NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball program completed the 2023 early signing period by officially signing six student-athletes on Wednesday. The six-player class is set to arrive on the Notre Dame campus beginning in the fall 2019 semester.
Macie Eck, a left-handed outfielder from Andale, Kansas (Andale High School), Leea Hanks, a left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing outfielder from Tavares, Florida (Eustis High School), Miranda Johnson, a left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing infielder from Rancho Santa Margarita, California (Santa Margarita Catholic High School), Brooke Marquez, a right-handed infielder from Santa Clarita, California (Hart High School), Alex McManus, a right-handed pitcher from Centerton, Arkansas (Bentonville West High School) and Joley Mitchell, a switch-hitting, right-handed throwing infielder from Beebe, Arkansas (Rose Bud High School), will officially join the Notre Dame roster prior to the 2020 softball season.
Macie Eck • OF • 5-8 • L/L • Andale • Andale, Kansas
PREP AND PERSONAL:
• Letterwinner at Andale High School.
• Over sophomore and junior high school seasons, combined to hit .550 with 12 home runs, 68 RBI and 80 runs scored.
• Named league MVP as a junior after achieving first-team all-state and all-league with a .547 average and 35 RBI.
• Earned first-team all-state honors as a sophomore with a .494 batting average, six home runs, 37 RBI, 36 runs scored and a .607 on-base percentage.
• Has also earned three letters playing basketball for Andale High School.
• Competed with both the Wichita Mustangs and the Demarini Aces on the club circuit. The Mustangs won the ASA Southern National Championship in 2015.
• Has participated in SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), and has served as a coach of various youth sports.
• Daughter of Keith and Tierra Eck and has two brothers, Kelby and Trent, and a sister, Kyla.
• Father, Keith, played football and competed in track and field at Fort Hays State University.
• Will be the sixth Kansas native to suit up for the Irish, joining Jenna Knudson (1993-96; Wichita), Tara Kelly (1997-98; Overland Park), Jarrah Myers (1999-2002; Carbondale), Megan Sorlie (2013-16; Wichita) and current senior Maddie McCracken (Olathe).
Coach Gumpf on Macie Eck: “Macie possesses raw physical talent. She has natural power and speed with a massive arm. Macie is a steady presence in the outfield and has the potential to do serious damage offensively. In the tradition of other outfielders throughout our history, she brings the complete package to the field.”
Leea Hanks • OF • 5-7 • L/R • Eustis • Tavares, Florida
PREP AND PERSONAL:
• Letterwinner at Eustis High School.
• Ranked 26th in the FloSoftball Hot 100 Rankings for the Class of 2019.
• Ranked 17th in the Extra Inning Softball Extra Elite 100.
• Earned Extra Inning Softball All-America Second Team, all-state first team and all-area first-team honors for district champion Eustis High School as a junior after batting .565 with 52 hits, 32 RBI, 32 stolen bases in 35 attempts, a .620 on-base percentage and 43 runs for Eustis.
• Helped lead Eustis to its first FHSAA State Final Four as a sophomore as an all-state and all-area first-team choice, batting .500 with 50 hits (14 for extra-bases), 21 RBI, 35 steals in 36 attempts, a .528 on-base percentage and 48 runs scored.
• Has starred with New Jersey Intensity – KOD and the East Cobb Bullets – Schnute on the club circuit.
• The East Cobb Bullets – Schnute won the Triple Crown Sports 18U National Championship in 2018 and the 2016 IDT 16U Championship.
• Member of the National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
• Daughter of William and Ontoinette Hanks and has a brother, Actavious, and a sister, Iva.
• Will be the seventh native of Florida to play for Notre Dame, joining Michelle Moschel 1999-2000; Naples), Stephanie Mola (2006-09; Naples), Shannon Kelly (2008-11; Pembroke Pines), Chloe Saganowich (2011-14; Treasure Island), Monica Torres (2011-14; Winter Springs) and Cassidy Whidden (2012-15; Parrish).
Coach Gumpf on Leea Hanks: “Leea defines being a game changer. She is humble, hungry, and smart. She is a leader and will set the standard for our offense. Leea can change the tempo of the game with the aggressiveness of her game, and her skill set as a triple threat makes her such a difficult player to defend against. Her athleticism and instinct will make a positive impact in our lineup.”
Miranda Johnson • IF • 5-5 • L/R • Santa Margarita Catholic • Rancho Santa Margarita, California
PREP AND PERSONAL:
• Multi-year letterwinner at Santa Margarita Catholic High School.
• Ranked 77th in the FloSoftball Hot 100 Rankings for the Class of 2019.
• Ranked 71st in the Extra Inning Softball Extra Elite 100.
• Batted .333 as a junior team captain with a .429 on-base percentage and eight stolen bases. Earned So Cal Sidelines Southern California Super 2019 and Super 100 recognition, and was an honorable mention selection in the Trinity League.
• Led team as a sophomore with a .517 average to go along with nine doubles, six triples and a .548 on-base percentage. Claimed league Offensive Player of the Year honors and was a Trinity League First-Team choice.
• Played in the outfield during freshman campaign, batting .422 with 14 RBI, 21 runs scored and a .469 on-base percentage. Was named Offensive Player of the Year and to the all-league first team.
• Has played with the So Cal Athletics – Richardson and Firecrackers – Luttlerloh on the club circuit.
• In 51 games for the So Cal A’s in 2018, batted .346 with 37 RBI and a .397 on-base percentage. Team finished third at the 2018 Boulder IDT, fifth at the ESPN Triple Crown Nationals and seventh at PGF Premier 18U Nationals. Team finished third in the final 2018 18U Final Club rankings.
• Firecrackers were the runner-up at the 2017 ESPN 16U Triple Crown Nationals.
• Has earned the Scholar-Athlete Award over first three years, along with being named to the Santa Margarita Catholic High School Honor Roll.
• Serves as a peer minister/leader and a member of the American Red Cross Club.
• Daughter of Darrell and Tina Johnson and has one sister, Gillian.
• Will be the 55th California resident to suit up for the Irish, and the first player from Rancho Santa Margarita.
Coach Gumpf on Miranda Johnson: “Miranda is an all-around ballplayer. Her energy and attitude is contagious. I am so excited for MJ to join the ranks of successful left-handed hitters at Notre Dame. She is a triple threat who finds a way to change the game. She has an accomplished background and will bring savviness to our program.”
Brooke Marquez • IF • 5-2 • R/R • Hart • Santa Clarita, California
PREP AND PERSONAL:
• Four-year letterwinner at Hart High School.
• Ranked 36th in the FloSoftball Hot 100 Rankings for the Class of 2019.
• Ranked 14th in the Extra Inning Softball Extra Elite 100.
• Named to the Extra Inning Softball All-America Second Team, All-CIF First Team and first-team all-league as a junior after batting .506 with 43 hits (17 extra-base hits), 15 RBI, a .543 on-base percentage, an .811 slugging percentage and 31 runs scored in 24 games.
• Named to the FloSoftball All-America Second Team and second-team all-league as a sophomore after batting .480 with 36 hits, 13 doubles, 19 RBI, a .512 on-base percentage and 24 runs scored in only 19 games after battling through injuries.
• Earned FloSoftball All-America Second Team accolades as a freshman after batting an even .500 with 40 hits (19 extra-base hits), 22 RBI, a .554 on-base percentage and 30 runs scored for Hart.
• Has competed with the Corona Angels – Tyson, Firecrackers – Rico and the Beverly Bandit – Kelly on the club circuit. Angels were the PGF 14U National Champions, Firecrackers won the 18U Colorado Sparkler and Canada Cup championships and the Bandits were victorious in the PGF 18U Shootout.
• Member of the California Scholarship Federation and the Key Club.
• Daughter of Greg and Naomi Marquez and has three brothers, Trenton, Jakob and Jaxon, and one sister, Bella.
• Attended the same high school as future Notre Dame teammate and 2018 NFCA All-Region selection Abby Sweet.
• Will be the 56th California resident to suit up for the Irish, and the first player from Santa Clarita.
Coach Gumpf on Brooke Marquez: “Brooke will be a tremendous asset to Notre Dame softball. She is equipped with a fundamental skill set that is second to none. Brooke commands the field with confidence and tenacity, and with that confidence she has proven her ability to lead. She plays with positive energy that makes those around her better, and that positive energy will be indispensable for our team.”
Alex McManus • RHP • 5-11 • R/R • Bentonville West • Centerton, Arkansas
PREP AND PERSONAL:
• Rated as high as 16th in the FloSoftball Hot 100 Rankings for the Class of 2019 before missing the past two high school seasons due to injury.
• Ranked 146th in the Extra Inning Softball Extra Elite 101-200.
• Earned all-state and Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette Newcomer of the Year recognition at Rogers High School as a freshman, posting a 6-2 record with an 0.95 ERA in 11 appearances. Walked just 13 batters and struck out 65 in 66 innings pitched, limiting opponents to a .146 batting average against.
• Batted .433 with seven home runs, 21 RBI, an .820 slugging percentage and 13 runs scored during freshman season at Rogers High.
• Has played with Arkansas Team Worth 12U, New Jersey Intensity National 14U, Beverly Bandits – Ramsey 14U, Beverly Bandits – Ketelhut 16U, Beverly Bandits – Alvelo 18U and New Jersey Intensity – KOD 18U on the club circuit.
• Arkansas Team Worth won the ASA 12 U National Championship, New Jersey Intensity National and Beverly Bandits – Ramsey both placed fifth at PGF 14 U Nationals, Beverly Bandits – Ketelhut won the PGF 16U National Championship and New Jersey Intensity – KOD placed fourth at PGF 18U Premier Nationals.
• Multi-time Honor Roll selection and member of the National Honor Society.
• Also a member of the Rogers Honors Academy, March for Our Lives and the AP Literature Book Club.
• Daughter of George and Melissa McManus and has one sister, Gabrielle.
• Alongside classmate Joley Mitchell, will be the first Arkansas natives to ever play for Notre Dame softball.
Coach Gumpf on Alex McManus: “Alex has the ability to dominate the mound with great spin and body awareness. With every challenge thrown her way, Alex has responded and shown the ultimate resiliency to play her game at a high level. She has lofty expectations for herself and this program, and will do everything possible to make sure that both achieve the goals that are ahead.”
Joley Mitchell • IF • 5-9 • B/R • Rose Bud • Beebe, Arkansas
PREP AND PERSONAL:
• Letterwinner at Rose Bud High School.
• Tied for the Arkansas high school state career record for home runs (45), and is the state runs scored (196) record holder following junior season.
• Ranked 11th in the FloSoftball Hot 100 Rankings for the Class of 2019, the highest final ranking achieved by a Notre Dame position player signee (Alexis Holloway was the No. 2 overall player in the nation as a pitcher in the Class of 2017).
• Ranked eighth in the Extra Inning Softball Extra Elite 100.
• Named to the 2018 NFCA High School All-America First Team, the Extra Innings Softball All-America First Team (multipurpose), the FloSoftball High School All-America Second Team and was the MaxPreps National Junior Player of the Year after a breakout season for 3A state runner-up Rose Bud.
• Batted .659 with an Arkansas state-record 24 home runs, 71 RBI a .766 on-base percentage, a 1.658 slugging percentage, 33 stolen bases and a state-record 82 runs scored in just 33 games.
• Earned all-state and all-conference recognition for 3A state champion Rose Bud as a sophomore, batting .578 with 13 home runs, 33 RBI, a .667 on-base percentage, a 1.186 slugging percentage, 14 stolen bases and 65 runs in 35 games.
• Claimed all-state and all-conference accolades on 3A state runner-up squad as a freshman, batting .538 with eight home runs, 18 doubles, 38 RBI, a .608 on-base percentage, a .971 slugging percentage, 13 stolen bases and 49 runs in 35 games.
• Has also competed in track and field during high school career.
• Most recently played with the New Jersey Intensity – KOD on the club circuit, finishing fifth at PGF 18U Nationals in 2018.
• Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (president) and serves as senior class vice president.
• Daughter of Skip and Alexis Mitchell and has two sisters, Ashly and Erin.
• Alongside classmate Alex McManus, will be the first Arkansas natives to ever play for Notre Dame softball.
Coach Gumpf on Joley Mitchell: “Joley is the complete player. She is gritty with a dominant bat, and can make a difference with just one swing. She strives for greatness and brings everyone around her up. While known for her power game, Joley also brings a level of speed and finesse to the game that makes her a triple threat and an incredibly versatile player. She can make an impact in so many different ways.”