khaner | Posted: 11 Nov 2015 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU softball adds five to 2016-17 roster

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PROVO, Utah – BYU softball head coach Gordon Eakin announced the 2016-17 signing class today with five commitments from California, Idaho, Arizona and Utah.

Rylee Jensen (OF), Arissa Paulson (P), Laina Su'e Su'e (C/OF), Brooke Vander Heide (OF) and Kerisa Viramontes (P) have all signed National Letters of Intent in the November signing period.

Rylee Jensen
5-8 | OF | Skyline HS | Idaho Falls, Idaho

Rylee Jensen, a lefty outfielder from Idaho Falls, has started on varsity every year of high school. In the 2014 season, she earned the Slugger Award (.557 batting average) and Skyline's Best Defensive Player Award. She also had the most stolen bases (39), runs (50), RBI (43) and home runs (10) in the area. Her 10 home runs hit that season set a record at Skyline High School. In 2013, she was named District 5-6 First Team Outfield and Coaches All-Conference First Team Outfielder. Over her high school career, she earned First Team All-Conference and First Team All-Area each season and has maintained a batting average of over .600.

Jensen plays for the USA Explosion 18 Gold, placing third at ASA (Amateur Softball Association) Nationals in the summer of 2015. She also played for the Idaho Sliders. In addition to softball, she is also a three-year varsity starter for basketball and ran track for one season.

Eakin on Jensen: “She is a pure athlete that will add athleticism, speed, and power both offensively and defensively, in our lineup. She hits from the left side and can bunt, slap or hit it deep. We believe she will be one of the purest athletes to ever play in our program.”

Arissa Paulson
5-10 | P | Payson HS | Payson, Ariz.

Arissa Paulson, a right-handed pitcher, led Payson High School in Arizona to the Division III State Championship game in 2014.  That season, she struck out 375 batters in 170 innings pitched, allowing just 64 hits and 19 walks enroute to 18 shutouts with six no-hitters. Her success earned her numerous honors, including Arizona Gatorade Softball Player of the Year for 2014-15. She was also named Division III Section V Player of the Year along with earning First Team. She was AZcentral Sports’ 2015 Softball Small Schools Player of the Year.

In high school, Paulson maintained a 3.94 GPA while not only playing softball but also basketball and soccer. After spending her first three years at Payson High School, she currently attends Brightmont Academy. For her club softball team, she plays for Firecrackers 18 Gold Blanco out of Southern California. In her spare time, she volunteered locally with Big Brothers Big Sisters and as a youth soccer and softball coach. She also spent time at an elementary school literacy-outreach program. She is the younger sister of current BYU softball player Arianna Paulson.

Eakin on Paulson: “She has the skill set to be a dominant pitcher at the upper levels of Division I softball. We are extremely excited to add her to our pitching staff. She is also an excellent student and will represent us well on and off the field. We look for big things from Arissa.”

Assistant coach Pete Meredith on Paulson: "Arissa is a hard-throwing pitcher. She throws on many planes with good movement and off-speed. This is a kid that has a huge up side. We are very excited to have her join our pitching staff."

Laina Su'e Su'e

5-7 | C/OF/1B | East HS | Salt Lake City

A well-rounded player from Salt Lake City, Laina Su'e Su'e has played varsity softball each year of high school. She has recorded a .584 batting average, a .625 on-base percentage, 164 hits, 110 RBI, 135 runs and a .946 fielding percentage in 82 games played Additionally, she has 12 stolen bases, 18 home runs, 14 triples and 32 doubles. In 2014, she helped East High School win its first-ever region title. She was a Max Prep All-American and was named All-State Second Team and First Team her sophomore and junior years, respectively. She has also received all-region honors in all three seasons.

She plays for the California Cruisers 18 Gold for club ball. Su’e Su’e is also a varsity basketball player, earning a starting position in all four seasons.

Eakin on Su'e Su'e: “Laina is a versatile hitter and defender that throws and hits left handed. She is a high quality athlete with good speed and can hit for power. She will be a nice addition to our lineup with her ability to play multiple positions and produce big numbers offensively.”

Brooke Vander Heide

5-7 | OF | Alta HS | Sandy, Utah

Brooke Vander Heide, the multi-faceted lefty out of Alta High School, has received recognition for her softball skills over the years. As a member of the varsity softball team for all of her years of high school, she was named Oustanding Offensive Player each season. In her freshman campaign, she was Rookie of the Year, Region MVP and Honorable Mention All-State after accumulating impressive stats. She had a .448 batting average, 47 hits, 21 RBI, 39 runs, 29 stolen bases and five doubles. As a sophomore, she was First Team All-Region and Second Team All-State with a .500 batting average, 52 hits, 40 runs, 33 stolen bases, two home runs and three triples. Her junior year was another successful season as she tallied 40 runs, 22 RBI, 58 hits, 31 stolen bases, seven home runs, four triples and nine doubles. She was named First Team All-Region, First Team All-State and to the All-Tribune team.

Vander Heide played club ball for Salt Lake Legacy and currently for Salt Lake Pegasus. In 2014, her team took first place in the 16U Silver Division of the Triple Crown Colorado Sparkler tournament. She batted 23-for-31 and had five doubles, four triples and one home run.

Not only was she a successful softball player, but she was also competed in volleyball, playing on the varsity team in high school. In 2015 the team placed fourth in state, while she was named First Team All-Region and the Most Outstanding Player. She currently maintains a 4.0 GPA and has been on the honor roll all three years and for the first quarter of the 2015-16 school year.

Eakin on Vander Heide: “Brooke is a left-speed player with great speed and excellent softball instincts. Brooke is a very determined player that won’t allow herself to be beat. We love her mental toughness and determination. She is the type of player we look forward to coaching.”

Kerisa Viramontes

5-5 | P | Norco HS | Norco, Calif.

Hailing form Norco, California, Kerisa Viramontes is a pitcher with a strong resume. In 2014, she went 26-8 with a 1.45 ERA and 200 strikeouts in 192 innings. She posted wins over Mission Viejo and Garden Grove Pacifica, which were both teams ranked No. 1 in the state during the season. She was the first freshman to start the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation)-Southern Section Division I Title game since 2006 and was named All-Inland First Team in the same season.

For club ball, Viramontes plays for the So Cal Raiders 18 Gold. 

Eakin on Viramontes: “As a coach, watching Kerisa through the recruiting process, I was extremely impressed with her ball movement. She has the ability to throw hard with great movement, which I believe will keep upper-level hitters off-balance. She will be a great asset to our pitching staff.”

Meredith on Viramontes:  “She is a kid that has a lively ball and sneaky speed. I like her presence on the mound and take-charge kind of attitude. She is a nice addition to our pitching staff.” 

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