Softball Signs Four To National Letters Of Intent

HAMDEN, Conn. - Quinnipiac University softball Head Coach Germaine Fairchild has announced the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent for the 2010-11 academic year. Emily O'Keefe (Southington, Conn.), Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.), Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) and Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) will join the Bobcats in the fall of 2010.

O'Keefe comes to Quinnipiac from Saint Paul Catholic High School in Bristol, Conn. Playing at both the pitcher and first base positions, O'Keefe has been named Northwest All-Conference and Northwest Conference All-Academic for the past three years. The right-hander was named Rookie of the Year in her freshman season, and was named the Most Valuable Player in her sophomore year at Saint Paul's. She served as captain in her junior season, and has been named to captain her high school team again in the spring of 2010 for her senior season. A notable athlete in the Bristol, Conn.-area, O'Keefe was the recipient of the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete Recognition Award last April and has earned Bristol Press' "Athlete of the Week" honors all three years in her high school career. O'Keefe also plays for the Gold Coast Hurricanes during the summer. She is interested in studying Interactive Digital Design at Quinnipiac.

"Emily is one of Connecticut's best high school pitchers and we are honored that she has chosen to attend Quinnipiac University and join our softball program," said Fairchild. "Emily has the athleticism to contribute at other defensive positions, as well as at the plate. Emily is also an outstanding student who is very active in her community. We are looking forward to all she has to offer the University community and our program."

Paolucci joins the Bobcats from Lake Mary High School in Florida, and also suits up for Team Marini in the summer. Paolucci spends most of her playing time behind the plate, but also plays the infield as well. The Florida-native was named Third Team All-State in the 6A Division after her junior season as well as being named to the First Team in the All-Seminole Athletic Conference in the same season. After her summer play for Team Marini in 2009, Paolucci was named a Stop-DWI Ringor All-Star. Paolucci also excels in the classroom, as she maintains a 3.93 un-weighted grade-point-average and is in the top 3% of her class. She is interested in studying Medicine at Quinnipiac.

"Jordan is an outstanding catcher who has distinguished herself as one of the Florida's finest," said Fairchild. "She is a very strong defensive catcher, as well as a middle-of-the-order power hitter. Jordan also excels in the classroom, and is a goal-oriented student who will bolster our program's academic performance."

Alfiere is the second pitcher of the group, coming to Quinnipiac from Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls, Conn. The right-hander also pitches for Xtreme Chaos and Connecticut Charmer Gold when she is not playing for Woodland. Alfiere is a two-year captain of her high school softball team and earned All-Naugatuck Valley League honors after her junior season in spring of 2009. In that year, Alfiere posted a 1.07 ERA and helped Woodland to their most successful record in school history. She is interested in studying Liberal Arts at Quinnipiac.

"Katie is one of Connecticut's premier power pitchers, with the potential to dominate opponents with speed and movement," said Fairchild. "She also is a formidable offensive threat, batting in the heart of the order for both her high school and travel teams. Katie is also a very strong student in the classroom, and will make strong contributions to our academic team goals."

Also joining the Bobcats' efforts behind the plate is Sioux Falls-native, Heiberger. A transfer from Iowa Lakes Community College, Heiberger played high school-ball at Lincoln H.S., and also suited up for the Sioux Falls Flash in the summer. The junior posted impressive statistics at Iowa Lakes last season, appearing in 62 games and posting a .394 batting average. Heiberger batted in 35 runs last season as well as scoring 54 runs on her own. She compiled 65 hits on the year with 13 doubles and six homeruns. After the 2009 season, Heiberger was named to the Region XI DII First Team and also earned a spot on the Academic All-Region Team. She ranked ninth in stolen bases in the NJCAA DII with 34. She is interested in studying Communications and Psychology at Quinnipiac.

"Ashley will arrive at Quinnipiac with much-needed experience behind the plate," said Fairchild. "With two years of outstanding performance at the junior college level under her belt, she will immediately help fill the shoes of those lost to graduation. Offensively, Ashley is a multi-dimensional player, combining power at the plate with base-stealing speed on the bases. Her academic performance is also very strong, further solidifying her potential to positively impact our program and the University."

The softball team will kick off their 2010 spring schedule on Feb. 20 when they travel to Farmville, Va. to play in the Longwood Lead Off Classic.