IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team has signed five members to its 2018 recruiting class, UI head coach Marla Looper announced Thursday. Cameron Cecil, Hallie Ketcham, Abby Lien, Miranda Schulte, and Sydney Owens will join the Hawkeyes in the fall.
“I’m excited about this year’s signing class,” said Looper. I’m excited about every signing class. Our goal is for every class to be better than the one before, because that’s how a program builds and grows. This one is a little deeper and larger than we had this last year. I think we have a good cross section of the field in general. We have some power and speed, and we have some great young women just in general coming in this class.”
“This group is different. They have already formed a close-knit family, and they are already part of our family because they constantly come to town to visit. They have started getting to know each other well. They’ll go watch each other play when they are close enough to make it. When there are two or more at a tournament, they go out to dinner as families. That’s the important part of our program. We are a family. Knowing that the new class coming in has already formed a bond, it’s going to be fun to see their transition when they get on campus.”
Cameron Cecil | 5’6″ | IF
Dana Point, Calif.
Dana Hills HS
- Two-time Jserra High School Offensive Player of the Year (2015, 2016).
- 2017 Dana Hills High School Defensive Player of the Year and second team All-Seaview League
- Hit .386, had eight RBI, and recorded nine stolen bases as a freshman at JSerra Catholic.
- Hit .372 with one home run, had 11 RBI, and registered four stolen bases as a sophomore at JSerra Catholic.
- Hit .400 with one home run, had 12 RBI, and tallied seven stolen bases, as a junior at Dana Hills.
- Led team to a 19-13 record, including 8-0 in conference play, en route to a 2017 Sea View League Championship.
- 2017 Scholar Athlete
- Helped lead club team, California Cruisers, to a PGF 16U Platinum National Championship in eighth grade.
- Guided 18U Gold California Cruisers to a top-five finish in the 18U PGF Nationals.
- Currently plays club ball for California Cruisers Gold
HEAR FROM LOOPER
“We had Cameron on our radar pretty early, so it’s been fun watching her develop and grow into a very fine ball player. I’m anxious to see her continue to grow over the next four years. She just changed to a different club team, and it’s fun watching her go from being a big fish in a little pond to a little fish in a big pond playing with other very dominant ball players that are also going to Power 5 schools. Watching how she’s grown and taken on that challenge and opportunity to get better has been great. I know she’ll do a great job for us up the middle and I’m anxious to see where she fits offensively with us because she’s growing in that area every day.”
“The second I stepped foot on campus, I knew Iowa was where I wanted to be. The sense of pride, passion, and competition that the Hawkeye fans have for the school blew me away. I quickly realized that I would be part of something bigger, and I was sold. Go Hawks!”
Hallie Ketcham | 5’3″ | OF
Dowling Catholic HS
- Ranked No. 89 overall recruit for the class of 2018 by FloSoftball.
- Named all-conference as a freshman, sophomore, and junior and all-state as a sophomore and junior.
- Hit .376 and recorded 12 stolen base as a freshman.
- Led team to a third place finish in the 5A state tournament as a freshman.
- Hit .400 and registered 26 stolen bases as a sophomore.
- Hit .431 and amassed 18 stolen bases as a junior.
- Also plays point guard on the Dowling Catholic HS basketball team.
- Earned Honor Roll as a freshman, sophomore, and junior.
- Currently plays club ball for The Iowa Premier.
HEAR FROM LOOPER
“Hallie is an in-state kid from a great family. She’s a die-hard Hawkeye, her brother is here at school and her family has been in school here. It’s nice to be able to keep her at home. We are excited for her to bring her speed. She’s a triple threat at the plate, a true lefty, and an outfielder that can cover some ground. Again, being a product of the state of Iowa and from Dowling Catholic High School, we’re proud for her to represent her state because she’ll do a great job of that. She’s bringing that in-state pride to our program and wants to represent it well. She will be able to educate teammates that don’t understand that piece, and they’re going to educate her on the nuisances on the game outside of Iowa. It’s going to be fun to watch her develop because she can be a dominant player in the conference.”
“I chose the University of Iowa because Iowa City has always felt like home. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to play for the Hawkeyes and represent my home state. Go Hawks!”
Abby Lien | 5’8″ | UTL/Catcher
Apple Valley, Minn.
- Holds the Eastview HS record for career runs scored, home runs, RBI, batting average, and fielding percentage.
- Set single-season records in plate appearances and hits (freshman), runs scored, and walks (sophomore), home runs (junior).
- Three-time Most Valuable Offense, Most Valuable Defense, Silver Slugger, all-conference, and all-section honoree.
- Hit .448, racked up 14 RBI, had four home runs, and recorded four stolen bases as a freshman.
- As a freshman, earned the Golden Glove award and was named to the all-tournament team at the state tournament.
- Guided team to a conference championship, a section championship, and a state championship as a freshman.
- Hit .471, amassed 24 RBI, hit six home runs, and tallied five stolen bases as a sophomore.
- As a sophomore, named to the all-state second team and the all-metro second team.
- Hit .484, tallied 15 RBI, hit six home runs, and recorded 10 stolen bases as a junior.
- Named to the all-state first team and all-metro first team as a junior.
- Currently plays club ball for the Midwest Speed.
HEAR FROM LOOPER
“Abby is coming from Minnesota and watching her through the recruiting process we knew she had the opportunity to play corners well and catch, but she’s actually grown into a strong utility player with great leadership skills on her team. She plays middle infield well, she plays corners well, she catches well, and she hits well. She is that all-around player that will give us depth at multiple positions. She has a great head on her shoulders, good energy, good vibes. She is going to be a joy to have in our program. She has a lot of Iowa pride already, and that’s exciting to see.”
“I chose Iowa because of the warm welcome I received and because of the pride I felt people had in this community. I wanted to be part of the Hawkeye family. Go Hawks!”
Miranda Schulte | 5’10” | Corner/Pitcher
Freeburg High School
- Holds Freeburg HS’s RBI record with 110 through first three years; also holds home run record with 26 through three years.
- Earned three-time all-metro in St. Louis, was a three-time all-conference pitcher, and was a two-time Illinois all-state team 3A honoree.
- Hit .433, recorded six home runs, had 24 RBI, posted a 1.92 ERA, and had a 13-3 record as a freshman.
- Hit .534, registered 10 home runs, racked up 51 RBI, posted a 1.35 ERA, had a 16-5 record, and amassed 168 strikeouts as a sophomore.
- As a sophomore in 3A, guided team to the State of Illinois Elite Eight, a Cahokia Conference Sectional Championship, and a Cahokia Conference second place finish.
- Hit .519, garnered 10 home runs, had 35 RBI, posted a 1.72 ERA, had a 16-7 record with five shutouts, and amassed 158 strikeouts as a junior.
- Led team to a first place finish in the Cahokia Conference as a freshman and a junior.
- Currently plays club ball for St. Louis Worth Prospect
HEAR FROM COACH LOOPER
“Miranda was a late add for us, but it was a pleasant surprise that we found her. She has good size. She is going to be a corner, hitter, and pitcher. She pitched in high school and for her club team, but she brings other things that will benefit our program too. Again, she fits into this class well and brings us more depth. She can play multiple positions and can bring a powerful stick into the lineup. She has a good personality and loves to play the game. This whole class loves to play the game. It’s fun to see that. She comes from a good family and she’s fairly local being from Illinois. She is a good Midwestern kid that is ready to be at the next level and she will continue to grow and benefit our program.”
“I chose Iowa because I finally found a college where I felt at home. Everyone I met was so friendly and I just felt like I connected with coach Looper and coach B [Adrianna Baggetta]. They were coaches that I knew I wanted to play for. Now, any time I wear a Hawkeye shirt, people tell me what a great University and town Iowa City is. I know I made an excellent decision.”
Sydney Owens | 5’5″ | IF
San Antonio, Texas
Canyon High School
- Played two years at Canyon High school under Kevin Randle, missed sophomore season due to injury.
- Selected first team all-district as both a freshman and a junior.
- Guided team to the district championship and regional finals as both a freshman and a junior.
- Recorded a .368 batting average, a team-high 11 home runs, and 47 RBI as a junior.
- Earned all-district academic honors.
- Played for the Texas Blaze under John Carpenter for seven years, including two years on the Texas Blaze Gold team.
- Currently plays for the Texas Blaze Gold
HEAR FROM COACH LOOPER
“Sydney is coming to us from Texas. We continue to have that Texas connection, for good reason. These young ladies get to play year round, and Sydney has given a true commitment to the game. She was out a year, unfortunately, because of an injury she sustained from being aggressive on the field. That’s what I love most about her. She has a grit and determination on the field. She can play middle and on the corners. She’s got a good stick. Again, she is another young women that can contribute in a lot of ways, and she’s just a good human being. I’m excited to get her up here. She’s been committed for a couple of years and she’s been a Hawkeye for a few years. She just randomly pops up from Texas to watch us play or she comes in for the weekend because she already feels like this place is home. She’s going to be a great asset to our program.”
“I chose Iowa because of the indescribable way I felt on campus. I visited numerous universities all over the country, but only Iowa felt like home to me. I felt an overwhelming sense of belonging and a deep desire to be a Hawkeye. I know I made the right decision, and I cannot wait to get started as a student-athlete at Iowa.”