runs. She also has experience playing with one of the best U18 Gold club programs in the country, the Worth Firecrackers.

"Gordy has an exceptional skill level in all areas," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "She has excellent mechanics in her game, but what really makes her a special player is her drive and determination."

O'Connor, from Edison High in Huntington Beach, Calif, is not only a strong power hitter but also has strong defensive skills as both a catcher and as an infielder at the corners of the infield. She also plays for 18 Arteisa Punishers Gold.

"She's strong and versatile," Eakin said of O'Connor. "She's an excellent athlete and will be a great addition to our team."

St. Clair can play in both the infield and the outfield. In 2010, St. Clair was invited to the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team selection camp. Currently attending Sunrise Mountain High in Arizona, St. Clair previously went to Lone Peak High in Highland, Utah and played with current Cougars Tori Almond and Carly Duckworth on the Salt Lake Flames.

"McKenzie is a tremendous athlete," Eakin said. "She can hit for power, has an excellent arm and is very fast in the base paths and on defense."

Tauali'i, another California native from Torrance, was an All-CIF Southern Section honoree out of North High. Already a skilled defensive player in the middle part of the infield, Tauali'i can hit for both average and power.

"Coryn has phenomenal fielding skills and a strong arm," Eakin said. "She will be a great addition to our infield in the future."

BYU will participate in the Western Athletic Conference for the first time in 2012 after coming off its third-straight Mountain West Conference championships and seventh-consecutive NCAA tournament berth last season. The Cougars will begin its 13th season as a program on Feb. 9 against Oregon State in the Kajikawa Classic.