Nov. 12, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina head coach Beverly Smith signed three to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday to join her program for the 2017 season. Becoming Gamecocks today are infielder Mackenzie Boesel (Yorba Linda, Calif.), pitcher Cayla Drotar (Hartsville, S.C.) and first baseman Alexis Lindsey (San Jose, Calif.).
“I have waited a long time for this trio to sign,” said Smith. “I have been watching Mackenzie, Cayla and Alexis play for years. This is a group of recruits that we started the recruiting process with early. I expect all three players to make and immediate impact on the program. Of course, having recruited them for so long, my staff and I have had the opportunity to get to know the athletes on personal level. We are adding not only great softball players to the program, but they also come from great families. They are excellent students and will be great contributors to our community.”
Boesel has played for coach Steve Miklos at Orange Lutheran High School and for Bruce Richardson with the SoCal A’s. A second-team All-California Interscholastic Federation pick as a junior, she hit .462 with eight home runs and 37 RBI for the Lancers. A three-time All-Orange County pick, she’s also made the Trinity League First Team in each of her first three years. OCVarsity.com named her the Orange County Freshman of the Year in 2013. She also made the National Honor Society and earned scholar-athlete and highest honor roll accolades in each of her first three years.
“Mackenzie comes from the championship organization So Cal A’s in California,” remarked Smith, who has also signed current Gamecocks Kaylea Snaer, Hayley Copeland and Kennedy Clark from the group. “‘Mac’ has the competence and brings the mentality to play any position on the field. She is a lefty swinger who is potent at the plate.”
Drotar has twice claimed the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year honor while taking the 3A Player of the Year honor four straight years. A five-time all-state and all-region team member, she’s been honored by MaxPreps on its Underclass All-America Team the past three years. Last year, she went 21-3 with a 0.68 ERA in the circle while hitting .635 with 14 home runs and 62 RBI. She’s played for NC Lightings’ John Corn on the travel ball circuit and for Jamie Horton at Hartsville High School.
“In my second season at Carolina,” Smith remembered, “I watched Cayla win the 3A South Carolina State Championship as an eighth grader. Not only was she the pitcher in the victory, but she hit the home run to win the game. It was important to me that “KK” stay home and play for the Gamecocks! Cayla will provide power on the mound and at the plate.”
Lindsey has played for Pam Zielazowski Leigh High teams while also playing with Joe Gron on the San Jose Sting. Last season as a junior, she earned San Jose Mercury News first-team All-Blossom Valley honors, going .440 at the plate with 15 doubles and 29 RBI. She tallied a .488 batting average as a freshman, posting 25 RBI en route to Freshman of the Year honors. She’s also played basketball for the Longhorns, earning first-team all-league honors twice.
“Alexis adds lefty power to the line up and will provide us depth at first base and designated player,” commented Smith. “It is my goal that she becomes a nightmare for pitchers in the league.”
This group has been ranked seventh by FloSoftball.com in its recruiting class rankings.
South Carolina announces its 2016 schedule in the coming weeks. Seven starters and 17 students from last year’s team return, a squad that made its third-consecutive NCAA Tournament under Smith’s guidance.