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Nov. 22, 2010

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by Koby Padgett
Assistant Media Relations Director

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina head softball coach Beverly Smith signed three players to national letters of intent as part of her first recruiting class as head coach, as Katelynn Howser (Woodstock, Ga./Sequoyah), Lacey Rother (Long Beach, Calif./Lakewood) and Kristen Struett (Westminster, Calif./Marina) will join the Gamecocks’ squad in 2012.

“I’m excited to add Kristen, Lacey and Katelynn to the 2011 Gamecock roster as my first signing class,” said Smith. “They will add a tremendous amount of depth to our team. They bring a lot of athletic ability, will add depth to our hitting and bring versatility to our lineup with their ability to play multiple positions. They’ve all played at a high level, particularly in travel ball, which will help the competitive nature of our team. And the three have high character. I’m thrilled that they have decided to be a part of the Gamecock program and look forward to the impact that they’ll have on our program in the future.

Howser, a 5-10 corner infielder/pitcher, helped her Sequoyah High School team post a 7-1 record in Region 7-AAAA Sub-region A this fall and a spot in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) AAAA State Tournament for the fourth-straight year. During her junior year, she helped the Lady Chiefs to a fourth-place finish in GHSA AAAA. A four-year letterwinner, Howser made the Georgia Dugout Club All-State team and first-team all-county. Sequoyah’s team MVP, she also earned the team’s award for the best defensive player. She played with the East Georgia Cobb Bullets in travel ball, helping the 2010 18U team win the Amatuer Softball Association of America (ASA) Gold Division National Championship.

A 6-1 catcher/corner infielder, Rother plays softball and volleyball at Lakewood High School this year after transferring from Wilson. With the Bruins, she earned all-league honors twice, driving in 38 runs in two seasons as a starter. In 2008 as a freshman, she hit .353 while slugging at a .471 mark with 15 RBI to claim first-team Moore League honors. Her sophomore year, she had a .328 batting average, getting on base at a .443 rate while slugging .483. She drove in 23 runs in 2009, picking up second-team All-Moore League accolades. Rother played travel ball with the Corona Angels, while her older sister Linzy is a member of the NC State softball team.

Struett, a 5-7 pitcher and utility player at Marina High School for coach Shelly Luth, earned first-team All-Orange County accolades in 2010. The Sunset League’s Pitcher of the Year in 2010 after posting a 1.30 ERA, she also hit .318 with 13 RBI while propelling the Vikings to a share of the league title. She was named to the All-California Softball Underclassmen Second Team by Cal-Hi. Also a member of Marina’s soccer team, Struett plays travel ball with the California Raiders and coach Phil Bruder. Struett is also a four-time scholar-athlete at Marina and was the student of the year in 2007.