Hardin signs with SDSU; Jackrabbit softball signs nine, baseball six, women’s golf three, men’s golf one

BROOKINGS – Bobcat senior Emma Hardin was among nine additions to the Jackrabbit softball program as part of last week’s National Signing Day activities. One signee will enroll early and join SDSU for the upcoming 2018 spring season, while the other eight newcomers will come to campus fall 2018.

“This is an exceptionally talented recruiting class that will help us in all aspects of the game,” Jackrabbit coach Krista Wood said. “Within this class we have pitching, catching, infield, outfield, power and speed, and all of these student-athletes have shown dedication and passion for the game. These girls have proven success on the field and have competed very high levels. I am proud of the character and leadership this group has shown in all aspects of their lives. They match the culture and vision of our program and will fit right in to the South Dakota State community.”

Hardin is a 5-foot-6 outfielder and pitcher who throws and bats left-handed.

She played club softball with the South Dakota Renegades, where she was a four-time state champion, earning the trophy twice with her 18U (2014, 2017) and 16U (2015-16) teams. She helped lead the team to a runner-up finish at 2016 PGF Nationals and a ninth-place finish in 2017.

Hardin was an All-Eastern South Dakota Conference honoree for Brookings in 2017. She hit .348 with two home runs and struck out 41 batters in the circle.

She is the daughter of Joe and Dawn Hardin, both of whom attended SDSU. Her father was on the Jackrabbit baseball team. Hardin’s grandparents, Susan Hardin-Palmer and Ivan Palmer, are SDSU graduates and members of the Jackrabbit faculty.

Hardin plans to major in elementary education.

“Emma is a hometown signee with ties to SDSU Athletics and brings experience in the outfield and on the mound,” said Wood. “She has proven to have a strong bat and will bring depth to our offensive lineup. She’s one of the top players in the state and has experience competing on the national level with her summer team. We’re excited to have her wearing Yellow and Blue.”

Other signees are:

 Caelyn Christiancy 5-4 Outfield L/R Lincoln, Nebraska Lincoln Southwest High School

 Peyton Daugherty 5-8 Infield/Outfield L/R Ankeny, Iowa Ankeny High School

 Morgan DeMarais 5-7 Pitcher R/R Buffalo, Minnesota Buffalo High School

 Olivia Douglas 5-11 Pitcher R/R Hastings, Nebraska Hastings High School [will early enroll]

 Jadelyn (Jade) Johnson 5-10 Pitcher R/R Battle Ground, Indiana William Henry Harrison High School

 Kelsey Lenox 5-3 Catcher R/R Chesterfield, Missouri Marquette High School

 Olivia Pfeifer 5-1 Infield L/R Hannibal, Missouri Hannibal High School

 Allison Yoder 5-6 Catcher/Infield R/R Urbandale, Iowa Urbandale High School


Jackrabbit baseball coach Rob Bishop announced that five high school standouts and a top junior college player have signed National Letters of Intent and plan to enroll at South Dakota State University in the fall of 2018.

The signees include:

• Drew Beazley, pitcher/infielder, Johnston, Iowa

 Alex Bertram, pitcher, Sioux Falls

 Braden Brown, infielder, Burlington, Iowa

 Luke Ira, infielder, Iowa City, Iowa

 Nic McCay, pitcher, Carlisle, Iowa

 Colby Seuntjens, pitcher, Danbury, Iowa

“Our coaching staff worked very hard to bring in guys that are a fit at SDSU and with Jackrabbit baseball,” Bishop said. “This entire class brings athleticism, a high level of character and academic excellence. All six of these young guys will have a large impact on our program the moment they get to campus”

Drew Beazley

Beazley has excelled both on the mound and as a position player at Johnston High School. As a pitcher, he posted a 5-2 record during his sophomore season, then served as the team’s closer during a junior campaign in which he did not allow an earned run en route to a 1-0 record with six saves. When not pitching, Beazley started at shortstop and batted .333 with eight doubles and four home runs in 2017. He is undecided about his academic major.

Coach Bishop on Beazley: “Drew is a really solid all-around baseball player. He can play shortstop and pitch at a really high level so we believe he may be a guy capable of being a two-way player for us. His tangible skills are strong, but we believe his biggest strengths are his competitiveness and love for the game. Drew can have a great career as a Jackrabbit.”

Alex Bertram

Bertram is a two-time first-team all-state selection at Washington High School in Sioux Falls who posted a 1.10 earned run average and struck out 54 batters during his junior season. A three-time all-region honoree, Bertram posted a sub-one ERA during both his freshman and sophomore seasons, including pitching a no-hitter in 2015. An Honor Roll student, he plans to pursue a degree in business economics.

Coach Bishop on Bertram: “Alex caught our eye at camp last fall. He has been one of the best all around pitchers in the state for the last three years. His ability to compete with three pitches will give him a chance to pitch early in his career. Alex is a very good all-around athlete, which in our eyes, means his best baseball is in front of him. We are excited to have one of South Dakota’s best become a Jackrabbit.”

Braeden Brown

Brown earned first-team all-region honors in his first season at Southeastern Community College. In 58 games during his freshman season in 2017, he batted .335 with a conference-best 14 home runs and 51 RBIs. He also scored 61 runs and stole 12 bases.

Coach Bishop on Brown: “Braeden is a polished hitter who has surprising power for a player of his physical size. We really like the combination of speed and power that he will bring to our offense. He is a great worker who comes from a strong community college program. Braeden will make an impact on our team immediately.”

Luke Ira

Ira has been a three-time all-district selection as a shortstop at Solon High School. He was a first-team all-state honoree during his junior season in 2017 after batting .511 with 14 doubles, 6 home runs and 39 runs batted in. A member of the National Honor Society, he plans to major in engineering.

Coach Bishop on Ira: “Luke has had a terrific high school career and we believe he has the ability to be a top-tier college middle infielder. His bat is very polished for a high school guy and will allow him to be competitive from his first day on campus. We are really excited for the next four years with Luke in the program.”

Nic McCay

McCay has earned all-conference honors each of the last two seasons and was a first-team all-state selection in 2017 for Carlisle High School. The right-hander posted a 5-2 record with a 1.85 ERA during his junior season, during which he struck out 75 batters in 45 1/3 innings pitched. He also averaged more than a strikeout per inning as a sophomore, when he registered a 7-1 record and earned all-district recognition for the first time. McCay also batted .323 with six doubles, two home runs and 22 RBIs last season.

Coach Bishop on McCay: “Nic is one of the most polished pitchers in the 2018 class in the entire region. We couldn’t be more excited to add him to our staff. Nic is a guy who loves the game and it shows when he is out there competing.”

Colby Seuntjens

Seunjtens, a left-hander, has been a member of the varsity at Maple Valley-Anthon Oto Community School since the eighth grade, earning first-team all-district honors each of the past three seasons. He has compiled a 21-11 record with a sub-one career earned run average entering his senior season. Suentjens, who has struck out 100-plus batters in each of the past three seasons, was a third-team all-state selection as a sophomore and a first-team honoree by the Iowa Newspaper Association as a junior. A member of the National Honor Society, he plans to major in agricultural business.

Coach Bishop on Seuntjens: “Colby is a guy who brings all kinds of physical tools to our program. We believe that he has a chance to be a really special pitcher in our program for a long time. Colby is a perfect fit for our program in every aspect.”

Women’s Golf

South Dakota State Director of Golf Casey VanDamme announced that three members of the high school Class of 2018 have signed National Letters of Intent to enroll at South Dakota State and play for the Jackrabbits.

Signees are:

 Sydney Wirebaugh, 5-6, Aberdeen (Aberdeen Central High School)

 Lani Potter, 5-4, Boulder City, Nev. (Boulder City High School) and

 Maria Seeman, 5-7, Milton, Wis. (Milton High School)

“We are ecstatic about the 2018 class. Their accomplishments, combined with their work ethic, attitude, belief, and talent, makes the future very bright for our golf program,” VanDamme said. “All three young ladies come from great families and will undoubtedly make their mark on SDSU and the Brookings community.”

Wirebaugh is a three-time all-state and all-tournament selection and four-time Eastern South Dakota Conference pick for the Golden Eagles. At the 2017 Class AA Girls State Tournament, she finished third, shooting a 150 (76-74), and helped Central to its best finish in school history, earning the runners-up spot. In 2016, Wirebaugh finished fifth and the team third.

“Sydney is a great young lady who is just starting to see her potential as a golfer,” VanDamme said. “She has a lot of club head speed and a great desire to become an elite player. We are excited to see her development.”

Wirebaugh was the 2017 ESD medalist, helping her team to the program’s first conference title. At Central, she was a two-time team most valuable player, most improved in 2014 and rookie of the year in 2013. The four-year letterwinner was also awarded the Spirit of the Eagle twice.

Wirebaugh played in 65 tournaments and 76 rounds the last three years. She won 27 individual titles and had 42 top-five and 52 top-10 finishes. She also helped the Golden Eagles set the school record for lowest average.

Wirebaugh finished sixth in the South Dakota Golf Association Two-Woman Open Division this past season and placed third twice in the SDGA Junior Championship. She won five SDGA tournaments in 2017.

Men’s Golf

VanDamme announced that Jonah Dohrer from Aberdeen Central’s Class of 2018 has signed a National Letter of Intent to enroll at South Dakota State and play for the Jackrabbits.

“Jonah is a great young man who has physical skills to be an elite golfer,” VanDamme said. “His golf has made a big jump this past year and I look forward to seeing his continued improvement as well as seeing what he can bring to our program.”

Dohrer won the Eastern South Dakota Conference tournament in 2016 and was runner-up in 2017. He helped Aberdeen Central to the 2017 title and a second-place finish in 2016.

The five-time all-conference selection and 2017 all-state tournament team pick was a two-time team most valuable player and rookie of the year in 2013. Dohrer recorded a 72.15 stroke average with three tournament titles and nine top-five and top-10 finishes.

Dohrer placed third in the 30th annual South Dakota Golf Association Two-Man Championship and 18th at the 39th annual Junior Championship. He also won a pair of SDGA tournaments in 2017.

Dohrer’s father, Chris, was a member of the Jackrabbits men’s golf team from 1995 to 1998.

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