Cyclones welcome six new softball recruits

Darrin Cline

Iowa State will welcome six freshmen to campus in 2011 who will boost the upcoming Cyclone softball program. 

On a roster that currently features 11 freshmen, the Cyclones continue to add to a strong core of young players. Among the 2011-2012 recruiting class are two homegrown talents. 

Hailing from Council Bluffs, catcher Kayla Hardiman is expected to be a threat offensively and defensively. The Lewis Central High School standout has already proven her skills as an elite talent as a member of the Team Nebraska select squad.

ISU softball coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler also inked in-state ace Samantha Claman. Claman has battled some of the premier offenses in Iowa while at 4A Des Moines-Abraham Lincoln High School and has come out on top, earning All-Conference and All-District honors.

The rotation will feature more additions in the form of Miranda Kemp and Lauren Thimmesch. Kemp, a highly touted prep from Haymarket, Va., has dominated from the mound and guided her squad to state titles in 2008 and 2009.

Thimmesch is expected to pull double duty as a pitcher and first baseman for Iowa State. Coming to Ames from of Overland Park, Kan., Thimmesch is a defensive standout that has garnered an All-State selection in Kansas.

The Cyclones further added to their infield depth with Jordan Smith and Lexi Slater. Smith, whose capabilities will be on display at first base as well as in the outfield, brings an array of skills defensively and adds a dynamic dose of speed to the roster.

Slater also provides a jolt of energy and quickness on the diamond. The Ramona, Calif., recruit is a proven commodity at either shortstop or third base who has secured All-Conference Selections.

2010 ISU softball signees

Kayla Hardiman

Position: Catcher

Hometown: Council Bluffs, Iowa

A dual threat player from Lewis Central High School.  Hardiman was a member of the Team Nebraska select team and looks to be the third catcher on the ISU roster.

Samantha Claman

Position: Pitcher

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines native and battled tested on the mound, Claman’s biggest strength is her command. Her team MVP as a high school freshman, Claman also has All-District and All-Conference accolades under her belt.

Miranda Kemp

Position: Pitcher

Hometown: Haymarket, Va.

Highly revered by Cyclone coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler, Kemp looks to step in as one of the top young pitchers in the rotation.  Her command and velocity propelled Battlefield High School to two consecutive ASA Virginia State Championships in 2008 and 2009.

Lauren Thimmesch

Position: Pitcher/ First Base

Hometown: Overland Park, Kan.

A state champion and St. Thomas Aquinas High School defensive player of the year in 2008, Thimmesch brings a variety of infield skills to Iowa State. Her abilities as a pitcher or first baseman allow for versatility among the Cyclones and challenges for opposing hitters.

Jordan Smith

Position: First Base/ Outfield

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Heading north to Ames from Harker Heights High School in Texas, Smith has had exposure to top notch softball talent.  Her speed has Cyclone coaches salivating and game-planning on how to incorporate her defensive prowess.  Smith can cover the outfield as well as move in to make plays as a first baseman.


Lexi Slater

Position: Third Base/ Shortstop

Hometown: Ramona, Calif.

Slater is the next in line of west coast talents to make their way to Ames. Iowa State currently features seven players from the state of California. Her all around athletic ability allows for ease of transition between positions and made her a two-time member of the All North Country Softball Team in 2009 and 2010.