Softball Welcomes Seven as Class of 2023
WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross softball head coach Jen Lapicki has announced the seven incoming student-athletes who will join the team as the class of 2023. The new Crusaders include Bailey Bates, Olivia Eckelman, Audrey Gusel, Kari Jacobson, Mel Leach, Peyton Morehouse and Kaci Neveling.
“I am very excited to announce the Holy Cross class of 2023,” Lapicki said. “This is an incredibly skilled group and I am confident that they will help us continue on our path of excellence in pursuit of a championship.”
Bates has spent six seasons on the varsity softball team at East Ridge High School in Clermont, Fla. under head coach Al Peterson. She has been a part of five teams that won the District Championship, one that claimed the Regional Championship crown, and one that finished as the State runner-up. Bates was named to the All-Area Softball Team in 2018. She also played for the Intensity club team under head coach Ralph Rodriguez. In high school, Bates is a member of the National, Spanish National, and Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Societies. She plans to major in political science at Holy Cross.
Eckelman has played under head coach Sam Hunt at Naples High School in Naples, Fla. for four seasons. In 2016, she was named to the All-Conference Second Team and the team’s Most Valuable Player. She also played for the Panthers-Stevens club team under head coach Jeff Stevens. Eckelman plans to major in biology while on the Hill.
Gusel attends Downers Grove North High School in Downers Grove, Ill. There, she has played four season of varsity softball under head coach Eric Landschoot. She helped the team win three Regional Championships and finish as Sectional runner-ups as a sophomore. She also played for the Chicago Cheetahs club team under head coach John Steinhaus. At Downers Grove, Gusel was on the Honor Roll all four years. She plans to major in biology at Holy Cross.
Jacobson played four years of varsity softball at Tuscarora High School in Leesburg, Va. under head coach Birdget Bowles. She was named First Team All-Region and All-Conference in 2017 and also helped to lead the team to a 5A Region Championship in 2018. Jacobson also played for the Stars National club team under head coach Jim Adkins. In high school, she was the president of the English Honors Society. Jacobson plans to major in political science in while Worcester.
Leach has played four seasons on the varsity squad at New Hampton School under head coach Eileen Williams. She has been named a Lakes Region All-Star three times and her team has been crowned the Lakes Region Champion twice. Leach also played for the NJ Intensity KOD club team under head coach Kevin O'Donnell. At New Hampton, she received High Honors every semester and plans to major in accounting at Holy Cross.
Morehouse has spent four seasons playing varsity softball under head coach Jackie Qualls at Park Hill High School. She was a captain for three years and was an all-district selection four times and a three-time all-conference honoree. She also played for the Topgun club team under head coach Tabetha Petre. While on the Hill, Morehouse plans to go on the pre-med track with the intent to one day be a trauma surgeon and work with Doctors Without Borders.
Neveling attends Toms River High School North in Toms River, N.J. She has played four seasons of varsity softball under head coach MaryEllen Tutzauer. The team was the Class A South Champions in 2018, the same year that Neveling also garnered NFCA First Team All-Region, Third Team All-American, and All-American Scholar Athlete awards. She also played for the South Jersey Mystics-Jackson club team under head coach Stacy Jackson. Neveling was a member of the National Honor Society in high school. She plans to major in psychology during her time as a Crusader.
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