LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech softball coach Shanon Hays announced the program’s fall signing class Thursday which consists of three high school prospects – Cortni Emanuel, Alex Schneider and Kaylee Strickland – who have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Red Raiders for the 2015 season.
The class of Texas recruits consists of one outfielder in Strickland and two true infielders in Emanuel and Schneider who have all played for several of the top travel ball programs in the country.
“We’re excited for this class of talented players to sign with Texas Tech,” Hays said. “This group has a chance to come in and make an impact early and it just adds to the talent level we’ve been able to sign the past few years. This is a solid class and we look forward to getting them to campus next fall.”
After signing current Red Raider freshman Sydni Emanuel a year ago, Hays and staff made sure to secure the commitment of her equally as talented sister. Cortni and Sydni Emanuel will be the first pair of sisters to play together in a Tech uniform since Heather and Ashley Parker did so from 2004-07.
Cortni Emanuel will arrive at Tech following a highly successful prep and travel ball career where she helped lead Ridge Point High School to the District 22-4A title and a spot in the regional finals. She earned first team all-district honors as well as third team all-state accolades by the Texas Sports Writers Association.
“Cortni is a lot like her sister Sydni in the fact that she can make so much happen at the plate,” Hays said. “She has great speed and will keep defenses on their toes with all the things she can do. She is a really athletic player who can play pretty much wherever we need her.”
Schneider and Strickland both hail from the North Texas area and played together on the Texas Glory Adkins 18U Gold Team that featured three other current Red Raiders in Ashley Fultz, Brittany Lee and Susan Welborn.
Schneider hit .487 as a junior with a team-high 45 RBI en route to leading Southlake Carroll to the second round of the class 5A playoffs. She also totaled four home runs to go along with four triples and 10 doubles en route to earning first team all-district honors for the second-straight season. She was the district’s Newcomer of the Year as a freshman in 2011.
“Alex is a player who is very talented at the plate,” Hays said. “She can hit for power and was one of the best players in the Dallas area this past year. We really think she’ll be able to transition to this level rather quickly.”
Like Emanuel, Strickland also becomes the second family member to sign to play collegiately, joining her sister Jordan Strickland, who is currently a junior infielder at Baylor.
Strickland is a two-time first team all-district selection at Princeton High School where she helped lead the Panthers to the area round of the 2013 playoffs. The three-year letterwinner also earned second team all-district honors as a freshman in 2011 as well.
“Kaylee is a kid who has always wanted to come to Texas Tech,” Hays said. “She comes from a very talented family and will be a player who will just add to the athleticism of our program. She’s another kid who can do a lot from the left side of the plate and she will bring another dynamic to our lineup.”
The 2014 version of the Texas Tech softball team will begin its season Feb. 6 at the Lion Classic hosted by Southeastern Louisiana. A complete schedule will be announced in the next week.
2013 TEXAS TECH FALL SIGNING CLASS
Cortni Emanuel – INF – Missouri City, Texas/Ridge Point H.S.
Alex Schneider – INF – Southlake, Texas/Southlake Carroll H.S.
Kaylee Strickland – OF – Princeton, Texas/Princeton H.S.