TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Earning the top-ranked 2020 recruiting class in the nation from FloSoftball, including five players in the Top 50, the Seminoles are well-positioned to continue as one of the top programs in the NCAA as head coach Lonni Alameda is proud to announce the eight new members of the Florida State Softball program. These exceptional student-athletes will be on the field in the Garnet and Gold beginning in the 2021 season.
Jahni Kerr (No. 6), Kalei Harding (No. 10), Hallie Wacaser (No. 18), Michaela Edenfield (No. 34), Autumn Belviy (No. 47) were all ranked in the FloSoftball Hot 100, while Jeya Prasad, D’Aun Riggs and Carson Saabye round out this year’s recruiting class. Florida State is the only program in the country to have five members ranked in the Top 50, topping LSU and Arizona who each had four.
“We are so proud of this recruiting class, not just because of the talent that they have on the field, but because of the people that they are off of it,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “This coaching staff, along with current and former players, have worked really hard to continue to build the culture of this program as well as its national reputation, and this is the next step in that process. To be recognized with a top-ranked recruiting class is such an honor, and these signees chose Florida State because they love the university.
“Something that is very important to us to know as coaches, is that we are recruiting people, not just athletes. They are coming here as people to grow and develop and live the core values of our program, and they have bought into that before they ever take their first class as a student.”
“I can’t help but get excited about this class, and most were in place before our National Championship run,” said FSU assistant coach Travis Wilson. “I believe we have had National Championship recruiting classes since 2014, and 2020 is no different. This class has a lethal combination of speed and power. The future remains bright for the Noles.”
Autumn Belviy – OF/1B – Lakeland, Tenn.
Autumn Belviy comes to Florida State after competing for the Louisville Sluggers travel team and posting a .500 batting average with 13 home runs last season. Belviy will graduate from Arlington High School in Arlington, Tenn., was named the Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player, and was also selected to the AAA TSCA All-State Team in 2019. The outfielder/first baseman chose Florida State over schools such as Tennessee due to the friendly environment and the hard-working players and coaches.
“Autumn Belviy was a late addition to this recruiting class, but we couldn’t be more excited about her versatility and athleticism,” said Alameda. “We also love her character as she comes from a military family and has been around a lot of different places and situations. The maturity and work ethic that she has developed is going to help Florida State is a number of ways.”
“Autumn is an athlete that plays the game at full speed,” added Wilson. “She can go get them with the best in the outfield and is a terror on the bases.”
Michaela Edenfield – C/1B – Sneads, Fla.
Michaela Edenfield is a versatile player that can compete at multiple positions in the infield and played with the Louisville Sluggers travel ball team. While at Sneads High School, Edenfield has batted .440 with 99 hits, 101 runs, 32 doubles and 28 home runs throughout her career. She participated in the 2019 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team Selection Trials, and took Sneads HS to its first State Championship game in 2019. Edenfield also plays volleyball, and will play in the FHSAA State Championship on November 15. She chose Florida State over offers from Rutgers, UAB and Virginia.
“Michaela has off-the-charts tools across the board,” said Wilson. “She is a raw player that will see serious growth in this program. The Noles may not have seen someone with her skill set on campus before.”
“Michaela has deep family roots as a Seminole, and is a multi-sport athlete,” said Alameda. “That is rare in this day and age, as she is a tremendous volleyball player but also wants to take her game to the next level in softball. It will be a lot of fun to watch her skill sets and personality grow.”
Kalei Harding – C/UT – Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Kalei Harding will head south to join the Garnet and Gold after a successful career at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn. She was named the Rookie of the Year and the Offensive Player of the Year, while posting a .397 batting average with 49 runs, 12 doubles and 13 home runs. She also competed for the TN Fury Platinum travel team, which posted Top 10 finishes at PGF and in Colorado. As a member of the Fury, she tallied seven doubles, six home runs and 28 RBI with a .387 batting average. A three-time All-District selection, Harding chose Florida State over offers from Tennessee, Mississippi State, Alabama and Stanford.
“We have recruited a lot of great players because we have gotten to know a lot of great families,” said Alameda. “Kalei comes from an outstanding family and brings so much joy to playing softball. She is a tremendous catcher and could play anywhere for us, really. She is a great athlete, but also has the personality behind the plate that will raise the bar for the pitchers in the circle.”
“Kalei will be a middle-of-the-order bat for us from the time she gets here,” said Wilson. “She is a utility that can play all across the field. Another huge grab for us out of the Volunteer State.”
Jahni Kerr – OF – Mableton, Ga.
A dynamic outfielder, Jahni Kerr will bring a blend of skill and speed to Tallahassee after being named a 2019 First Team All-American by USA Today. She batted .596 with seven home runs, 23 RBIs, 10 doubles, seven triples, 48 runs scored and 35 stolen bases in leading Wesleyan High School to its second-straight Class A state championship in 2018. She competed for the Atlanta Vipers-Holbrook travel team, and chose FSU over offers from Duke, South Carolina and Louisville due to the culture of family and the program’s focus on the little things.
“I think that Jahni is going to be a tremendous player on the field, but she will be just as important for us off the field,” said Alameda. “Her character is outstanding and I remember several years ago she came to one of our fall games and she introduced herself and told me that she was going to play here someday because the values of the program spoke to her more than the on-the-field accomplishments. And through the recruiting process, we’ve gotten to know not only the type of player she is, but also meet her family and learn her character.”
“Jahni is a legit 5-tool player,” said Wilson. “A natural lefty with power to all fields, she can help her team games in a multitude of ways. Her ability to run the bases is the best I’ve seen from a player coming out of high school. Seminole fans will soon have a favorite player to watch.”
Jeya Prasad – P – Pensacola, Fla.
A three-time selection as the Pensacola News-Journal Pitcher of the Year (2017-19), Jeya Prasad comes to Tallahassee looking to add her name to the long list of successful pitchers for the Seminoles. Throughout her first three seasons, she has posted a 0.86 ERA with 38 wins and seven saves, while recording 571 strikeouts and allowing opponents to bat just .151 as she has led the West Florida Jaguars to the FHSAA State Quarterfinals each season. She competed for the Louisville Sluggers travel team and chose Florida State over offers from Mobile and the University of West Florida.
“Jeya is from here in the Big Bend, but also has a mission beyond just pitching,” said Alameda. “Representing her family’s heritage from India is important to her and inspires her to play at a high level.”
D’Aun Riggs – OF – Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
D’Aun Riggs stays in the Sunshine State for college after playing for Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. In her three years for the Indians, she has batted .507 with seven doubles, 12 triples, 39 stolen bases and 103 runs scored. She has played for several travel teams, including the Birmingham Thunder Bolts, Jacksonville Storm, High Intensity and West Florida Elite, and won Triple Crown and USSSA Championships. Riggs has been named an Indian Scholar each year of high school, given to students with a GPA over 3.5, and is the younger sister of Jessica Gilmore, who played softball for Florida State from 2007-09.
“D’Aun brings elite speed to the table,” said Wilson. “A true base-stealer and a plus defender in the outfield, Riggs is a major pick up for the Noles.”
“D’Aun is Garnet and Gold through and through,” added Alameda. “She has grown up in this area and knows how much FSU means to her family and she is going to be such an asset.”
Carson Saabye – INF – Monument, Colo.
Carson Saaybe is a middle infielder that has batted over .500 in her time at Palmer Ridge High School. She has recorded 81 hits, with 17 doubles, 11 triples and 12 home runs, along with 48 RBI and 77 runs scored. She has competed with the Beverly Bandits and Demarini Aces travel ball teams. Outside of softball, Saabye is also a decorated athlete in competitive shooting. At the age of 13, she became the youngest athlete ever to earn a spot on the USA Shooting National Team after earning a bronze medal in Women’s Air Pistol at the 2015 National Championship.
“Carson will bring solid defense to Tallahassee and will be a great teammate who has always wanted to be a Seminole,” said Wilson.
“I don’t know think I have met many people as driven as Carson is,” added Alameda. “At such a young age, she wants to be the best she can for the program and for her teammates. That drive and that desire is going to be outstanding for us.”
Hallie Wacaser – OF – Centerton, Ark.
A member of the 2019 USA Junior Women’s National Team and led the team with a .560 batting average, two home runs, 10 RBI and 11 runs scored at the 2019 Pan American U-17 Championships, Hallie Wacaser brings a wealth of skill and experience to Tallahassee. Named the 2018 Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year as a sophomore, Wacaser has also earned All-Conference, All-State and All-American honors in all three of her seasons at Bentonville High School. On the field, she has batted .511 with 140 hits, 25 doubles, nine triples, 36 home runs, 130 RBI, 137 runs scored and 44 stolen bases. She chose Florida State over offers from Washington, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Notre Dame.
“Hallie has fallen love with Florida State as much as we have with her,” said Alameda. “She is a tremendous person from an amazing family. She will swing it for us, of course, but will also be huge in building connections with the character that she brings to the team.”
“All Hal does is hit,” mentioned Wilson. “She has surprise power to all fields in a small frame. She bleeds Garnet and Gold and will be an impact player from day one for the Seminoles.”
“Again, I am so excited about this group,” said Alameda. “Really proud of the players that came before to lay the foundation for these players and how they will make it better for those that will come after. That’s the tradition here of ‘leave it better than you found it’, and this group is going to be a lot of fun to watch grow.”
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