UGA Softball 2012-13 Signing Class

Nov. 24, 2011

ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia softball program and head coach Lu Harris-Champer signed seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play with the Bulldogs beginning in 2012-13.

The complete class includes:





High School


Bryanna "Cricket" Blanco





Maryville, Tenn.

Katie Browne





Zachary, La.

Geri Ann Glasco




Oconee County

Watkinsville, Ga.

Tina Iosefa





Downey, Calif.

Samantha LaZear




Madison County

Danielsville, Ga.

Kaylee Puailoa





Buena Park, Calif.

Chelsea Wilkinson




Alexandra Central

Taylorsville, Calif.

Comments From Georgia Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer On The 2012-13 Class:
"We believe this class is the top recruiting class in the country. It has tremendous offensive players with not only the ability to hit for average but tremendous power as well. Along with offensive potential, the 2012 class has two of the top catchers in the country, two of the top pitchers in the country, a great defensive infielder and two great outfielders. We are thrilled with this group of student-athletes and confident about what they will bring to the University of Georgia!"

On the members of the class from Georgia...
"We value greatly keeping the top in state players at home, and this year we believe we landed the top hitter and pitcher in Geri Ann and the best leadoff hitter and outfielder in Sam in the state of Georgia."

On the catchers in the class...
"To compete in the Southeastern Conference you have to have a defensive presence behind the plate that can neutralize the running games of the top programs like Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. Katie has one of those rare arms on an extremely athletic body that can do just that for our program, and Tina is perhaps the strongest athlete in the country in the 2012 recruiting class."

On pitching in the class...
"Chelsea comes from one of the top high school programs in the country in Alexandra Central where Monte Sherrill who has won eight state championships. Geri Ann comes from right here at Oconee County High School, which just won its eighth state championship. So both pitchers have experienced the importance of winning championships and being on championship teams.

"Chelsea is a crafty pitcher that will use change of speed, great spin and movement to get hitters out, and Geri Ann is more of a power type pitcher that will go up and down, in and out, to get hitters out. Both are good students as well as athletes, so we feel we have two pitchers with great potential to complement each other and give us great depth along with Morgan Montemayor for the next two years." 

Of the offense in this signing class...
"One of our trademarks the past two years, has been our offense. This group of hitters has the potential to be compared with last year's senior class by the end of their careers. The speed of Sam in front of two outstanding lefty hitters, Kaylee and Geri Ann, and three very physical and powerful right handed hitters like Katie, Tina and Bryanna will definitely keep our run production and offensive numbers where we want to be for several more years."

Bryanna "Cricket" Blanco:
Blanco, a 5-9, right-handed infielder from Maryville, Tenn., will come to Georgia from Maryville High School where she played for Dave Allen. A 2010 Under Armour All-America selection, Blanco is a three-time All-State, All-County, All-District and All-KIL honoree who also earned on the All-District Tournament Team three times including being named the tournament's Most Valuable Player in 2010. As a junior, Blanco helped the Rebels finished third in the state tournament, and a freshmen, her MHS team took third in state. She has played travel softball for the Tennessee Fury and the Southern Force finishing in 16th place at the 2011 ASA 18 Gold Nationals. Academically, Blanco ranks in the top-five percent of her class.

"Bryanna is an extremely talented hitter that can play shortstop, third base or second base extremely well," Harris-Champer said. "She is exactly the type of student-athlete and person that we want to represent the UGA softball program. Hard worker, great student and tremendously talented are all attributes that would be used to describe Bryanna Blanco."


Katie Browne:
Browne, a 6-0, right-handed catcher from Zachary, La., will come to Georgia from Zachary High School where she plays for Leslie Efferson, who pitched at Nicholls State for now Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer. Browne, a 2011 First Team All-State selection, is a three-time All-District First Team honoree that was named the 2009 District 5A "Slugger of the Year" and 2010 District 5A Most Valuable Player. Browne is also a three-time All-Metro First Team selection and garnered 2010 All-State Honorable Mention recognition as well. In 2009, she helped the Broncos to an eighth-place finish in the Louisiana High School state tournament, and in 2010, Browne and ZHS returned to state to take third place. Browne has played travel ball for the Southern Force, is a four-year academic letterwinner and ranks in the top third of her class academically.

"Katie is a hard-nosed catcher with phenomenal work ethic that also has a tremendous arm, size and strength that will allow her to become a great Southeastern Conference catcher," Harris-Champer said. "On top of that, she is a mentally-tough individual and a great student-athlete that will bring great character and work ethic to our program. Her offensive power potential could easily allow her to become one of the top homerun producers in the country by the end of her career at UGA."

Geri Ann Glasco:
Glasco, a 5-6, left-handed hitter and right-handed throwing pitcher and infielder from Watkinsville, Ga., will join the Bulldogs from Oconee County High School where she played for Bryan Eades. Glasco is a four-time Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-State First Team selection who helped lead OCHS to Georgia High School Association AAA state championship titles in 2008 (33-5 record) and 2011 (38-2 record). Over her four-year career, she put together a 62-8 record from the circle with a 0.91 earned run average and 685 strikeouts while also batting .480 with a GHSA career record 47 home runs and 177 runs batted in. As a senior in 2011, Glasco was named the Region 8AAA Pitcher of the Year after compiling a perfect 19-0 record with a 0.50 earned run average and 213 strikeouts with just 29 walks. She also batted .564 in her final season with the Warriors as she hit a single-season Georgia high school record 24 home runs. Additional high school accolades for Glasco include being named the All-Northeast Georgia First Team selection and the GACA Pitcher of the Year in 2010, and in 2009, being selected as the All-North East Georgia Player of the Year, the Region 8AAA Player of the Year and the Region 8AAA Co-Pitcher of the Year. Glasco has also played travel ball for the Southern Force where she helped her team earn ASA 16U National Championship Final Four finishes four times from between 2007-11. She is the daughter of Georgia associate head coach Gerry Glasco and sister of Georgia assistant coach Tara Archibald.

 "Geri Ann has the potential to win games for us with both her bat and her arm," Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. "Although she is one of the most powerful hitters to ever play high school ball in Georgia, she is also a pure hitter that seldom strikes out and produces a high batting average. In the circle, she has developed into one of the best pitchers in the country with a combination of speed, power and ability to locate. Yet of all of her attributes, I most value her will to win and the leadership abilities that she brings to her teams."

Tina Iosefa:
Iosefa, a 5-10, right-handed catcher from Downey, Calif., will join the Bulldogs from Warren High School where she plays for Mary Starksen. Iosefa is a two-time Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass First Team selection who helped WHS advance to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) finals in 2010 and quarterfinals in 2011. As a junior in 2011, Iosefa was named the Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team Player of the Year and the All-League Most Valuable Player. In 2010 as a sophomore she was named First Team All-CIF and a first-team selection on the Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team. In 2009, the Bears advanced to the second round of the CIF playoffs and Iosefa was an All-League First Team selection and received honorable mention Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team recognition. Iosefa plays travel ball for the Firecrackers Organization, where she helped her team earn 18U Colorado Fireworks championships in 2010 and 2011 and Canadian Cup championships in 2010 and 2011. At the Premiere National Championships, Iosefa and the Fireworks finished 13th in 2010 and runner-up in 2011. Iosefa also competed in junior varsity basketball at WHS and has been recognized as a scholar-athlete.

"Tina is perhaps the strongest athlete in the country in the 2012 recruiting class," Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. "She is one of the best pure hitters in the country and her potential to produce homeruns is unlimited. Tina has played with one of the truly elite travel ball programs, the Worth Firecrackers, for coach Tony Rico, and she will bring us a wealth of leadership ability and experience when she arrives on campus next fall and we look forward to having her work with our pitching staff."

Samantha LaZear:
LaZear, a 5-11, left-handed hitting outfielder from Danielsville, Ga., will join the Bulldogs from Madison County High School where she played for Doug Kesler. LaZear, a two-time All-State and three-time All-Region selection, helped MCHS win its region championship in both 2009 and 2010, and the Red Raiders advanced to the Elite Eight of the AAAA division in the Georgia High School Association state tournament in both 2010 and 2011. For her career, LaZear holds school record with 150 runs scored and 85 stolen bases. As a senior, LaZear batted .407 with 46 runs, 18 runs batted in and 30 stolen bases. As a junior, she set single-season school records with 56 runs and 40 stolen bases. LaZear plays travel ball for the Southern Force who she helped her team finish in the Final Four at the ASA 16U National Championships in 2010. In 2011, she helped the Southern Force Gold, coached by Kevin Stephens, to a top 25 finish in the 18U division of the Premier National Championships. A 2010-11 National Fastpitch Coaches Association High School All-American Scholar Athlete, LaZear will have earned by 10 varsity letters by the end of her high school career next spring - four softball, four tennis and two basketball. She is also a MCHS Wendy's High School Heisman award winner, National Merit Scholar and ranks at the top of her class academically

"Sam is the fastest player we have brought in since Nicole Barber," Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. "We are thrilled to have her speed, defense and toughness joining our program next fall. Sam has incredible hand-eye coordination and rarely fails to make contact at the plate. She has the ability to bunt, slap and hit for power along with being a great student-athlete and the No. 1 student in her high school class at Madison County. We believe Sam is the best slapper in the 2012 class not only in Georgia, but in the country, and look forward to seeing her develop in our program."

Kaylee Puailoa:
Puailoa, a 5-9, left-handed outfielder from Buena Park, Calif., will join the Bulldogs from Western High School where she plays for Lindsay Russo. Puailoa is a three-time team Most Valuable Player selection who has twice been named a nominee for the Cal-Hi Sports All-State team. As a junior when her team was re-classified to Division I, she was named to the Empire League First Team after batting .456. As a sophomore, Puailoa helped lead the Pioneers to an Orange League Championship as she earned All-League MVP honors after batting .562 with a 1.307 slugging percentage producing 13 home runs and 48 runs batted in. Puailoa plays travel ball for the Firecracker Organization and she helped her team place third at the Premier Nationals in 2010. A two-time Scholar-Athlete Award recipient and member of the Principal's Honor Roll, Puailoa is a member of the Polynesian Club, a member of the Pioneer Outreach Network for Diversity (P.O.N.D.) and a member of the local Police Youth Explorer Program where she volunteers to serve her community.

"Kaylee is a pure hitter that has an incredibly smooth, powerful swing," Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. "She is excellent on defense with great reads in the outfield and sweet hands at first base. She has played for one of the elite travel programs, the Lakewood Ladies Firecrackers and coach Jorge Araujo, and she will bring a wealth of leadership, knowledge and understanding of the game to our program."

Chelsea Wilkinson:
Wilkinson, a 5-8, right-handed pitcher from Taylorsville, N.C., will join the Bulldogs from Alexandra Central High School where she plays for Monte Sherrill. Wilkinson is a two-time North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year who received 2011 First Team High School All-America honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and is a two-time Second Team All-America selection. Wilkinson is also a three-time All-State and All-Region team member, who has been named the Conference Pitcher of the Year and Charlotte Observer Pitcher of the year three times. She has helped ACHS earn two class 4A state championships in 2009 and 2011, and she has also been named the state's Most Valuable Player two times. Through her first three high school seasons, Wilkinson has compiled an 89-5 record and 1,077 strikeouts. As a junior in 2011, she went 31-2 from the circle with a 0.66 earned run average and 370 strikeouts. As a sophomore, Wilkinson was 27-2 with a 0.37 ERA and 349 strikeouts, and as a freshman, she was 31-1 with a 0.41 ERA and 358 strikeouts. She plays travel ball for the Carolina Cobras who won the 2010 ASA State Championship and finished runner up in the 2011 ASA State Championships. At ACHS, Wilkinson is member of the Beta Club, the Interact Club and the Spanish Club.

"Chelsea, besides being a proven winners, is a pitcher that has tight spin and the movement that we have been looking for," Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. "The command and location she has on her pitches is exceptional, and she is a great addition to our program. Chelsea comes from one of the top high school programs in the country where she has played for Monte Sherrill at Alexandra Central in North Carolina. Chelsea is also a very good hitter, a great student and a model citizen that we look forward to having on our campus."



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