NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Belmont University Softball welcomes four to the lineup who could make an immediate impact during the 2019 campaign. The Bruins welcome newcomers Molly Dietz (Lindenhurst, Ill.), Audrey Lyle (Westlake, Ohio), Taylor Marciniak (Chesapeake, Va.) and Jessica Parente (Verona, Wisc.).
"This freshman class is a talented group. They give us some versatility defensively and are important parts of the puzzle we are trying to put together in regards to developing a complete team. I think as they adjust to the pitching at the college level they will produce some respectable numbers offensively as well. They have shown that they are hard workers throughout the fall," said Head Coach Brian Levin.
Dietz will add depth to the infield and first base position after a successful four-year turn at Lakes Community High in Lindenhurst, Ill. Over her career at LCHS, the left-hander garnered numerous accolades including being named All Conference and All Area twice each and earning a Third Team All-State First Base nod as a senior. Dietz even shattered the LCHS record for home runs, piling on 10 in her freshman season.
Four year letterwinner in two sports, Lyle was the 2017 Wendy's High School Heisman Award Winner for Westlake High in Westlake, Ohio. The catcher left WHS as the owner of a pair of school records – most RBIs in a single game and most career runners thrown out stealing. Lyle, a two-time Team Offensive MVP earned numerous awards including being named First Team All-Conference twice, All-Ohio Underclass Tournament Selection (2015), and been tabbed Second Team All-Northeast Ohio twice.
Chesapeake, Va., native Marciniak will also add depth to the Bruin infield. During her time at Hickory High, she garnered First Team All-Conference honors as well as First Team All-Region and All-State Third Base nods.
Parente brings another layer of versatility to the Belmont lineup after her career at Middleton High in Verona, Wisc. The four year starter and letterwinner was a four-time All-Conference honoree. Parente picked up numerous awards during per career including All-Conference First Base, Second Team Catcher, First Team First Base and an All-Big Eight Conference recognition.
"I am expecting them to make an impact on the program as they continue to compete for spots with their teammates going into the start of the season," Levin said. "More importantly, they are young women of great character, which is what we are looking for to help establish and sustain a positive culture."
Belmont opens the 2019 season on the road at the Madeira Beach Tournament in Tampa, Fla., February 15-17.