Aberdeen, S.D. – Northern State University head coach Jenny Fuller announced today the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Alexandria Arndt (Blue Springs, Mo.), Reagan Elrod (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Ashley Fauske (Kaukauna, Wis.), Olivia Richardson (Omaha, Neb.), Elly Smith (Centennial, Colo.), and Claire Zbylut (Papillion, Neb.) will join the Wolves in the fall of 2020.
"I'm thrilled to announce our 2020 signing class," explained Fuller. "Each of these outstanding young women have high ceilings, and I am looking forward to help them grow and achieve their goals. They are all well-rounded student-athletes, and I can't wait to see what they all accomplish!"
Alexandria Arndt • Blue Springs, Mo. • Blue Springs High Alexandria Arndt is a 5-foot-9, catcher out of Blue Springs High. She is a starter for the Wildcats with a .340 batting average and .448 on base percentage. Blue Springs won the 2016 conference and district championships in her freshman campaign. Arndt is a 2018 Colorado Sparkler All-American and Academic All-American. She is the daughter of Joshua and Katherine Arndt.
Fuller on Arndt: "Alex is simply an athlete. She loves playing softball and loves to catch. As soon as Alex steps on campus she is going to lead from the behind the plate and contribute right away. She also has power in the box and loves to compete."
Reagan Elrod • Sioux Falls, S.D. • Lincoln HS Reagan Elrod is a 5-foot-11, pitcher out of Sioux Falls Lincoln High School. She is a 2-year starter for the Patriots under the direction of head coach Tim Hoover. Elrod is also a member of the Iowa Premier club program based out of Des Moines, Iowa. Last summer she posted a 1.65 ERA for the Premier who won the ASA Gold 16U National Qualifier. She is the daughter of Melissa Elrod-Miller and Jeremy Miller.
Fuller on Elrod: "Reagan is a RHP that we think will develop each year she is at Northern. She plays an extensive travel ball schedule, and faces top competition. Reagan has all the tangibles and a high ceiling once she gets on campus. She will be a great addition to our pitching staff."
Ashley Fauske • Kaukauna, Wis. • Kaukauna HS Ashley Fauske is a 5-foot-3, utility player out of Kaukauna High School. She is a 3-year starter and team captain for the Galloping Ghosts under the direction of head coach Timothy Roerigh. Fauske holds a .315 batting averaging and .424 slugging percentage with 29 hits, six doubles, two triples, 16 runs scored, and ten RBI. She is a 2-time all-conference selection and a 2017 WIAA State Champion. For the Wisconsin Panther Elite, Fauske posted a .402 batting average with 33 hits in 2019. She is the daughter of Sarah and Aaron Fauske.
Fuller on Fauske: "Ashley is a versatile athlete that can play infield or outfield. We like her bat a lot and can't wait to watch her develop in her time at Northern!"
Olivia Richardson • Omaha, Neb. • Millard West HS Olivia Richardson is a 5-foot-7, infielder out of Millar West High School. She was a 4-year starter for the Wildcats under the direction of head coach Don Brummer. As a senior, Richardson hit .435 with eight homeruns and six doubles. She was named to the all-state second team and the Super State second team. Richardson is a member of the Quakes Prime club program. She is the daughter of Dan and Lisa Richardson.
Fuller on Richardson: "Liv is a utility player that we expect to make an impact right away. Her accomplishments speak for themselves, and she has tremendous upside. Liv is solid defensively on the infield, but can also play the outfield. She can hit for power and has the chance to drive in a lot of runs for NSU."
Elly Smith • Centennial, Colo. • Grandview HS Elly Smith is a 5-foot-5, catcher and infielder out of Grandview High School. She is a 4-year starter and 3-year team captain for the Wolves under the direction of head coach Erik Higens. Smith hit a career high .449 as a senior with 35 hits and 25 RBI. She was named to the CL All-Conference team in 2018. She is the daughter of Jack and Angela Smith.
Fuller on Smith: "Elly is a great defensive player, but she is known for her offense. She can hit for power and we don't expect her to skip a beat when she gets on campus. Elly is very competitive and will help us create runs at the plate."
Claire Zbylut • Papillion, Neb. • Bellevue West HS Claire Zbylut is a 5-foot-4, middle infielder and outfielder out of Bellevue West High School. She was a 4-year starter for the Thunderbirds under the direction of head coach Laura Scott. Zbylut hit .395 in her senior season with a .475 on base percentage and .965 field percentage. She is a 2-time Omaha World Herald All-State selection, 2-time Lincoln Journal All-State pick, 2-time Omaha All-Metro Coaches Team member, and 2-time All-ITG honoree. Zbylut is a member of the Nebraska Gold club program. She is the daughter of Kris and Lisa Zbylut.
Fuller on Zbylut: "Claire is a versatile, athletic, and well-rounded player. She is great on the infield and effective in the outfield, and competes against top-notch competition in travel ball. Every time we watched her over the summer, she got better and better. We think she can be a difference make in our program."