RedStorm softball makes Hazlett latest addition
July 23, 2012By Randy Payton of University of Rio Grande
JOHNSTOWN, Ohio - University of Rio Grande head softball coach Kristen Bradshaw has announced the signing of Northridge High School's Kimber Hazlett for the 2013 season.
Hazlett, a pitcher/infielder, was a major contributor for the Vikings, who finished 15-13 this spring following a 6-4 loss to Fairbanks in the Division III district finals.
A four-year starter at Northridge, Hazlett finished her senior campaign with a .330 batting average, three home runs and a .490 on-base percentage. She also struck out 100 and walked just 21 batters in 72 innings of work as a pitcher, authoring a 1.06 earned run average in the process.
Hazlett was a second team All-Central District selection, as well as a second team All-Mid-Buckeye Conference honoree.
"I'm very excited to be going to Rio Grande. It's a chance I've wanted ever since I was a little girl," said Hazlett, who also has put together an impressive travel softball resume over the past five summers with the Ohio Kaos and, more recently, the Big League Starz. "I can't wait to face the challenges that college softball will present. I want to get there, meet the rest of the team and get started with conditioning."
Hazlett, who was also a three-year starter on the NHS volleyball team, saw her softball career with the Vikings progressively blossom under former head coach Ralph Taylor.
As a freshman in 2009, Hazlett posted a 1.67 ERA, while fanning 136 batters and walking just seven in 90 innings inside the circle. She was named an Honorable Mention All-District and All-MBC selection.
Hazlett compiled a 19-3 record with a 0.49 ERA as a sophomore, striking out a whopping 271 batters and walking only 19 in 143 innings. One year later, she was 15-3 with a 0.89 ERA, 192 strikeouts and 14 walks in 110 innings.
Hazlett was a first team All-District and first team All-Conference pick, as well as a second team All-Ohio selection in both 2010 and 2011. She was also named to the Newark Advocate All-Area first team and was named Pitcher of the Year by the same publication each of the two seasons.
Her 2011 numbers also earned Player of the Year honors in the Mid-Buckeye Conference, as well as a spot on the Columbus Dispatch All-Metro Team honorable mention list.
"Kim is an athlete that I think will come in and make an immediate impact for our team next season," said Bradshaw. "She's a pitcher, as well as an all-around athlete who I think I'll be able to put almost anywhere in the field. I'm excited to add her to our incoming freshman class."
Hazlett, who plans to major in nursing, chose Rio Grande after also receiving interest from a handful of other schools including Ohio Wesleyan University, Marietta College, Wilmington College and Northland College.
"Rio has an excellent nursing program and I also liked the idea of a small town college experience," Hazlett said. "It was a tough decision, but Rio felt more at home. It was a better fit for me."
Hazlett cited her ability to swing the bat as the one aspect of her game that she wants to focus on when she arrives on campus, but added she's ready to bring a positive attitude to the program.
"My goal is to play to the best of my ability," she said. "I just want to give the coaches everything I have."
Hazlett is the daughter of Mike and Kelly Hazlett of Homer.