St. Francis University softball coach Jennifer Patrick-Swift has announced the addition of two members to her freshman class, Central outfielder Kate Blattenberger and pitcher Ketarah DeVries of Illinois.
The two incoming recruits bring the 2012-13 class total to seven.
Blattenberger joins the Red Flash after a successful senior campaign at Central High School, during which the Altoona Mirror and the Mountain League named the centerfielder a first-team all-star. She originally had committed to Shippensburg but showed up on the radar of Division I programs after a huge senior season.
A multi-sport athlete in high school, Blattenberger was a three-time letterwinner in basketball in addition to lettering in softball four times. She led the Lady Dragons to a district runner-up spot the first in school history with a .513 batting average to go along with 36 runs batted in. Leading the team in multiple offensive categories, she went on to be named team MVP. Blattenberger is also a member of the National Honor Society.
She is the daughter of Daniel and Karen Blattenberger and plans to major in occupational therapy at St. Francis.
"Kate will look to compete for a spot in the outfield this year," said Patrick-Swift. "She gets a great read and jump on the ball off the bat, which enables her to run down balls that ordinarily drop in for base hits. Offensively, the ball jumps off her bat, so we'll look for her to not only hit for power but for average as well."
DeVries, from Forreston, Ill., joins the Red Flash as a talented pitcher. At Forreston High School, she was also an infielder for the Cardinals, batting .447 her senior year to go along with five home runs and 42 runs batted in. As a member of the Red Flash, DeVries' focus will be on the mound, where she racked up 356 strikeouts in 2012. Her accolades while at Forreston include being a three-time unanimous all-conference selection, being named to the all-state team after her junior and senior years, as well as being named the maxPreps National Player of the Week (Midwest) in spring 2012.
In addition to her on-field accomplishments, she was on the honor roll all four years in high school and was twice named to the Academic All-Conference team.
She is the daughter of Rob and Tammy DeVries and plans to major in marketing at Saint Francis.
"Ketarah will be a great addition to the current pitching staff," said Patrick-Swift. "She is the type of player every coach would love to have. Her work ethic along with the fire to have the ball in her hands will not only project a powerful presence on the mound against opponents, but will also give our defense the added confidence in knowing that she can control the game in the circle."
Keystone Game winners
The Altoona Mirror this year will once again publish results of area athletes competing in the Keystone State Games.
Results should be emailed to the Mirror sports department at email@example.com.
The Mirror awill attempt to publish photos of top-three medalists at the games, although only publication of gold-medal winners can be guaranteed. Photos also should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org as jpeg attachments, and persons in the photo should be clearly identified.
The Mirror currently is seeking people interested in filling part-time positions in its sports department.
Responsibilities will be primarily clerical at first with the possibility of developing into event coverage, feature writing and/or page design depending on the interests and strengths of the employee.
An interest in sports and a background in writing would be beneficial but are not essential. However, a strong grasp of the English language and grammar and an attention to detail are necessities to succeed. Training will be provided.
If interested, please contact sports editor Buck Frank or assistant sports editor Philip Cmor at email@example.com or (814) 946-7444.