COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou Softball and head coach Ehren Earleywine announced today that six future student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Mizzou Softball program in 2014. The Tigers will welcome Paige Bange (Jefferson City, Mo.), Sara Harvey (Kansas City, Mo.), Paige Lowary (Dallas Center, Iowa), Amanda Sanchez (West Covina, Calif.), Sydney Sprague (Columbus, Ga.) and Morgan Walters (Buford, Ga.) to their roster next season.
"The goal is not to recruit players who can make the team, but to recruit players that make your team better," Earleywine said. "There is no question this class will do just that. Great pitching, athleticism and power is what best describes this special group of players. While we are incredibly excited about the upcoming 2014 season, we are definitely looking forward to next fall when they arrive at Missouri.
"None of this would be possible if not for our great coaching and support staff, in particular, recruiting coordinator Pete D'Amour. No one works harder at the recruiting game than Pete, and this class is further proof of that. We welcome each of these girls and thank their families for becoming part of the Mizzou Softball family."
IF | 5-3 | Jefferson City, Mo. (Helias Catholic HS) Club Teams: KC Peppers, Birmingham Thunderbolts
A four-time first team all-district and all-region honoree for Helias head coach Dan Campbell.
Second Team Class 4 All-State from the Missouri Fastpitch Coaches Association as a senior in 2013.
Finished her stellar high school career with a .455 batting average, also breaking Helias' school record for highest season batting average as a sophomore in 2011.
Earned Missouri Fastpitch Coaches Association Second Team All-State following her sophomore campaign.
Earned academic all-state recognition as a freshman, sophomore and junior.
Recognized for her impact as a freshman in 2010, earning first team all-district and second team all-region.
KC Peppers: Playing for head coach Dan Eakin in 2014. Birmingham Thunderbolts: Played for the Thunderbolts in 2013.
Daughter of Doug and Carol Bange.
National Honor Society member as a junior and senior.
Why Mizzou: "I chose Mizzou because it allows me to stay close to home. Living nearby, I've been a Mizzou fan all of my life."
IF | 5-8 | Kansas City, Mo. (Staley HS) Club Team: Missouri Rattlers
Missouri High School career record holder in doubles, with 49 to her credit while at Staley High School.
Hit .554 at the plate as a senior in 2013, recording an outstanding .858 slugging percentage and .610 on-base percentage.
First Team Class 4 All-State from the Missouri High School Fastpitch Coaches Association in 2013.
Took home first team all-conference, all-district and all-region recognition as a senior for Staley head coach Jairus Tapp.
Her 19 doubles as a senior tied for fourth on the Missouri High School single-season all-time chart, while her hitting streak of 11 consecutive at-bats tied for second.
Batted .438 as a junior in 2012, with stout marks in slugging percentage (.644) and on-base percentage (.516).
Earned academic all-state as a junior, along with All-Metro status at first base from the Kansas City Star in 2012.
Led the Falcons in batting average (.468) as a sophomore, with a .714 slugging percentage and .468 on-base percentage.
Earned first team all-conference and all-district honors as a sophomore and junior, both seasons in which she smacked 13 and 12 doubles, respectively.
Finished her high school career holding school records in at-bats, runs, doubles, RBI, walks, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Helped the Rattlers to second place at the Oklahoma City Hall of Fame 18U Tournament.
Earned Most Valuable Player recognition at the USSSA 16U World Series while leading the Rattlers to the championship in 2012.
Coached by Gary Ennis, Kathy Cowan and Steve Hirt while with the Rattlers.
Born June 14, 1996, to parents Chris and Lori Harvey.
Father, Chris, attended UMKC, while mother, Lori, has degrees from both Iowa State and Kansas.
Has an older brother, Alex, and younger sister, Jennifer.
Served as Staley's Spanish Club president and was also involved with the student council.
Played baseball through eighth grade before giving focus to softball.
Did not pursue other schools in the recruitment process after drawing Mizzou's interest.
Why Mizzou: "I always wanted to attend Mizzou. When the offer came to play softball here, it was an easy decision."
LHP | 5-10 | Dallas Center, Iowa (Dallas Center-Grimes HS) Club Teams: Iowa Slammers, Birmingham Thunderbolts, I-Club Blue
Gatorade Iowa Softball Player of the Year for 2013.
Pitched to an outstanding 27-2 record with 1.21 ERA as a junior in 2013, helping Dallas Center-Grimes and head coach Steve Schlafke to the Iowa Class 4A State Championship, in which she earned most valuable player.
Earned Pitcher of the Year from the Iowa Girls' Athletic Coaches Association for the third-straight year after her junior season.
Earned first team all-state for the third time as a junior, after claiming the same honor as a freshman in 2011 and sophomore in 2012.
Also stout at the plate, batting .424 with five home runs as a junior.
Posted an exemplary 31-4 record with 0.39 ERA as a sophomore in 2012, leading DC-G to a state championship runners-up finish.
Earned all-state tournament recognition after her sophomore and junior campaigns.
Incredible freshman season including a 32-5 pitching record, a .459 batting average and eight home runs, which she followed with a .364 batting average four long balls as a sophomore.
Made high school varsity debut as an eighth-grader and earned third team all-state after batting .385 at the plate and pitching to a 13-3 mark with a 0.26 ERA.
Earned first team all-conference and all-district recognition every season of her career.
Also a first team academic all-conference selection after every season.
Played basketball for DC-G as a freshman and sophomore, earning second team all-conference.
Daughter of Kevin and Shelly Lowary.
Older brother, Craig, and younger sister, Rachel, with Craig graduating from Iowa State.
Earned her high school's Student Athlete Award from eighth grade through her junior year.
Active with local philanthropic efforts, including Coaches vs. Cancer and the Dallas County Hunger Walk.
Why Mizzou: "I love the coaching staff and the direction they have for the future! I loved the feel of the campus, and that it is fairly close to home. And we get to play in a great conference!"
1B/3B/RF | 5-9 | West Covina, Calif. (Bishop Amat HS) Club Team: Firecrackers
Hit .569 with six home runs among 14 extra-base hits as a junior in 2013, earning All-Del Rey League recognition as an outfielder for head coach Jesse Mendez.
Recorded 30 RBI and scored 28 runs in 2013.
Helped lead the Lancers to a Del Rey League title, posting a 12-0 record in conference action.
Named an all-area outfielder by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune following her junior campaign.
Batted .398 with a .443 on-base percentage as a sophomore in 2012, blasting 13 doubles and totaling 25 RBI and 25 runs scored.
Solid member of Bishop Amat lineup as a freshman in 2011, hitting .395 with a .478 on-base percentage while playing in the outfield.
Coached by Tony Rico.
Daughter of Jerry and Olga Sanchez.
Why Mizzou: "Mizzou felt like home to me. The coaching staff is one of the best in the country. I wanted to be a part of an amazing program with tradition and a family atmosphere. Mizzou is exactly what I was looking for in a school."
IF | 5-8 | Columbus, Ga. (Columbus HS) Club Team: Georgia Peaches Gold
Batted leadoff for Columbus and head coach Chad Mathis as a senior in 2013, hitting .410 with a .752 slugging percentage.
Broke the career home run record at Columbus, along with season records for hits, runs scored and home runs.
Named to the Georgia Dugout Club All-State Team following her final high school campaign, along with all-West Georgia honors.
Helped power Columbus to back-to-back Class AAAA Region championships as a junior in 2012 and senior in 2013.
Also named to the Dugout Club's Elite 80, recognizing the top 80 softball players in the state.
Participated in basketball for Columbus as a freshman in 2010 before focusing solely on softball.
Georgia Peaches Gold:
Batted .530 with a stout .800 slugging percentage during the 2013 travel season with head coach Leo Valero.
Daughter of Ray and Sonya Sprague, with an older brother, Kyle.
National Honor Society, National Latin Honor Society and a member of the Beta Club while in high school.
Was active in musical theatre as a high school student.
Served as a local Special Olympics volunteer throughout middle school and high school.
Intends to major in special education at the University of Missouri.
Why Mizzou: "Although I am 12 hours away from home, Mizzou made me feel like I am part of a family. I love the college town feel, and everyone I met there was extremely nice."
Picked Mizzou Over: Auburn, South Carolina, UAB, South Alabama
IF/OF | 5-8 | Buford, Ga. (Buford HS) Club Team: East Cobb Bullets
Batted .485 with a team-leading 17 home runs en route to a 37-1 overall team record and 2013 Georgia Class AAA State Championship as a senior.
Accounted for 60 RBI, 50 runs scored and 11 stolen bases (92 percent success rate) in 2013.
While helping Buford claim its seventh-straight state title, set new school single-season records in OPS (1.673) and slugging percentage (1.087).
Batted .545 with four home runs during the state tournament, earning the Gainesville Times Player of the Week award following the event.
Played first base, third base and left field for head coach Tony Wolfe.
Mount Pisgah Christian:
Batted .500 with 11 home runs among 40 hits, accumulating a .598 on-base percentage and 1.075 slugging percentage as a junior in 2012.
Earned GHSA Class A Player of the Year in 2012, as well as first team all-state and all-region recognition.
Started every game at third base as a junior, helping the squad to a 25-9 record and GHSA Class A Private School State Championship.
Started every game at third base as a sophomore in 2011, batting .521 with six long balls to help Mount Pisgah to the state championship semifinals.
Picked up first team all-state and all-region honors in 2011, along with being named her team's offensive player of the year.
Alternated between second and third base as a freshman in 2010, starting every contest and earning first team all-region.
Also ran track and was a varsity cheerleader for the Mount Pisgah basketball team.
East Cobb Bullets:
Helped club squad to top 10 finishes at the 18U Premier Girls Fastpitch Nationals in both 2012 and 2013.
Showed power with three grand slams during the travel season in 2012.
Coached by Greg Schnute, Patrick O'Reilly and her father, Todd Walters, while with the Bullets.
Daughter of Todd and Kristi Walters, with a younger sister, Kenzie.
Organized a charity for her 16th birthday that raised more than $1,600 for clean water projects in developing countries.
Traveled to Costa Rica for spring break in 2012 for a mission trip.
Intends to major in broadcast journalism at the University of Missouri.
Why Mizzou: "Firstly, the softball program and coaching staff. I really want to play for Coach Earleywine and help the team win the Women's College World Series. Next would be the education. I plan to major in broadcast journalism and there is no better place. I also love Columbia and the campus. The town and students are so supportive of Mizzou Softball."
Picked Mizzou Over: Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina