Armstrong, Coonce, Hoogeveen sign with Illinois
Nov. 10, 2004
Urbana, Ill. - Lana Armstrong, a 5-7 catcher/infielder from Rowlett, Texas, Kacey Coonce, a 5-8 pitcher, infielder from Goreville, Ill., and Courtney Hoogeveen, a 5-6 middle infielder from Lincoln, Neb., have signed national letters of intent to play softball for the University of Illinois. The Illini have just completed their most successful season in the program's young history with a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16 and a second place finish in the Big Ten.
Head Coach Terri Sullivan on the Class: "This is a very exciting time for Illinois softball! Our 2005 recruiting class is a special one. Kacey Coonce, Lana Armstrong, and Courtney Hoogeveen are extremely talented players. Besides skill, what they have in common is a trait that I love about athletes - they are competitors who want to win all the time.
"All three have had excellent coaching throughout their high school and travel ball careers, and we expect them to be ready to make an impact from day one at Illinois. Kacey, Lana and Courtney come from terrific families - softball junky families. All three of these student-athletes have been coached or instructed by their mothers and fathers. Beyond the playing field, our three signees are very serious about their academic pursuits and will work to be a success in all they do."
Lana Armstrong 5-7 Catcher/Third Base Rowlett, Texas (Garland High School)
Coach Sullivan on Armstrong: "Lana is a catcher who has the ability to set the tone for a game with her presence behind the plate. She has very quick feet and hands, both extremely important traits for her position. The ball explodes off of her bat, and she sees the ball very well. Lana is a workhouse and knows how to push those around her to get better."
Kacey Coonce 5-8 Infielder/Pitcher Goreville, Ill. (Goreville High School)
Coach Sullivan on Coonce: "Kacey is just a special player who actually makes the game look easy sometimes. She is a prolific hitter who opponents fear. Kacey knows the game like not many 18-year olds do, and therefore, is a terrific pitcher as well as an outstanding infielder. I really believe Kacey could play any position on the field if asked, and she is going to make everyone around her better with her intensity."
Courtney Hoogeveen 5-6 Middle Infield Lincoln, Neb. (Southeast High School) Hoogeveen was recently named to the Super State First Team after earning Second Team All-Nebraska honors as both a sophomore and a junior. Hoogeveen played for the Echoes Renegades Fast Pitch team, who placed 13th at that ASA U18 Nationals this year and fifth in the nation in 2003. Hooegeveen is a two-time All-City and a two-time Class A All-State infielder. The slap-hitting specialist has a proven ability to get on base, batting .432 as a sophomore, .439 as a junior, and .404 during the summer. In the 2004 season that just ended, Hoogeven batted .420 with 35 runs scored and 24 stolen bases.
Coach Sullivan on Hoogeveen: "Courtney is an exciting player to watch! She is a make-it-happen player offensively, and runs the bases with great instinct and ability. She is very versatile defensively, and because of her game smarts, can play both the infield and outfield. She has a winning attitude in all that she does, and that is contagious to those around her."