IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Three prep standouts -- Claire Fritsch, Michaela Johnson and Kara Misel -- will join the University of Iowa softball program next year, announced head coach Marla Looper.
"The 2013 class is going to bring us depth on the corners, and it will give us more power in the lineup," said Looper. "It is exciting. It is nice to be able to bring a small class in. That means we have a lot in place and not a lot of transition.
"We will graduate a large number, but we are not replacing it with much because we expect those in the program to fill those spots if they haven't already. We are looking forward to adding this class to what we already have."
Softball Recruiting Class
Hometown (High School)
Round Rock, Texas (Round Rock)
Wake Village, Texas (Texas)
Solon, Iowa (Solon)
Claire Fritsch -- IF/OF, Round Rock, Texas
Fritsch has started at shortstop or second base in each of her first three high school seasons, leading Round Rock High School to back-to-back district championships. A three-time team captain, she has earned first team all-district honors twice. Fritsch batted .487 and recorded a .692 slugging percentage with 16 stolen bases as a sophomore and hit .362 with a .532 slugging percentage with 14 thefts as a junior. In 2010, she was named the Round Rock High School Defensive Player of the Year and earned her high school's offensive player of the year award in 2011.
Fritsch plays for the Texas Blaze 18U team, where she helped lead the team to six tournament championships. A two-time academic all-district honoree, Fritsch is a three-time Round Rock High School Academic Excellence Award winner. A two-year member of the high school accounting team, she will graduate from the school's business academy.
Coach Looper on Fritsch
"We have some speed and another triple-threat from the left side in Claire. She is a dynamic player. Claire will help us up the middle at shortstop and can play outfield."
Michaela Johnson -- 1B, Wake Village, Texas
As a junior, Johnson was named Texas District 13-4A Most Valuable Player after hitting .554 with three home runs and 39 RBIs while leading her team to a district runner-up finish. A three-time team MVP at Texas High School, Johnson is also a three-time first team all-district honoree and three-time Texarkana Gazette All-Area first team selection. Johnson earned her high school's Slugger Award in each of her first three seasons, and in 2010, was named the Texas District 13-4A Freshman of the Year.
Johnson, who also competes for the Texas Elite Easton Gold Bell ASA team, is a member of National Honor Society, the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society and the Ross Perot STEM Academy. She was recognized as a Who's Who Among Outstanding Students in 2010. Johnson also played basketball for two years, helping lead her high school to a district championship as a freshman.
Coach Looper on Johnson
"Michaela provides us with strength and ability to hit the ball hard. She has caught some, pitched, and played outfield. She has played everywhere on the field. We will look to her as a first baseman."
Kara Misel -- 3B/1B, Solon, Iowa
Misel was selected as the 3A Player of the Year as a junior after hitting .519 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs. She was also named first team all-state, first team all-district and first team all-conference. As a sophomore, Misel earned second team all-state, first team all-district and first team all-conference laurels after batting .474 with seven home runs and 49 RBIs. Misel has led Solon High School to back-to-back conference championships and state tournament appearances, including a state runner-up finish in 2012.
A National Honor Society member, Misel has competed for the Solon Starzz and Eastern Iowa Barracudas ASA teams. She is a two-year basketball letterwinner and a four-year track letterwinner. Misel was a 2011 state discus participant. In 2012, she qualified for the shot put at the Drake Relays and finished eighth in the discus at the state meet and fourth in the shot put.
Misel, a two-year band letterwinner, was elected class secretary twice, and currently serves as class president.
Coach Looper on Misel
"Kara is a corner infielder with power. I am anxious to see her settle down and do one thing. She is a jack-of-all-trades right now at high school. We joked with her about `how good can you be when you focus on one thing?' Kara has the mindset to really focus and hone her softball skills.
"She will give us depth on the corners and provide us extra power. If you can anchor your corners and middles, there is not much else to do."