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FMU Signs Two Softball Players
    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.



Last Published: May 31, 2005 12:38 PM
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