(Photo by BYU Graphics)
PROVO, Utah – Three high school seniors from Arizona and one from Utah have signed their national letters of intent with the BYU softball team during the November signing period.
BYU head coach Gordon Eakin announced the signing of Arianna Paulson, Ashley Godfrey and Makena Brawley out of Arizona. Caitlyn Larsen was the lone signee out of the state of Utah.
5-9, Pitcher/Infield, Payson High School, Payson, Ariz.
Paulson was voted by coaches to the Division III First Team All-State as a sophomore and junior. She had a 16-0 record with a 0.86 earned run average and 174 strikeouts. From the plate she had a .648 batting average with 18 doubles, three triples and 12 home runs for a 1.329 slugging percentage. She was named to the MaxPreps Medium Schools All-American Softball Team in 2013 as well as the Arizona Republic’s Small Schools Player of the Year.
Played for the Arizona Firecrackers and helped them to top ten finishes at the Premier Girls Fastpitch National Championships in 2010 and 2011. She is currently on the Arizona Hotshots. Her father, Toby, played football at BYU before injuries ended his career. Her brother, Sterling, is currently a member of the BYU Rugby team.
Eakin on Paulson
“Arianna is a determined competitor. She has a terrific work ethic which helps her to master whatever she’s asked to do. As a player Arianna is very versatile; she can pitch and play several other positions. As a position player we see her playing the corners and possibly some outfield. She’s an excellent hitter and has tremendous power. We look forward to her providing some pop in the middle of our lineup. As a pitcher she will help add strength and depth to a strong staff.”
5-6, Infield, Estrella Foothills High School, Goodyear, Ariz.
Godfrey was named First Team Division III All-State by the coaches as a junior while hitting .443 with 23 stolen bases, a .517 on base percentage and a .701 slugging percentage. She helped Estrella Foothills to two state championships in three years. As a freshman she was named to the all-region team batting .521 with 15 doubles, nine triples and six home runs.
Godfrey plays for the Arizona Firecrackers and last year helped the team to a top 20 finish at the PGF National Championships. She batted .533 during the PGF National Championships. She was ranked as one of the top 100 prep prospects in the west by Softball West Magazine. She also lettered in volleyball and soccer. She helped her soccer team win two state championships in the last three years with career highs of seven goals and four assists during her sophomore year.
Eakin on Godfrey
“Ashley may be one of the best athletes we have ever recruited. She certainly has all the tools to play just about every position at the highest level. She can play every infield position including catcher and she’s also an excellent outfielder with a cannon for an arm. As a hitter, she can hit for power and has good speed. We expect big things from Ashley during her college career as she gains experience and continues to get stronger and faster.”
5-4, Catcher/Infielder, Cienega High School, Vail, Ariz.
Brawley is the sister of current BYU infielder Ashley Brawley-Robinson. She was named Second Team All-Southern Arizona and to the honorable mention All-Arizona team as a junior while hitting .441 with four home runs, 12 doubles and 38 RBIs. She also had a .478 on base percentage and a .696 slugging percentage. With her help Cienega High School has been ranked in the top 10 nationally several times over the past three years.
Brawley plays for the AZ Cats Gold team and bats clean up. She has been recognized as a team leader as they have competed nationally and were invited to participate in the Canadian Cup.
Eakin on Brawley
“We expect big things from Makena during her career. I think she’s a natural born hitter that just sees the ball well. Defensively, Makena will play the corners, catcher and possibly some outfield. With her offensive abilities we feel Makena will add consistency to our lineup in terms of power and batting average. She is a good athlete with a strong arm.”
5-11, Infielder, Viewmont High School, Centerville, Utah
Larsen earned 5A First Team All-State honors as a sophomore and junior in both basketball and softball. She was named region MVP in both sports as a junior and Utah Preps Magazine named her the Rocky Mountain Female Athlete of the Year in 2013. She led all 5A players with 12 home runs and five triples while maintaining a .639 batting average. In basketball she averaged 18 points, 4.3 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 steals.
She played for the Salt Lake Pegasus with current BYU players McKenna Bull and Lauren Bell. With the Pegasus, she has a career batting average of .461 with 27 home runs and a .547 on base percentage. She helped them capture a first place finish at the 2013 Colorado Fireworks tournament and a seventh place finish in the 2011 ASA Nationals. Her brother Christopher played baseball at North Carolina State in 2009 and is a current player at the University of Utah where he transferred after his mission. Her sister Chelsey was a cheerleader at Oregon State University in 2012.
Eakin on Larsen
“Caitlyn is a terrific athlete, a team player and a good leader. We look forward to her joining our program. In our opinion, Caitlyn is one of those rare players that can play several positions at the highest level. With her versatility she will give us lineup options that will make our program stronger. As a hitter, Caitlyn will provide power and speed. We look forward to big things from Caitlyn.”