Head coach Kara Amundson is pleased to announce that six outstanding student-athletes have chosen to further their academic and softball careers at Murray State. Logan Braundmeier of Aviston, Illinois, Macey Hale of Central City, Kentucky, Sierra Gilmore of Richmond, Indiana, Jensen Striegel of Floyds Knobs, Indiana and Olivia Suski and Danielle Walls, both of Louisville, Ke
ntucky will all enroll at MSU next fall and take the field for the Racers in the spring of 2018.
”I’m really excited for the addition of the 2017 class,” said head coach Kara Amundson. “We will be losing seven seniors who have put their heart and soul into this program and have helped it continue to grow. I’m confident this incoming class will be able to hit the ground running when they get on campus and help this program continue to compete in the OVC and on the national level. They are wonderful young women who will be great ambassadors for Racer Softball and Murray State University.”
Logan Braundmeier is a 5-8 utility player from Aviston, Illinois and Mater Dei High School. She is a career .400-plus hitter with career-high .459 batting average as a sophomore. She helped lead the Knights to a region title in 2015 and was named to the Belleville News Democrat Small School All-Area team.
In her career, her on-base percentage has never dipped below .471 and she has never posted a slugging percentage of less than .600. She drove in a career-high 25 runs last year to give her 63 for her career.
Amundson on Braundmeier: “Logan is an incredibly athletic player. She can play almost any position on the field, aside from pitcher or catcher. She has worked hard over the past few years on her hitting and is continuing to grow as a hitter. She has great hands and I’m looking forward to seeing her continued growth here.”
Macey Hale is a 5-10 catcher/first baseman from Central City, Kentucky and Muhlenberg County High School. She has helped the Mustangs preserve their streak of six consecutive district titles and currently has a lifetime .489 batting average.
During her time at Muhlenberg, she has been an All-Area, All-District and All-Region selection. Last season, the Wendy’s High School Heisman nominee batted .468 with eight home runs to earn the area’s OSMO Most Valuable Player award.
Amundson on Hale: “When you think of power hitter for the Racers of the future, you will think Macey Hale. She will find herself behind the plate or first base, but her strength is hitting. She is an incredibly hard worker who is constantly striving to make herself better, both on the field and in the classroom. She will be a great addition.”
Sierra Gilmore is a 5-10 infielder from Richmond, Indiana and Northeastern High School. She is a three-year starter for Knights who has consistently improved her game. She has been an All-Conference honoree in each of her three seasons, an All-Area selection during her sophomore and junior years and was an All-State winner last year.
In 2015, Gilmore posted a .524 batting average, a .581 on-base percentage and a 1.126 slugging percentage. That year, the National Honor Society member helped Northeastern become the first-ever Tri-Eastern Conference outright champions.
Amundson on Gilmore: “In the same game, I saw Sierra make a diving stop up the middle playing shortstop, then rob a home run playing center field. She is a hard-nosed player who can make tough plays and make them look easy. She could also be adding some power to the middle of our lineup offensively.”
Jensen Striegel is a 5-6 outfielder from Floyds Knobs, Indiana and Floyd Central High School. She has helped the Highlanders become a mainstay in the Indiana high school postseason since her arrival and led her team to semi-state as a sophomore. The lefty has seen her batting average increase in each year of play for Floyd Central starting at .403 as a freshman, moving to .435 as a sophomore, before exploding for a .546 average last season.
She is a three-time All-Conference selection, a three-time All-Region honoree and a two-time All-State selection, including a first-team nod in 2016. In addition, she earned All-Region honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and was named as area Player of the Year by the News and Tribune.
Amundson on Striegel: “Jensen will definitely add plenty of speed and finesse to the lineup. She is an outfielder with great range, a good arm, and plays her angles really well. She is also a lefty slapper who can bunt and slap for both power and finesse. She is a tough player to defend and will add a good dynamic to our lineup.”
Olivia Suski is a 5-9 pitcher/first baseman from Louisville, Kentucky and Male High School. A varsity starter since eighth grade, Suski has helped the Bulldogs to four straight state tournament appearances.
She is a three-time All-Region honoree and has earned All-State honors in each of the last two seasons, including being named to the first team last year. In 2016, she was also named as the Region 7 Player of the Year after striking out 152 batters over 152 innings, driving in 24 runs and posting a slugging percentage of .577.
Amundson on Suski: “Olivia is a pitcher who has continued her growth tremendously over the course of the last few years. She is a strong young woman who has the ability to hit her spots and change speeds to keep hitters off balance. She is also someone who will compete for a spot offensively. Her potential is endless and I’m looking forward to see her continue to grow as a player here.”
Danielle Walls is a 5-7 catcher from Louisville, Kentucky and Male High School. She has been a part of three-straight regional championship teams, including the 2015 team that finished second in the state.
Walls had a breakout year in 2016, batting .417 with 12 multi-base hits, 28 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .507. For her efforts, she was named to the All-Area first team by the Courier Journal and was an All-State honorable mention. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and was the 2015 recipient of the KHSAA Kentucky National Guard Best and Brightest leadership award for softball.
Amundson on Walls: “Dani is an incredibly hard worker who takes pride as a catcher in managing the game and her pitching staff. She is a student of the game and does a great job understanding situations. She will be a contact hitter with definite power potential. I’m excited to add Dani to our catching staff.”