Looper Adds 3 Recruits to 2011 Class

May 4, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head softball coach Marla Looper announced today the signing of three players to National Letters of Intent to continue their education and playing career with the Hawkeyes next season. Junior college transfer Bradi Wall and preps Melanie Gladden and Sydney Reynolds are the second, third and fourth members of Looper’s 2011 recruiting class.

“Our staff is excited to have these three players join the Hawkeye family,” said Looper. “They each bring diverse experience to the field and will be valuable assets to the future of Iowa softball.”

Wall, a native of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada, spent the past two seasons at Iowa Western Community College, where she was an NJCAA First Team all-Region XI and a NFCA Second Team all-Region selection as a freshman. The shortstop batted .365 with three home runs and 37 RBI.

During her sophomore season, Wall has guided the Reivers to an Iowa Community College Athletic Conference regular season championship and a Region VI crown. She is pacing the squad with a .461 batting average to go along with 10 home runs, 28 doubles, one triple, 63 RBI and 61 runs scored. She also has been successful in 15-of-17 stolen base attempts and has a .510 on-base percentage.

In the classroom, Wall was named an NFCA All-American Scholar Athlete and to the NJCAA Academic all-Region squad in 2010.

As a prep, Wall was a member of the Women’s Team Canada Baseball squad. She played baseball during her youth before playing organized softball for the first time at IWCC.

“Bradi will bring us great depth in the infield with her extreme athleticism and competitiveness,” said Looper. “She has a great field sense and is softball savvy. The experience she brings from playing at the junior college level will help everyone around her step up.”

“Our staff is excited to have these three players join the Hawkeye family. They each bring diverse experience to the field and will be valuable assets to the future of Iowa softball.”
UI head coach Marla Looper

Gladden, an Asher, Okla., native, was a four-time all-conference selection at Konawa High School. As a senior, Gladden posted a 28-8 record in the circle with nine shutouts and three no hitters. She finished with a 1.24 ERA with 200 strikeouts en route being named an all-state pitcher and the conference Most Valuable Pitcher.

In her prep career, Gladden posted a 70-25 overall record with 449 strikeouts. She had 28 career shutouts and eight career no-hitters. At the plate, she hit above .350 in each of her last three seasons. During her senior campaign, Gladden batted .442 with 39 runs driven in.

Gladden, who plays for the Oklahoma Dynamites Badside ASA squad, helped lead KHS to a pair of state titles (2007, 2010) during her prep career. She also guided her team to a regional runner-up finish as a sophomore and a state semifinal appearance as a junior.

“Melanie is not only a pitcher, but she swings a good bat and can play just about any position on the field,” said Looper. “Her versatility will allow her to contribute in many ways, and it will be fun to put the pieces together as we see where she develops the best.”

Reynolds, a Platte County, Mo., native, was a three-time first team all-conference and all-district selection and a three-time second team all-region honoree at Platte County High School. She guided her squad to two conference and three district titles, while also leading her team to three top-four state finishes, including a 2008 3A Missouri State Championship.

Reynolds batted .407 with 18 RBI and 13 steals as a sophomore and .356 with 19 RBI and 13 steals as a junior. During her senior campaign, she was the varsity team captain, while earning her team’s “Swashbuckler” (hardest worker) and “Best Attitude” awards. Reynolds also plays for the Kansas City Zephyrs Gold ASA squad.

In the classroom, Reynolds was named to the President’s Honor Roll four times, and is a member of the National Honor Society.

“Sydney brings in an aggressive attitude and grit to the outfield, which will help anchor our forces,” said Looper. “She brings good speed on the base paths that will allow us to continue putting pressure on the opposition.”

Wall, Gladden and Reynolds give the Hawkeyes four signees for the 2011 season, as the trio joins Megan Blank from Culver City, Calif., who signed on with the program during the early signing period.