MITCHELL, S.D. – Dakota Wesleyan University softball coach Ed Kieff has signed eight athletes for the class of 2016-17 coming off a record setting season in 2016, which saw the Tigers finish with a program best 33 wins.
The eight athletes in the recruiting class include five from South Dakota and three from California, all looking to make an immediate impact as first-year Tigers.
Freshman, 5-2, La Verne California, Bonita High School, R/R, Outfield
Garcia has signed a letter of intent to join the Tigers team. She comes to DWU from La Verne, Calif. She has a wealth of experience playing softball.
Garcia competed for the Bonita High School Bearcats for four seasons, earning three-varsity letters. In addition to her high school team, she also has played club softball for the American Pastime, USA Athletics and Firecrackers.
She is the daughter of Gilbert and Tina Garcia and plans to major in criminal justice.
Freshman, 5-2, Sioux Falls, S.D., Sioux Falls Roosevelt High School, R/R, UTL
Konda, a Sioux Falls, S.D., native, will add depth to the DWU pitching and infield positions. On the softball front, Konda has proven to be successful for the Sioux Falls Roosevelt Rough Riders, earning two-varsity letters.
In the 2015-16 season, she finished with a .362 batting average and an on-base percentage of .483. A vital player for the Roosevelt team that went 28-10 in her junior season, 18-10 in her senior season and won back to back state championships. In addition to playing softball at Roosevelt, Konda plays club softball for the Sioux Falls Diamonds X-Treme.
Also, has found success in the classroom at Roosevelt High School, has been on the 'A' Honor Roll all four years. Konda is the daughter of Tim and Melissa Konda and plans to major in biology with a focus on pre-med studies at DWU.
Freshman, 5'6, R/L, Pitcher/Outfield, Mitchell, S.D., Mitchell High School
Konz will join the 2017 Tiger softball roster. She comes to the Tigers from local Mitchell High School where she played under DWU assistant coach Jim Misiaszek.
Konz comes to DWU with plenty of experience earning three-varsity letters. She earned All-State and All-ESD honors. In addition to playing for the Kernels Konz has played for the South Dakota Select. She is also a member of the National Honors Society and has maintained a 4.0 throughout high school.
She is the daughter of Wayne and Roswitha Konz and will major in elementary and special education.
Freshman, 5-5, Palmdale, Calif., R/R, C/OF, William J. "Pete" Knight High School
Martinez will join the DWU from Palmdale, Calif. She comes to the Tigers with experience in the outfield and at the catcher position. She participated in softball for four seasons with the Hawks, earning four varsity letters.
In her senior season she finished the season with a batting average of .500. During the season she had 39 hits, two homeruns and 26 RBIs. As a team the Hawks were the 2016 Golden League Champions. In her senior season she was named to the First Team All-League. As a junior she was named to the First Team All-League, First Team All-Area and First Team AV Press. In her sophomore season she was named to the First Team All-League and as a freshman was on the All-League Honorable Mention.
She is the daughter of Shad Martinez and Yadira Gomez and plans to major in nursing.
Freshman, 5-3, Brandon, S.D., R/R. P/UTL, Brandon Valley High School
Smith comes to DWU from Brandon Valley. She competed for four seasons, earning three-varsity letters for the Lynx. As a senior ended the season with a batting average of .392, 12 doubles, three triples, five homeruns and 34 RBIs. While competing with the Lynx was a valuable teammate on the Brandon team that finished second at the state tournament, named to the SD All-State and SD All-Tournament teams. Also, played softball for the Sioux Falls Diamonds X-Treme, where she earned two MVP World Series awards. Smith was a member of the National Honor Society. She is the daughter of Sheila Smith-Hann.
Freshman, 5-7, R/R, C, West Covina, Calif., South Hills High School
Ortega will join the Tiger softball team from South Hills High School. She will add depth to the catcher position for the DWU softball team in 2016-17.
Ortega has earned four-varsity letters for the South Hills Huskies softball team. In addition for her 2013-14 season she was named to the First Team All-League Sierra League and Second Team All-Area East San Gabriel Valley. She also played four seasons of basketball and earned two-varsity letters.
She is the daughter of Micheal Ortega and Luz Avila.
Freshman, L/R, C, Oceanside, Calif., Oceanside High School
Bio information for Kailee Whittaker is not available at this time.