April 23, 2008
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall Thundering Herd softball team announced the signing of pitcher Katie Murphree and utility player Melissa Loesing to National Letters of Intent, head coach Shonda Stanton recently released.
"We are really excited to see Katie and Melissa in the green and white next year," Stanton said. "Both of these young ladies are mature student-athletes with a strong drive on the field and in the classroom."
The 6-foot Murphree will be transferring from Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Fla. Murphree guided the Saints to its third and fourth straight Mid Florida Conference championship. During her second season at Santa Fe, the Tallahassee, Fla., native owns a 26-2 record in the pitching circle with 12 shutouts to guide the Saints to a No. 1 NJCAA Top 20 Ranking.
She currently has a 0.744 ERA, which places her 11th among NJCAA Division I Fast Pitch pitchers. Murphree has 172 strikeouts this season with 185.2 innings pitched.
Murphree played on the Tallahassee Merchants summer team, while producing a 13-3 record with a 0.69 ERA with 46 strikeouts.
"Katie has proven success at the junior college level and will provide us quality innings right away," Stanton added of her new pitching prospect. "She knows how to win and we look for her to bring that tradition to the Herd circle. She is a tremendous addition to our current pitching staff."
The 5-foot-8-inch Loesing hails from Grapevine, Texas and will vie for a starting role in the Herd outfield. Loesing attends Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, Ariz., where she contributed to the team's 2006 Arizona 5A Division II State Championship. In 2005, she was a member of the 14-under Nationals team along with a Triple Crown World Series participant.
Loesing, playing mostly in center field and at first base, has posted a .418 batting average with a home run, two triples, and three doubles already during her senior campaign. She has 10 stolen bases this season with a slugging percentage of .527. She was named first team all-region and guided the Mustangs to a 2005 state semifinal appearance. During her junior year, Sunrise Mountain High School reached the 2007 Bi-District Texas playoff.
"Melissa is quick and gets a true jump on the ball covering a great deal of ground in the outfield," Stanton added. "She is a versatile athlete and will provide an offensive spark with her speed from the left side."
Loesing will plan to pursue a degree in nursing during her enrollment at Marshall University, while Murphree will work toward a biology degree.
Murphree and Loesing join previous softball commits, Rebecca Gamby, Alysia Hively, Samantha Spurlock, Kayla Stinson and Alianna Telles.
"With the addition of Katie and Melissa, I could not be any more pleased with our all of our signees this year," Stanton said. "The real upside is the quality of character. These student-athletes are a great fit for the Herd softball program and will represent Marshall in the very best way."