Nov. 23, 2011
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State University softball head coach Lonni Alameda has announced the program’s 2012 freshman class that includes five nationally-acclaimed players in pitcher Jessica Burroughs (Houston County, Ga./Houston County HS), outfielder Stephanie Hartness (Niceville, Fla./Niceville HS), utility player Alex Powers (Melbourne, Fla./Eau Gallie HS), outfielder Alex Kossoff (Redondo Beach, Calif./South HS) and infielder Kaitlin Allen (Tulsa, Okla./Jenks HS).
“We’ve got five tremendous players and people coming to our program and I couldn’t be happier,” Alameda said. “They each do so many things well on the field, and I know that all five of them possess the right attitude and work ethic to help continue the great tradition of Florida State softball.”
Burroughs is a highly touted pitcher from Middle Georgia who can earn time in next year’s rotation immediately with her vast array of quality pitches. She is known as one of the top amateur hurlers in the nation with several no-hitters attached to her body of work. She has overpowered the opposition throughout her high school career and looks to continue the trend at the collegiate level.
“We are so excited to have such a great young talent become an official member of our program,” Alameda said of Burroughs. “She spins the ball real well and her personality is so bubbly yet she is a very driven and competitive player. She will balance us out in the circle and give us the depth that is much needed in the college game right now.”
Hartness is one of the country’s top high school outfielders who led her team to a Top 15 ranking by MaxPreps. She earned the prestigious honor of being named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA High School All-America Second Team, placing her among the nation’s best. As an outstanding junior player in 2011, Hartness hit .550 for the Niceville Eagles and led her team to its first state softball title. Guided by Hartness’ play, Niceville emerged as the No. 8 team on Max Preps Xcellent 25 National Softball Rankings following a 26-4 season.
The multi-talented performer had a slugging percentage of .703 last season while recording an on-base percentage of .575. Even more impressive, Hartness did not strike out once in 127 plate appearances at the leadoff position, and added 42 runs and 24 RBIs to her junior year totals.
“Stephanie and her family have been a big part of our program already just being a couple hours down the road in Niceville,” Alameda said. “Stephanie is going to be a joy to work with. She gets better every time she steps on the field and is going to be a tremendous player as a `Nole.”
While at Eau Gallie High, Powers led the Commodores to the Florida 5A state championship in 2011. The Space Coast Player of the Year batted .564 with 42 RBIs and 13 home runs, and comes to Tallahassee as another top-notch signee. Powers led her high school to a 29-5 overall record and was named an Underclass All-American by MaxPreps.
Powers finished her junior season with a 1.079 slugging percentage and a .635 on-base percentage. She drove in 42 runs and crossed the plate 65 times while adding three triples. She was also named the Bright House Sports Player of the Year.
“Alex is another Floridian who is going to jump into the program and make an impact,” Alameda said. “Alex gives us depth in many positions on the field and really loves the competition of the game.”
Kossoff poses as a tremendous threat with her immense speed on the bases. The talented infielder from out West ended her stellar junior season by batting .506 with 33 stolen bases and 37 runs scored in 28 games played. Kossoff, who was named a first team all-California Interscholastic Federation Southern California performer, did not commit a single error in the field and struck out just five times in 109 plate appearances in 2011.
Kossoff’s recent season also came with other honors. She was an all-area South Bay player, the Pioneer League Co-Player of the Year, the MVP at South High as well as South High’s Female Athlete of the Year. She also was named as the team’s best offensive player in her sophomore year and excelled in soccer with numerous accolades for her performance on the pitch. Kossoff also shows a 3.97 GPA while being on the school’s honor roll numerous times.
“Alex is a very fast player who is going be an asset to the program instantly,” Alameda added. “She is a complete game changer on the base paths. She is a driven player on and off the field and has a unique, fun personality that will be well received by our program.”
Allen is an exceptional infielder who has helped lead her high school to plenty of success. The Tulsa, Okla., native will be a welcomed presence to the Seminole softball family next year as she will look to earn time at the middle infield positions.
Allen, who recently finished her senior year since Oklahoma high school softball is played in the fall, led her team to a 36-5 record. She batted .396 in her final year and recorded 25 RBIs, 11 stolen bases,38 base hits, two home runs and 10 doubles. Allen was named a Large East All-State second baseman as well as a first-team all-district performer.
“Kaitlin is a versatile player that will add depth to the team and is a very hard worker,” Alameda said. “She is going to be a good teammate that knows what it is like to win as she has been a part of championship programs coming into her senior year.”