Nov. 15, 2012
• Tiarra Davis (Kilgore, Texas/Henderson HS)
• Kelli Hanzel (Houston, Texas/Klein HS)
• Mickenzi Krpec (Fulshear, Texas/Foster HS)
• Taylor McAllister (McKinney, Texas/McKinney North HS)
• Lauren Slatten (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills HS)
• Devon Tunning (Montgomery, Texas/Montgomery HS)
• Stephanie Wong (Austin, Texas/Westlake HS)
AUSTIN, Texas - With Texas Softball coming off its third NCAA Tournament Super Regional appearance in program history, head coach Connie Clark announced Thursday the addition of seven freshmen to her roster for next year. Tiarra Davis (Kilgore, Texas), Kelli Hanzel (Houston, Texas), Mickenzi Krpec (Fulshear, Texas), Taylor McAllister (McKinney, Texas), Lauren Slatten (Cincinnati, Ohio), Devon Tunning (Montgomery, Texas) and Stephanie Wong (Austin, Texas) have signed National Letters of Intent to attend The University of Texas and play softball with the Longhorns beginning in the fall of 2013.
"Our 2013-14 class is a dynamic group of student-athletes," Clark said. "It is a large class for us and they provide experience in every position.
"Pitching was a focus since we graduate Kim Bruins and Blaire Luna. Slatten (RHP) and Davis (LHP/Utility) provide us with a solid duo who will complement Holly Kern and Gabby Smith in the circle in 2013-14. Devon Tunning, Kelli Hanzel, Stephanie Wong, Mickenzi Krpec and Taylor McAllister are exceptional infielders with Wong having the ability to play outfield as well.
"These young women define competitive spirit and their work ethics, as well as academic resumes, are very impressive. Once this group arrives on campus next fall, we will have 13 underclassmen. This can present questions, but as talented and as solid as these young women are, I have no doubt they will rise to the occasion. Our fans and upperclassmen are going to love them."
Tiarra Davis (pronunciation: tee-AIR-uh), Pitcher/Utility, Kilgore, Texas (Henderson HS)
Davis, a three-year letterwinner and two-time all-state selection for head coach Julie Murry's Lady Lions, guided the program to its first-ever University Interscholastic League State Softball Tournament appearance as a junior. Last spring in the circle, she went 19-7 with a 1.76 earned run average and 207 strikeouts in 170.2 innings. Davis was also a threat at the plate, hitting .484 with 19 doubles, four triples and 19 runs batted in while adding 12 stolen bases. She was selected as the District 16-3A Most Valuable Player and earned places on the Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association (TXSWA) 3A All-State First Team and the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 3A All-State Team following the campaign. As a junior during the state final run, Davis blanked Liberty Hill in the semifinal game, fanning nine and providing a run-scoring single, before falling 8-4 to Hudson in the championship. A year earlier, as a sophomore, Davis posted a 22-4 mark to go along with a 1.31 earned run average and 239 strikeouts in 149.2 innings. At the plate, she batted .547 with a home run, 22 RBI, three triples, 17 doubles, 12 walks and 22 stolen bases in 24 attempts. The Longview News-Journal selected Davis as the All-East Texas Most Valuable Player as a sophomore and junior. Following her sophomore season, Davis was named the Tyler Morning Telegraph's East Texas Player of the Year and earned a first-team spot on the TXSWA all-state squad. As a freshman, she compiled a 1.45 ERA with 158 strikeouts in 111 innings while tallying a .346 batting average with four doubles, 23 runs scored and seven steals. Davis also played volleyball for Henderson and earned Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association Honorable Mention honors following her freshman season. As a senior volleyball player, she helped the Lady Lions to their first-ever playoff victory by recording a team-best eight kills in a sweep of Mineola in early November.
During the summer, Davis played travel softball with the Texas Bombers Gold.
Kelli Hanzel, Infield, Houston, Texas (Klein HS)
Hanzel is a three-time District 13-5A First-Team honoree for head coach Candi Weige's Lady Bearkats. Hanzel was tabbed as the program's most valuable player following her freshman, sophomore and junior years and was the District 13-5A Newcomer of the Year as a rookie. Last spring as a junior, Hanzel earned a place on the Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association 5A All-State Second Team after hitting .516 with 18 extra-base hits, including five home runs, 32 runs batted in and 28 scored.
Also a standout in the classroom, Hanzel was named to the 2010, 2011 and 2012 District 13-5A All-Academic Team. She is a member of the National Honor Society and, in 2009, received the Houston Society of Women Engineers' Science Award. Hanzel is also a Klein Standleader, a distinction based on leadership, school spirit and overall academic achievements.
Hanzel enhanced her softball skills during the summer as a member of the Texas Sudden Impact Gold, which qualified for the ASA Gold Nationals from 2010-12. She currently plays for Texas Impact Gold with incoming freshman Mickenzi Krpec.
Mickenzi Krpec (pronunciation: KER-peck), Infield, Fulshear, Texas (Foster HS)
Krpec has been a three-year starter and leadoff batter for head coach Christie Rees' Falcons. By earning a spot on the 2011 Texas Girls Coaches Association 4A All-State Team, Krpec became the first softball player in Foster High School history to receive all-state accolades. Last spring, Krpec was named the District 23-4A Offensive Most Valuable Player after helping the Falcons to a 31-3 record and district championship with a 14-0 mark. The 31 wins for Foster were the most in program history and the team advanced to the regional semifinals of the University Interscholastic League 4A State Softball Tournament before falling 2-1 to Little Cypress-Mauriceville. As a sophomore, Krpec set school records for at bats (135), walks (17), runs scored (40), triples (six) and home runs (10) while hitting .439. She was named the Fort Bend Herald Co-Hitter of the Year following the impressive season. Krpec also suited up for the Foster volleyball team as a senior.
During the summer, she played with the Texas Impact, along with current Longhorn freshman Erin Shireman. The Impact finished second at the 2012 ASA Gold Nationals, third at the 2012 Colorado Fireworks tournament, third at the 2011 ASA Gold Nationals and fourth at the 2010 ASA Gold Nationals. Krpec posted a .567 batting average with 13 runs batted in and 10 scored during the bracket play portion of the 2012 ASA Gold Nationals.
Taylor McAllister, Infield, McKinney, Texas (McKinney North HS)
McAllister has been a three-year letterwinner for the Lady Bulldogs and a two-time District 10-4A First-Team honoree. Following her junior season, she was named the District 10-4A Offensive Player of the Year. She played for head coach Dan Sedgwick and has helped the squad to the district tournament each year of her career. As a freshman, in consecutive games against Denison and Frisco, she went five-for-five with two home runs, six runs batted in and seven scored to receive the Dallas Morning News Player of the Week award. McAllister was also tabbed as the District 10-4A Newcomer of the Year following her rookie campaign.
McAllister also plays volleyball for McKinney North.
Lauren Slatten (pronunciation: SLAT-ten), Pitcher, Cincinnati, Ohio (Oak Hills HS)
Slatten pitched for Oak Hills as a junior following a move from Bastrop, Texas. She went 19-12 with 390 strikeouts and a 1.33 earned run average as a junior at Oak Hills, guiding the program to the regional championship contest. She was named the Cincinnati Enquirer Division I Softball Player of the Year and received Greater Miami Conference Player of the Year honors. At the plate, Slatten also proved to be a threat, batting .404 with 19 runs batted in, seven doubles and three triples for head coach Jackie Cornelius-Bedel. Slatten tossed the first no-hitter of her Oak Hills career in a 7-0 win over Hamilton on April 10, 2012. She also went two-for-three at the plate during the contest. Nearly a month later, she delivered the run-scoring single to lift Oak Hills over Fairborn in a 13-inning affair in the regional semifinal. She struck out 20 and allowed only six hits in the contest. During another extra-inning contest, against Lakota West, Slatten fanned 31 during 16 innings, good for the ninth-highest total by a pitcher in Ohio High School Athletic Association history.
As a sophomore at Elgin High School, Slatten was named The Bastrop Advertiser's All-Bastrop County Cy Young Award Winner and earned a spot on the Austin American-Statesman's All-Central Texas Team. During her two years at Elgin under head coach Amanda Wolf, Slatten picked up 224 strikeouts and posted a 0.80 ERA. She was a member of the Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association Honorable Mention 4A All-State Team as a sophomore. As a freshman, she helped Elgin to a 25-8 mark and the Lady Cats were the No. 2 team in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Preseason Class 4A Preseason Poll prior to her sophomore campaign.
Devon Tunning, Shortstop, Montgomery, Texas (Montgomery HS)
Tunning has been a three-year letterwinner for head coach Michelle Rochinski's Lady Bears. Last spring, Tunning lifted Montgomery to the University Interscholastic League 4A State Softball Tournament for the first time in program history and received Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) 4A All-State Team honors. After helping the Lady Bears reach the tournament championship match, Tunning was named to the TGCA All-Tournament Team. In the semifinal game, she hit a 4A tournament-record two triples and drove in four runs to lift the Lady Bears to an 11-3 victory over Forney. In 2012, she earned places on the Alvin Sun-Advertiser All-Greater Houston Softball Team and the All-District 17-4A First Team. She was also named The Courier of Montgomery County's Montgomery County Offensive Most Valuable Player as a junior after receiving first-team all-area honors as a sophomore. During her sophomore season, helped Montgomery to the regional finals series, where the Lady Bears fell in the deciding third game. Over the summer, Tunning played with the Texas Eclipse Gold program.
Tunning also excelled on the basketball court, earning first-team all-district honors as a junior. In this year's season opener, she scored 14 points to help Montgomery to a 68-23 victory over Splendora.
Tunning's father, David, is a UT alum.
Stephanie Wong, Infield/Outfield, Austin, Texas (Westlake HS)
Wong has been a three-year letterwinner for the Chaparrals and head coach Haley Gaddis. As a junior, Wong helped Westlake to a 29-7 overall record and the District 15-5A championship with a 9-1 record. Individually, she was named to the Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association Honorable Mention 5A All-State Team and earned a spot on the Texas Girls Coaches Association 5A All-State Team after hitting .398 with 40 runs scored, 19 walks and 14 stolen bases. Wong also picked up First-Team All-District 15-5A honors and a place on the Austin American-Statesman All-Central Texas Softball Second Team at the end of the campaign. In April of 2012, she hit a game-winning walk-off double in the seventh to lift Westlake past Westwood 2-1 and into the area round of the University Interscholastic League Softball State Tournament playoffs. A month earlier, her play helped the Chaparrals win the Rattler Spring Break Classic. As a sophomore, Wong helped Westlake to a 22-11 mark, including a 6-3 ledger against district competition. In the first round of the playoffs, against Pflugerville, the Chaparrals pushed the series to three games, but fell in the deciding contest.