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Rebel Softball Inks Five During Early Signing Period

Photo by Steven Gagliano

With Wednesday marking the first day recruits are allowed to put pen to paper and officially submit their national letter of intent, Ole Miss softball has signed five players to the 2018 recruiting class, announced head coach Mike Smith.
Mikayla Allee – SS – Corona, Calif. (Norco HS)
A two-time league champion at Norco High School, Allee will bring a winning pedigree to Oxford, leading the Cougars to an 86-13 record entering her senior season. Allee has earned all-league accolades all three seasons of her high school career, also capturing all-county laurels last season as well as MVP honors at the Dana Housley Tournament and First Team All-Tournament honors at the Rod Carew Classic.
Posting solid numbers as a freshman, Allee has shown the ability to grow, increasing her production with each passing season. As a junior, the shortstop posted a .409 batting average, getting on-base more than half of her plate appearances with a .543 OBP. A run scorer as well as producer, Allee scored 35 runs in 2017, while registering 18 RBIs.
Katelin Cooper – OF – Choudrant, La. (Cedar Creek HS)
A championship mentality is nothing new to Cooper, who has helped lead her high school squad to two Louisiana State Championships (2014, 2017) as well as a runner-up finish (2015). Entering her senior season, Cooper is about as accomplished as possible through her four varsity seasons at Cedar Creek, racking up four all-state, four all-district, four Shreveport Times All-Area and four NELA All-Small School Team laurels. The outfielder is also a two-time recipient of the school’s Silver Slugger Award and holds the school records for single-season home runs (12; 2016), runs (56; 2017) and slugging percentage (.930; 2017).
For her high school career, Cooper is batting .452 with 30 dingers, 59 stolen bases, 104 RBIs and a .892 slugging percentage. The 5-foot-5 outfielder really hit her stride as a sophomore, posting a .468 average with 12 homers and 39 RBIs. Cooper followed up with a sensational junior campaign, batting .440 with another 12 long balls, 28 stolen bases and 33 runs batted in.
Savannah Diederich – P – Hacienda Heights, Calif. (Los Altos HS)
A dangerous threat both at the plate and in the circle, Diederich is coming off of a junior season that saw the righty hurler claim first team all-state honors as well as the San Gabriel Valley Player of the Year Award. Diederich also received league MVP laurels as a junior and was named rookie of the year as well as a second team all-league honoree during her freshman season.
The Hacienda Heights native has tallied a .429 batting average at the plate, while allowing less than two runs per seven innings in the circle. After a solid freshman season, Diederich broke out as a sophomore with a .350 batting average with a 1.5 ERA with 120 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched. The righty, however, reached new heights as a junior, batting .437 with three homers and 24 RBIs, while racking up 22 wins in the circle with a 1.4 ERA and 219 strikeouts.
Hailey Raio – C/UT – Goodyear, Ariz. (Verrado HS)
Raio, a standout backstop at Verrado High School, is a two-time Arizona Interscholastic Association First Team All-Section honoree and as a Junior earned AIA First Team All-Region honors as the Vipers captured the region championship. Raio is also well accomplished in the classroom, bringing home first team all-academic team laurels in 2017 as well as making the AZ Sports 360 All-Academic Team in 2017.
After putting up a .367 batting average with 27 RBIs and four home runs as a sophomore, the catcher blew up in 2017. During her junior campaign, Raio posted a .482 batting average with a .545 on-base percentage, cranking out six dingers and 32 RBIs. Athletic success runs in Raio’s family, with her cousin Adam Everett having an 11-year MLB career with the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.
Tate Whitley – OF – Angleton, Texas (Angleton HS)
Ranked No. 58 in FloSoftball’s Hot 100 Player Rankings, Whitley will add a pair of quick feet and a dangerous bat to the Rebel lineup. The speedy outfielder is coming off back-to-back United States Specialty Sports Association First Team All-American nods in 2016 and 2017, capturing first team all-district and all-county laurels all three years of her high school career.
Posting an eye-popping .608 batting average and .665 OBP for her high school career, the Angleton HS star has never batted below .500 through her first three seasons. As a freshman, Whitley batted .516 and followed up with a .621 batting average and .677 on-base percentage as a sophomore. The outfielders numbers skyrocketed during her junior campaign, posting a .686 average and a .754 OBP on the way to all-state laurels and a Texas Girls Coaches Association All-Star First Team nod.
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball, on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball and on Instagram at Instagram.com/olemisssoftball. Fans can also follow head coach Mike Smith on Twitter at @msmithsb16. Additionally, fans can get a behind the scenes look at Ole Miss softball and all of Ole Miss athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
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