Softball adds five talented players for 2012 season

BATON ROUGE – LSU head coach Yvette Girouard has announced the signing of Rikki Alcaraz, Ayanna "AJ" Andrews, Kailey McCasland, Dylan Supak and Tammy Vermeulen Wednesday to National Letter of Intent to continue their softball careers at LSU.

The quintet represents the states of New York, California, Texas, Illinois and Florida. Girouard characterizes that speed, athleticism and overall versatility will mark this class that enters as freshmen for the 2012 season. To view the newest editions of the Tiger softball family, click on the photo gallery to the right.

Alcaraz [Orland Park, Ill.] is a left-handed hitter with good speed and pure athletic ability from Marist High School. She will add power and can play both middle infield positions as a quiet but feisty competitor on the field. Alcaraz made the 100 Top Softball players in Illinois and was Marist Offensive Player of the Year, All-Conference and All-State. In her freshmen year, Alcaraz was the first freshmen in school history to make and start on her team. Her parents are Robert and Jacqueline West. Rikki's siblings are Tataina, Cristian and R.J West. Her travel ball team is the Beverly Bandits.

Andrews [Oldsmar, Fla.] is a left-handed slap hitter from Countryside High School. Her addition to the outfield will arguably make LSU one of the fastest in the country. Andrews possesses a strong arm that solidifies her as a defensive weapon. She is an All-State and All-Suncoast League MVP in Florida. In 2010, Andrews had the most stolen bases and the highest batting average in the Sunshine State. She is the daughter of Circuit Court Judge Michael and Jeanene Andrews. Her siblings are Michael, Aliyah and Athena. Her travel ball team is Team Florida 18 Gold.

McCasland [San Clemente, Calif.] is a utility player with power potential and defensive skills ranging from catcher to right field. Her athletic frame and possesses great ball sense on the base paths. At San Clemente High School, McCasland was a two-time Offensive Player of the Year during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. and All-League in 2010. She is the daughter of Tim and Kym McCasland and has two siblings, Shannon and Brody. Her travel ball team is Bill Jackson's Firecrackers in the Golden State.

Supak [LaGrange Texas] is an extremely athletic player and your prototypical utility player that can play any position from LaGrange High School. An All-State performer in softball along with an All-District recipient in volleyball and basketball, Supak also is an Academic All-District honoree for her efforts in the classroom. Supak is currently ranked fifth in her class academically. She is the daughter of Thomas and Sheila Supak and has three brothers, Tyler, Kyle and Trey. Her travel ball team is Houston Eclipse.

Vermeulen [Patchogue, N.Y.] is a left-handed slap speedster and emerging talent from Bayport Blue Point High School. She will patrol the outfield and add natural softball ability to the Tiger roster. Vermeulen has an incredible work ethic and drive to succeed. Her guardians are Mike and Allyson Kastrinakis. The Kastrinakis and Tammy could be the female version of the movie "The Blind Side". Her travel ball team is Gold Coast Hurricanes based out of Florida.

LSU earned a runner-up finish at the SEC Tournament en route to a 45-16 finish, its 10th season with at least 45 victories since softball was reinstated in 1997. The Tigers also reeled off a program-best 24-game winning streak and recorded their 12th NCAA Regional appearance in 2010.