NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Highlighted by a talented group of infielders, utility players and one pitcher from across New England and Washington, second-year head coach Jim Cardello is pleased to finalize and welcome the Merrimack Softball Class of 2017.
Featuring a pair of Connecticut recruits, as well as two more from the Bay State and a standout from across the country, Cardello's highly touted recruiting class will be a welcome addition to a Warrior squad that brings back 8-of-9 starters on the diamond and anticipates to contend for a Northeast-10 Conference crown next spring.
"I'm real happy with our first recruiting class that includes two middle infielders, two utility players and one pitcher," Cardello noted. "As we continue to shape the future of the program, this class represents the type of student-athlete we will continue to attract as we build a consistent and perennial challenger for championship-caliber play with strong academic character."
Meet The Class of 2017
Tamarra Crowe | Shortstop | 5-5 | North Bend, Wash. / Mount Si H.S. | Undeclared Major
Four-year varsity letterwinner for the Mount Si High School softball team … Named JV MVP as a freshman and named the Defensive Player of the Year … Helped team finish eighth in the WIAA 3A State Championship as a sophomore … Named Best Varsity Player as a junior en route to helping team finish fifth in state tournament … Member of the Washington Ladyhawks travel team … Born Aug. 1, 1995 … Daughter of Bruce … Has two siblings, Ryan and Cameron … Has not declared a major at Merrimack.
Cardello on Crowe: "The North Bend, Wash., product plays at the highest level of travel ball for the prestigious Ladyhawks, where she played shortstop, second base and outfield. Tamarra brings an exceptionally strong arm and quick glove and footwork that will rival the best in our conference. She's a maturing hitter and brings all the intangibles we look for from our players and recruits. Along with Mariah, I see these two turning double plays at a high rate in our infield over the next four years."
Kathleen Gildea | Infielder/Catcher | 5-2 | Bedford, Mass. / Bedford H.S. / Sports Medicine Major
Four-year varsity letterwinner on the Bedford High School softball team … Four-time Dual County League All-Star … Led the team in hits as a freshman … Named team captain as a senior … Played various positions in high school career, ranging from second base, outfield, and catcher … Member of New England Phoenix Elite and Rhode Island Rebels Gold club teams … Born Aug. 8, 1995 … Daughter of Brian and Marianne … Has two siblings, Brenna and Brian … Intends to major in Sports Medicine at Merrimack.
Cardello on Gildea: "Katie comes to our program highly recommended as a strong hitter and utility infielder by all who've seen her play. She's a smart ball player and will adapt to our level of competition very quickly."
Kara Orr | Pitcher | 5-10 | Danbury, Conn. / Danbury H.S. | Health Science/Nutrition Major
Spent four seasons as a member of the Danbury High School varsity softball team … Served a pitcher and saw time in center field throughout her high school career … Member of the Long Island Bandits Gold travel team … Also earned varsity letters in volleyball while in high school … Born Feb. 23, 1995 … Daughter of Bill and Alyce … Has two siblings, William and Andreah … Intends to major in Health Science/Nutrition at Merrimack.
Cardello on Orr: "One of two incoming Connecticut players with tremendous potential in the pitching circle. Kara's physical traits and her determination, combined with her top-notch training program and love of the game are unmatched in this class of pitchers. We are looking forward to a strong college career from Kara as she develops into one of top pitchers in our conference."
Mariah Tenney | Infielder | 5-4 | Winchendon, Mass. / Murdock H.S. | Sports Medicine Major
Three-year varsity letterwinner on the Murdock H.S. softball team … Earned league All-Star honors all three seasons … League Co-MVP as a junior and named Most Valuable Player as a senior … Participated on NHS travel team … Also enjoyed a prolific cross country, indoor and outdoor track career … Placed second at the state tournament while setting record in the 600m dash and named Most Improved as a freshman before repeating her sixth-place finish in the 600m dash as a sophomore … Born Dec. 24, 1994 … Daughter of Randy and Tracey … Has two siblings, Cessalie and Everett … Intends to major in Sports Medicine at Merrimack.
Cardello on Tenney: "Coming from the same travel program as coach Stacey Lajoie and our starting shortstop and captain Ashley Perry, Mariah is projected to compete right away for playing time at the middle infield positions. She brings a smooth glove, strong arm, good speed and some power with the bat that projects well here at Merrimack. Recently, she has strengthened her position as a potential pitcher for us, including a 19-strikeout game for her high school team."
Samantha Waskowitz | Third Base | 5-4 | Killingworth, Conn. / Haddam Killingworth H.S. | Business/Mathematics Major
Four-year varsity letterwinner for Haddam Killingworth H.S. softball team … First player in school history to earn First-Team All-Shoreline Conference honors all four years … Named to Middletown Press All-Area team as a freshman and named Rookie of the Year … Honorable Mention New Haven Register All-State as a sophomore, junior … Named MVP of team … As a junior, named Coaches Junior Select All-Star … Shoreline Conference Player of the Year as a senior … Named Coaches Senior All-Star … Helped team claim Shoreline Conference title and advance to the Elite Eight of state tournament … Also earned a prolific four-year field hockey career, including twice earning All-State honors while helping team claim Class S State Championship … Recipient of the Carl J. Anderson Award representing an outstanding athlete displaying highest standards both on and off the fields … Member of Central Mass. Rapids 18U Gold and Connecticut Tradition 18U travel teams … Born Jan. 30, 1995 … Daughter of David and Sandy … Has three siblings, John, Nicholas and David … Intends to major in Business/Mathematics at Merrimack.
Cardello on Waskowitz: "Sammy comes highly recommended out of Connecticut by many that have seen her play and definitely brings the qualities we look for in a student-athlete. She has good power and speed offensively while also being a disciplined hitter. She's fast on the bases and in the field which projects well at her natural position, third base, and also in the outfield."