Nov. 14, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State softball team will add six players for the 2014 season, head coach Holly Hesse announced today.
"This is a highly successful group that we are bringing in this year," said Hesse. "They are extremely athletic, versatile and add depth to the team."
Alexandra "Allie" Alvstad, C/IF, 6-0, Tulsa, Okla., Bixby High
Alvstad was a four-year starter and letterwinner behind the plate for head coach Joy Marie Galliart at Bixby High. As a senior, she earned all-state, all-region and all-district honors with the Spartans. Her team won the Silver Division of the Springfield Invitational in September 2012. As a junior, she took home all-district first team honors. Alvstad earned Frontier Conference first team honors as a sophomore. She was awarded Freshman of the Year from the Frontier Conference in 2009. In 2011, she helped her Diamond Girls team to a first-place finish in the Colorado Fireworks. Alvstad was the recipient of her school's Wendy's High School Heisman award. She also played basketball for four seasons at Bixby High.
"Allie brings a big bat to the middle of our lineup," said associate head coach Beth Perine. "She is very good behind the plate."
Elena Gambill, SS, 5-5, Broken Arrow, Okla., Broken Arrow High
Gambill was a three-year standout for head coach Randall King at Broken Arrow High. As a senior, she led the Lady Tigers in hitting (.450) and went 20-3 in the circle for a BAHS squad that won district and regional titles. Her team finished third at state and she was named District Pitcher of the Year. She earned all-state first team and all-region honors along with academic all-conference accolades and was named Tulsa World Athlete of the Week on October 17, 2012. Her junior season, Gambill was an all-district first teamer and all-metro honorable mention selection. She hit .430 with 15 doubles and 34 runs scored while leading her team to a regional title. As a sophomore, her team won regionals and she earned all-conference honorable mention accolades. She was selected as an academic all-conference honoree in each of her final three seasons at Broken Arrow High. She helped her Diamond Girls squad to a first-place finish in the Colorado Fireworks in 2011.
"Elena brings in one of the strongest arms on the team," said Hesse. "She is a smooth, athletic competitor with a successful background that was highly recruited."
Madison Jones, SS, 5-8, Overland Park, Kan., Blue Valley Northwest High
Jones has started all three seasons at shortstop for head coach Kim White at Blue Valley Northwest High. She has led the Huskies in hitting and stolen bases in each of her three seasons at BVNHS. As a junior, she was an Eastern Kansas League (EKL) honorable mention and scholar-athlete selection and earned team defensive player of the year honors. Her sophomore campaign, Jones was named team MVP and won EKL honorable mention and scholar-athlete team honors. As a freshman, she was the team offensive player of the year and EKL scholar-athlete and honorable mention selection. Jones' club team KC Peppers won the national championship three of the four years she participated. She was named Defensive MVP of the U16 World Series as a 14 year-old. Jones competed in eight consecutive ASA National Tournaments. While at Blue Valley Northwest High, Jones played basketball and was a team manager of the football team.
"Madison is a speedy power-slapper," stated associate head coach Sue Frederick. "She is a great student of the game and will be a versatile asset."
Olivia Roark, 2B, 5-2, Ottumwa, Iowa, Ottumwa High
Roark enters her senior season a three-year letterwinner for head coach Frank Huston at Ottumwa High. She has been a first-team all-conference pick every season thus far and has hit better than .400 in all three seasons for the Bulldogs. An all-state first team selection as a junior, she led her team to a sixth-place finish at state while earning all-district team honors. She led OHS to back-to-back conference titles her sophomore and freshman seasons. As a sophomore, she batted .447 and earned all-state second team and all-district team honors. Her freshman campaign, she led the team with a .401 batting average while picking up all-state third team accolades en route to a fourth-place finish at state. She also played basketball, volleyball and ran cross country at Ottumwa High. Roark's mother, Missy Carson-Roark, played softball at Creighton and was college roommates with current MSU coach Holly Hesse.
"Olivia is fast and brings solid defense to the team," stated Hesse. "She is a slapper who hits the ball where she wants."
Sheridon Sprague, RHP/UT, 5-8, Ballwin, Mo., Parkway South High
Sprague was a four-year starter at Parkway South High where she set the school record with 64 wins and 500 strikeouts. Her senior season, she earned all-state, all-region, all-district and all-conference first team honors with the Patriots. As a team captain for the third-straight season, she led PSHS to the fourth Parkway Tournament Championship of her career. In her junior season, she broke her own school record with 22 win and struck out a school-record 177 batters while winning the conference title for PSHS. That season, she picked up the Suburban West Conference Player of the Year award while earning all-state, all-region, all-district and all-conference first team accolades. Sprague was a second-team all-state and all-metro honoree as a sophomore. She led the Patriots to district and sectional championships as a first-team all-conference, all-district and all-region selection. As a freshman, she was an all-conference second teamer.
"Sheridon is an all-around athlete that is multi-dimensional," said Hesse. "She can swing the bat as well."
Erin Struemph, RHP, 6-0, Meta, Mo., Saint Elizabeth High
Struemph was a four-year standout hurler at Saint Elizabeth High. A back-to-back first-team all-state selection, she completed her career with a 26-3 record, 0.67 ERA, 967 strikeouts in 565 innings pitched and three-consecutive conference titles. As a senior, Struemph earned conference and district MVP honors along with first-team all-region and all-state accolades for the state quarterfinalists. In her junior campaign, she led the Hornets to the 2011 Class 1 State Title while picking up all-state and all-region first team selections and conference and district MVP honors. Her sophomore year, she added first-team all-district and all-region, second team all-state and conference MVP accolades to her resume. Struemph was a first-team all-conference, all-district and all-region honoree as a freshman. In 2009, She led her Club Elite Classics 14B team to the ASA Northern National Championship and received the Outstanding Pitcher Award in 2010 at the USSSA Fastpitch World Series. Struemph was also a standout basketball player at Saint Elizabeth her freshman and sophomore seasons.
"I am excited about Erin's size and pitch speed," touted Hesse. "She has tremendous athletic potential and comes in with a championship pedrigree."
Missouri State will begin the 2013 season on February 8 at the Georgia Tech-Kennesaw State Invitational in Atlanta, Ga. The Bears will host Wright State in the home opener at Killian Stadium on February 28 at 4:00 p.m.