Iowa State softball team land top prospects for upcoming season

Ivan Vega

Iowa State softball head coach Jamie Pinkerton is using a famous Iowan saying to create a new atmosphere in Ames, Iowa.

“If they build it they will come.”

Pinkerton comes back to Iowa State as the new softball coach, with a potent recruiting class.

Announced on Tuesday, Pinkerton brings in the No. 34 ranked recruiting class in the country per FloSoftball.

Jayden McKeague, Shannon Mortimer, Kaitlyn Moses, Mikayla Ramos and Kasey Simpson are the new Cyclones to be added to the softball roster starting in the 2018-19 season.

Simpson, the No. 33 ranked recruit in the class, and Mortimer, the No. 139 recruit, highlight the recruiting class as two of the nation’s top-150 prospects, according to FloSoftball.

McKeague, a catcher out of Huntington Beach, California, comes to Iowa State from Edison High School.

She previously played for Firecrackers softball club in Southern California.

McKeague comes in with a lot of potential to add quality skill to the catcher position, a skill set Pinkerton is excited to add to the team.

“We are excited to sign Jayden [McKeague],” Pinkerton said via a press release. “She is from Southern Californian, but has Iowa State ties and we feel that she will help this team address the lack of depth behind the plate. McKeague is a very good receiver that is highly eager, which helps our pitching staff. Offensively, she is a line drive hitter that can help our lineup produce runs.”

Mortimer, a pitcher from Winchester, Massachusetts, was a highly-touted prospect who excelled for Northbridge High School and Beverly Bandits club team.

She is a two-time Central Massachusetts First Team All-Star and a finalist for the Gatorade Player of the Year.

This right handed pitcher comes into Ames after going 13-2 with a 1.17 ERA and 174 strikeouts as a junior.

“With the late hire of our staff, and with Brianna Weilbacher graduating this spring, we were excited to be able to land a pitcher of Mortimer’s quality late in the recruiting process,” Pinkerton said in the press release. “She is a power pitcher that also has the ability to mix speeds, and that is essential to be successful at this level.”

Local Iowa native Kaitlyn Moses comes into the program with a versatile ability to play multiple positions, bringing a new dynamic of play for the upcoming season. Moses is out of Dowling Catholic High School and was named Second Team All-State in Class 5A as a junior in 2017. This came after she accumulated a .381 batting average and 46 RBIs, a team-high.

“In Kaitlyn Moses, we have signed a very versatile athlete,” Pinkerton said in the press release. “She can play several positions that will help our team depth. She is a catcher and corner infielder that has the tools to be a very good player. She knows what it takes to compete at this level as she plays for the nationally competitive Iowa Premier. We are excited to welcome her to Iowa State.”

Mikayla Ramos, a native of of Riverside, California, comes to Iowa State with a potential of becoming a power hitter. Out of Martin Luther King High School, she excelled with a .355 batting average and 13 home runs during the 2016-17 season.

“[Ramos] will help this program by providing depth to the catching corps. She is a very good defensive catcher that handles pitchers very well. Offensively, she could help the middle of our lineup with her power” Pinkerton said via press release over the role and potential Ramos brings to the team.

The highest of this recruiting class is No. 33 player in the country, per FloSoftball, Kasey Simpson.

Her high ranking came after rising from No. 78 in the FloSoftball 2018 Hot 100 during her sophomore year, to the No. 33.

The Keller, Texas native is the highest recruit ever to sign a letter of intent to the Iowa State softball program.

Simpson helped her team win back-to-back 6A Texas State Championships and was named 2017 Texas Sport Writers 6A Player of the Year. She was also the 2017 Dallas Morning News Offensive Player of Year.

“She will be a very good addition to our middle infield and will bring power and athleticism to our lineup,” Pinkerton said via a press release. “We feel she will help our program immediately. She has been a part of a great summer organization, the Texas Glory that has prepared her for the next level.

“Furthermore, she has won championships on the high school level that will only help our culture here at Iowa State.”