Nov. 28, 2005
The University of Notre Dame softball team has announced that Ashley Ellis (Pikeville, Tenn.) and Heather Johnson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) have signed national letter of intent to enroll at Notre Dame and play softball for head coach Deanna Gumpf in 2006-07.
Ellis will be looked on to provide pop to Notre Dame’s outfield, as she hit .501 in her most recent season at Bledsoe County High School with nine home runs, eight triples and four doubles. She earned a trunk-full of awards for her 2005 season, including Best Offensive Player, team MVP and first-team all-state accolades.
Ellis plays for the Chattanooga Eagles during the ASA season and helped her team win the Music City Hits Tournament and the ASA regional qualifier in Cumming, Ga., in 2005.
“Ashley is a gritty player and I wanted to recruit her the first time I saw her play,” Gumpf says.
“She will provide power to our lineup with a big bat in the outfield.”
Johnson, a power-hitting `corner’ player (first base, third base) posted a .383 batting average during her junior season with a .568 slugging percentage. Playing third base, shortstop and first base for Mater Dei High School, Johnson was named the Serra League Rookie of the Year during her freshman season, is a two-time first-team all-league selection and three-time defensive player of the year.
Also a member of the 18 Gold California Cruisers ASA team, Johnson helped the team to second place at the ASA nationals in 2004 and the team also earned the ’04 Champions Cup and ’04 Colorado Independence Day tournament titles.
“Heather comes from a Notre Dame family and we have been watching her career develop over the past few years,” Gumpf says.
“She is a great player who will bring power to the lineup and great hands on the corners.”
Notre Dame Freshman Class of 2007:
Ashley Marie Ellis
Bledsoe County High School
Ellis on signing at Notre Dame: “Playing Division I softball has always been a lifelong dream of mine. From the moment I stepped onto campus, I knew that Notre Dame was the right place for me. I am excited to know that by playing for Notre Dame, I will be pushed to limits that I have never even thought of.”
Heather Christine Johnson
Los Alamitos, Calif.
Mater Dei High School
Third Base/First Base
Johnson on signing at Notre Dame: “There are no words to express the excitement that I feel when I think of the fact that I am going to Notre Dame. Notre Dame always has been a significant part of my family since I was born so I’d like to think that I was destined for this great school. I can’t wait until the day I get to walk up to the plate with my Notre Dame jersey on my back and my family in the stands.”