Softball Signs Three To National Letters Of Intent

Head coach Michelle Venturella adds three for 2014-15.
Head coach Michelle Venturella adds three for 2014-15.

Nov. 18, 2013

CHICAGO – UIC head softball coach Michelle Venturella announced on Monday that Taylor Cairns (Torrance, Calif./North), Karissa Frazier (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) and Tiana Miller (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) will join the Flames in the fall of 2014 after signing National Letters of Intent.

“We could not be more excited about these three wonderful people joining the UIC family,” Venturella said.  “We have truly enjoyed getting to know the three of them throughout this recruiting process.  They are strong students with tremendous character and they all play for top programs in California that consistently play a competitive schedule year in and year out.”

A native of Torrance, Calif., Cairns is in her senior season with North High School’s softball team as a second baseman and outfielder.  As a freshman, sophomore and junior, Cairns won the Pioneer League Championship and played in the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation), and was named Rookie of the Year in her first season.  The switch-hitter recorded a .333 batting average as a junior in 51 at bats with 17 hits, nine runs and two RBI, while North has tallied a 75-23-1 record during Cairns’ career.

“Taylor (Cairns) is such a wonderful individual that is driven to be great in everything she does,” said Venturella.  “She will give our team the versatility we need with playing centerfield, as well as second base.”

A pitcher out of Temecula, Calif., Frazier picked up Athlete of Character and All-Academic Team honors as a freshman, sophomore and junior.  Frazier won the Palomar League Championship as a freshman, won every game pitched during the season and was named MVP, while she recorded an 18-strikeout game and one no-hitter as a sophomore.  As a junior, Frazier produced 110 strikeouts in 23 appearances, while posting a 1.68 ERA through 117 innings pitched to earn a spot on the All-League Second Team.

“We are so delighted to have Karissa (Frazier) join our program,” added Venturella.  “She is an unbelievable person and it has been so much fun watching her develop as a pitcher and as a person over the past year.  She is exactly the kind of leader we want to put on the mound.  She will be a great addition to our pitching staff and to our team.”

Miller, who hails from San Diego, Calif., has led Rancho Bernardo to first-, second- and third-place finishes in Division I and II CIF heading into her fourth season while playing infield and outfield positions.  Miller collected All-League Second Team honors as a freshman, All-League First Team, Coaches All-County First Team and the CIF Sportsmanship Award as a sophomore and All-League honorable mention as a junior.  In addition to garnering a 65-32-2 career record, Miller paced the Broncos with 36 runs and 19 walks, while recording 40 hits in 100 at bats for a .400 batting average as a junior.  Miller also recorded a .378 average as a freshman and a team-best .389 as a sophomore.

"We were so excited when Tiana (Miller) said yes,” Venturella said.  “She is a powerful athlete that can play third base, as well as the outfield, and is a strong hitter.”