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Patriots add softball pair

FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University softball coach Stacey Vallee has announced the signing of outfielder and third baseman Kelsi Thuer of Middletown, Del., to a national letter of intent, while also announcing that middle infielder Kristie Hanewinckel of Dunnellon, Fla., will transfer to FMU from St. Johns River State College.

Thuer, 5-4, is a graduate of St. Georges Technical High School, where she played under the direction of head coach Roger Seedorf.

This past season, she batted .435 with 21 runs batted in, a .500 slugging percentage, and an on base percentage of .570. She struck out only once during the 2012 season and was second on the squad in walks, while earning second-team All-Conference honors. As team captain, she helped lead the Hawks to a 15-2-1 record, an unbeaten season in league play, and a Top-10 state ranking.

She also played travel ball for the DE Cobras 18U squad and coach Rich Edwards.

Hanewinckel, 5-3, played one season at St. Johns River, batting .253 with 10 doubles, one home run, 11 runs batted in, and 30 runs scored.

She played the 2011 campaign at Gulf Coast State College where she hit .259 with a pair of doubles and a .323 on-base percentage.

Hanewinckel is a graduate of Dunnellon High School, where she played for coach Kevin Fagan. As a senior, she batted .315 with a homer and 28 RBIs. She earned honorable mention All-State honors while helping the Tigers to a 32-1 record, a second straight Florida Class 4A state championship, and an ESPN RISE national title.

During her junior year, she garnered third-team All-State accolades and again helped Dunnellon to a 32-1 mark, a state title, and a No.4 national ranking.

“These two players are nice additions to our roster,” said Vallee. “Kelsi is very athletic and possesses a good swing at the plate. Even as a freshman, I expect she will find a way to contribute to our success on the field.

“Kristie brings with her collegiate experience and leadership skills. She is a talker on the field, and I hope that will contribute to our team direction and focus. She is a hard worker, has a consistent bat, and will make an immediate impact in our middle infield.

“Both of these young ladies are also good students.”

FMU lost four seniors off its 2012 squad that finished with a 31-20 record, the program’s twelfth 30-win campaign in the past 15 years.

Vallee previously announced the signing of five players during the 2011 early signing period: corner infielder and right-handed pitcher Taylor Douglass of Lake City, Fla., corner infielder Lauren Dreitlein of Knoxville, Tenn., right-handed pitcher Danielle Payne of Clarks Hill, S.C., outfielder Christina Smoley of Ocoee, Fla., and middle infielder Cat Zalud of Sarasota, Fla.

#136/6-21-12

Last Published: June 28, 2012 2:35 PM
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