Showing their cookie cake are (left to right) Kaylee Lopez, Amie Vincent and Kiley Naomi.
Three North Vermilion softball players sign letters of intent to play softball at higher level
North Vermilion High School is fast becoming the place to be if you want your girl to play college softball.
Since 2015, counting this year, the North Vermilion softball program has had eight girls sign scholarships to play softball on the next level.
If you go back to 2006, there have been 12 Lady Patriots sign scholarships.
This past Wednesday, the National Signing Day, North Vermilion had three players sign letters of intent.
Shortstop Kiley Naomi signed with Oklahoma State to play infield; Kaylee Lopez is taking her power to McNeese, and Amie Vincent is taking her defense and power to LSU-E.
North Vermilion head softball coach Joy LeBlanc said, “I am very excited for the girls. This is an accomplishment the girls and parents have been workiig hard to achieve. “
Naomi going to play in Big 10
Naomi, who plays shortstop, is the first Lady Patriot to sign with a Big Ten School. She is, however, not the first North Vermilion graduate to sign a scholarship with Oklahoma State. NV graduate Carlos Gautreaux signed to play baseball in the early 1990s.
Naomi (.543 batting average last year, 29 RBIs) is one of six Oklahoma State signees. She is, however, the only signee who is not from Oklahoma or Texas.
Oklahoma State Coach Kenny Gajewski spotted Naomi at a softball camp in Florida. Gajewski coached in Florida before moving to Oklahoma State. She visited the campus twice this summer.
“I have been waiting for this day forever,” said Naomi. “Oklahoma State has a great softball program.”
Oklahoma State posted a 38-24 record last year and reached the Super Regional Round where it lost to Florida in three games.
“You have to have kids that can play multiple spots nowadays,” said Oklahoma State Softball Coach Kenny Gajewski. “I try to recruit middle infielders first, and most of the successful teams in the country do the same. It’s no secret that the most successful kids were usually at shortstop at some point, and they get moved around from there. To play shortstop, you have to have a different type of IQ, and these kids all have that.”
Lopez going meet old teammate
Lopez, who is a senior, will be joining former teammate Demi Boudreaux, who signed with McNeese last year.
Lopez led North Vermilion to a Class 3A softball title with a sizzling .612 batting average that included 16 home runs and 29 RBIs. She was 5-for-5 in the title-game.
Because of her MVP performance at state, the McNeese coaches began showing interest in her.
She concluded last year by being voted the Class 3A Softball Player in the State. She was voted the parish and district MVP her junior year.
“McNeese fits me the best,” said Lopez, on why she selected the Lake Charles college. “I felt comfortable when I visited the program.”
Lopez is one of 10 McNeese signees for 2019. She can play infield and outfield and will major in education.
“We are extremely excited and fortunate to be able to sign a versatile group of young athletes with great power and speed,” McNeese softball coach James Landreneau said.
Vincent going to a power house
You want to have a chance to win a national championship while playing softball? Then go play softball at LSU-E in Eunice.
The program has won back-to-back NJCAA National Championships the last two years and four in the last five years.
Amie Vincent, NV’s senior third baseman, likes the sound of success. She helped her team win a Class 3A softball title last year.
“I am very excited to sign,” said Vincent, who is expected to play infield for McNeese. “When I went to visit, the school felt like home.”
McNeese had Vincent on her radar for the last three years. She said when her former NV teammate Hannah Vidalier was being recruited by LSU-E when Vincent was a freshman, the LSU-E coaches began eyeing Vincent.
“We’re excited about this group,” LSU-E head coach Andy Lee said. “They have all had great success at the high school level and we believe that will translate to us.”