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    Incoming Illini Garner Female Athlete of the Year Honors
    The Illini expect Jade Vecvanags to pitch, hit and play the field for the Illini next spring.

    The Illini expect Jade Vecvanags to pitch, hit and play the field for the Illini next spring.

    May 21, 2013

    Champaign, Ill. – Incoming Illini freshmen Ruby Rivera and Jade Vecvanags were each named Female Athlete of the Year at their respective high school’s end of the year awards ceremonies. Both student-athletes will bring a wealth of talent and experience to the Fighting Illini softball program when they arrive in the fall.

    Shortstop Ruby Rivera (Garden Grove, Calif.) plays both basketball and softball for Pacifica High School, where she helped the Mariners advance to at least the second round of the CIF Southern Section Softball Championships all four years. Pacifica is currently 25-5 on the year, ranking fourth nationally and finishing first in the league with an 11-1 campaign.  Rivera is batting .382 on the season, tallying 22 runs and 16 RBI in 89 at-bats. During the winter, Rivera led her basketball team with 316 points, averaging 12.2 per game. The two-sport athlete shined in both seasons, leading to a well-deserved Female Athlete of the Year award.

    Jade Vecvanags (Orange, Calif.) is enjoying a standout senior campaign for Orange Lutheran High School where she plays both pitcher and outfield. At the plate, Vecvanags is batting .446 with 26 runs and 21 RBI, tabbing a team-best .784 slugging percentage. In the circle, she has gone 18-4 with a 1.24 ERA including tossing four shutouts. Additionally, she has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Like the Mariners, the Orange Lutheran Lancers have advanced to the second round of the 2013 CIF Southern Section Softball Championships, taking on King later today. An outstanding all-around player, Vecvanags garnered Orange Lutheran’s Female Player of the Year honors.

    For more information on the Illini’s complete signing class, click here.

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