COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's softball program will welcome five incoming freshmen for the 2019-20 academic year as part of its 2019 recruiting class.
The six student-athletes signed national letters of intent during the NCAA's early signing period.
"We absolutely hit it out of the park with this group. We worked hard to find the best students we could, who met the standards of our program and would be a great fit for us. I think we nailed it" said ODU softball head coach Marcella Vanlandingham. "Getting to know them throughout the recruiting process has been fun. All around, this class is as strong as we have had in the past few years. They are great students as well as outstanding softball players. Their average ACT score is a 23 and average GPA is 3.7. On the field, they possess speed, power, athleticism, versatility and great arms on the mound. Each of them has played at a very high level and are well coached. I think that, along with their fiery competitiveness and tremendous work ethic, will make the transition to the collegiate game easier for them. They are winners both on the field and off. We are excited to welcome them to the Panther softball family and look forward to watching them grow over the years and contribute to our program."
Madison Shemwell | 5-4 | Education | Utility | R/R | Owensboro, Kentucky / Apollo
High School: Has been a three time First Team All-Academic KHSAA member…Was All-District and All-Region during her junior season…Was the 2016 Rookie of the Year…Helped lead her team to a state final four appearance a year ago…Her favorite high school memory has been hitting back-to-back home runs to win a regional game and going to state a year ago.
Personal: Is the daughter of Tiffany and Greg LeCroy…Chose Ohio Dominican because "the school and softball program felt like the right fit for me."
Addison Smodilla | 5-3 | Pre-Dentistry | P/INF | R/R | Terre Haute. Indiana / Terre Haute North Vigo
High School: Was named to Terre Haute North's Exceptional Honor Roll all four years…Led the team in strikeouts on the mound… IHSAA Athletic Student Representative…National Honor Society Member…Her favorite high school memory was pitching a complete game no-hit shutout.
Personal: Is the daughter of Tony and Shelly Smodilla… Has one sibling, Tony who plays baseball at Case Western Reserve…Chose Ohio Dominican because "I really like the coaches and the softball program. I loved the campus and am excited to be in Columbus."
Olivia Rettke | 5-5 | Exercise Science | P | R/R | Reynoldsburg, Ohio / Reynoldsburg
High School: Was a member of National Honor Society for the last three years…Second Team All-OCC and Second Team All-District junior year…Special Mention All-Metro junior year…Two-Time Honorable Mention All-OCC…Her favorite high school memory was beating Central Crossing
Personal: Is the daughter of Wendy and Tony Rettke…Has two siblings, Madelyn and Max…Chose Ohio Dominican because "after my visit I couldn't imagine spending the next 4 years at any other university. The people on campus were very welcoming and I knew I wanted to become a Panther after that day."
Braxton Downs | 5-6 | Biology | 3B | R/R | Prospect, Kentucky / Assumption
High School: Was the 2018 Louisville Catholic Sports Player of the Year…Three time All-Metro Louisville Team…Three time All-Region...Three time All-Catholic First Team…KHSAA Home Run Leader…Her favorite memory in high school was turning a triple play against the rival school where she was featured on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays.
Personal: Is the daughter of Micki and John Gorges…Has one sibling, Skyler…Chose Ohio Dominican because "I was so welcomed by the coaches and players. I felt like it was where I truly belonged while I was on the beautiful campus. I loved Coach Van's coaching style and intensity. The location in the city is full of so many opportunities. I also had the opportunity to continue my Catholic education, which was really important to me."
Kyla Payne | 5-4 | Undecided | MIF | R/R | Columbus, Ohio / Saint Francis DeSales
High School: Was a First Team All-CCL member…Second Team All-District…Her favorite high school memory was hitting a home run against Pickerington Central in the sectional game
Personal: Is the daughter of Shawn and Michelle Payne…Has one sibling, Dylan who plays baseball at Shawnee State…Chose Ohio Dominican because "I will be able to play softball while receiving a great education and staying close to home."