FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University softball coach Stacey Johnson has announced the signing of Lakyn Bendle
of Amsterdam, Ohio,
and Kayla Ruede
of Temecula, Calif.
, to national letters of intent to attend FMU and play for the Patriots in 2006.
Bendle, a 5-5 right-handed pitcher and outfielder, is a product of Edison High School, where she played for coaches Spencer Bendle and Eric Sampson. This past season, she helped lead Edison to a 20-9 record, the program’s eighth Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class AAAA title in the past 15 years, and an appearance in the Ohio Division II regional semifinals.
She twice earned All-Ohio (Division II) Team honors, and in 2003 and 2004 was named the OVAC Player of the Year. She also received first-team All-Eastern District recognition in 2003 and 2004 and was selected the Eastern District Player of the Year in 2004.
As a junior, she batted .480 with 10 runs batted in, while compiling a 17-2 pitching mark with a 0.26 earned run average and 12 shutouts. She struck out 178 batters in 134 innings as the Wildcats recorded a 23-5 mark and advanced to the regional semifinals. In 2003, she hit .333 with 14 RBIs, while posting a 24-5 record on the mound with a 0.50 ERA. She fanned 237 opponents in only 195 innings.
Bendle also lettered in soccer and cross country, and was named to the OVAC All-Academic Team.
Ruede, a 5-7 right-handed hitting catcher, is a product of Temecula Valley High School, where she played for coach Bud Kane. As a senior, she batted .268 with two home runs, five runs batted in, a .379 on-base percentage, and a .429 slugging percentage. The Golden Bears compiled a 13-11 record and finished tied for third in the Southwestern League.
“I am equally excited about these two young ladies joining our program,” said Johnson. “Lakyn is a good outfielder who tracks the ball very well. She is a line-drive hitter, and during her senior year also threw a perfect game from the mound. She has the ability to do different things well, and therefore finds herself on the field in the lineup. Kayla is more of a power hitter. She has a good work ethic and can handle herself behind the plate. She will be in the mix for playing time at first and catcher. Both players will add a fresh vigor to our squad.”
Francis Marion loses only two seniors off this past season’s 36-14 squad. For the second year in a row, the Patriots narrowly missed earning a bid to the NCAA Division II national tournament.