Two More Prep Standouts Sign NLI with Softball
Nov. 14, 2006
For Immediate Release
MEMPHIS - University of Memphis head softball coach Windy Thees announced on Tuesday that catcher/first baseman Kailey Kassner (Elk Grove Village, Ill.) and pitcher Janelle Valle (Lake Elsinore, Calif.) have signed national letters of intent during the early signing period. The two standouts bring the Lady Tigers' 2008 signing class total to six.
"We're losing two girls who have pitched 90 percent of our games," Thees said. "Pitching is a big concern for us for next year. We really feel great about the two kids we have coming in. The one thing you can never substitute is experience, however, both of these girls have pitched at such a high level on their summer teams that we're excited to for them to come in and be able to make that impact right away."
Valle is a 5-6 southpaw who prepped at Temescal Canyon High School in Lake Elsinore, Calif. She lettered four years under Coach Kevin Simpson. Named to the Californian All Valley Team in 2005-06, Valle was a CIF Southern Section Finalist in 2005-06. She was named first team all-league in 2005-06 and second team all league in 2004-05. The 2003-04 Rookie of the Year, Valle earned MVP honors from 2004-06 and was an honorable mention Press Enterprise in 2004. She also received the MVP for Community Sports Award and was earned the All-League Academic award from 2004-07.
"Janelle is a solid pitcher," Thees said. "She can mix it up for you. For a little girl, she has pretty good speed. She also has a lot of off-speed pitches that will really tighten up opposing hitters that we face. She's a competitor. She gets after it. We're excited to have her here."
Joining summer travel softball beginning at the age of 13, Valley spent time with the Dynasty 18 Gold, Chino Blast 18 Gold, Corona Angels 18 Gold, Minors Gold 14 and Force. Her parents are Debbie Fendley and David Valle.
"I knew the minute I saw Kailey play at 16-under nationals that she needed to be a Lady Tiger," Thees said. "She is a team leader. She is an unbelievable hitter, and she's got great hands behind the plate. Her glove is amazing. For being 6-1, she's very quick. She's going to add leadership and really help us with our depth behind the plate, while maybe playing some first base for us."