With the 2012 recruiting class nearly complete, Coach Ehren Earleywine has turned his attention to 2013. By the time the 2013 class takes the field for the Tigers, Missouri's perennial All-American candidate in the circle, Chelsea Thomas, will have completed her eligibility. Coach Earleywine has already addressed the pitching position at Missouri for years to come.
A talented left-handed pitcher from out west, Casey Stangel 5'10" 150 Coeur d'Alene (ID) Lake City, has confirmed to ShowMeMizzou.com that she has given Coach Earleywine a verbal commitment to play for Missouri.
"I'm pretty excited to be a (Missouri) Tiger!" exclaimed Stangel.
"My visit at Mizzou was phenomenal," Stangel continued. "Everything from academics to athletics was absolutely fantastic! I did indeed verbal to pitch and hit for the Tigers beginning in the Fall of 2013. I am very excited, and look forward to winning national championships (at Missouri)!"
"I loved my visit," explained Stangel, who was hosted on her visit by Chelsea Thomas and Maddison Ruggeberg. "I love the coaches, and the atmosphere of the school. They want to win, and they can win, because they have amazing coaches, and amazing players! I love where the (softball) program is going. I love the school, and the town. It's gorgeous! In the end, it just felt right."
Stangel moved to Idaho from California at age 12, but has played the last couple of years with the U18 Gold/Premier Sorcerer Softball team, based in northern California. Stangel said that she has been playing U18 since she was 12 years old.
Stangel is a left-handed pitcher and left-handed hitter, and is rated as one of the top softball players in the country. Stangel said that Missouri projects her as a pitcher, a first baseman, and an outfielder.
As a freshman at Lake City, Stangel batted .404, with 14 doubles, 5 HRs, and 30 RBIs, and posted a pitching record of 17-7, with 10 shutouts, and 236 strikeouts, as she led the Timberwolves to a fifth-place tie at state. She was named the MVP of the 5A Inland Empire League.
Stangel started off her sophomore season by pitching thirty-eight consecutive shutout innings. She was finally scored upon in her seventh game of the season. She pitched, and hit, her team to a perfect 26-0 record, and a state title in the Idaho large school classification. Stangel came within an out of a no-hitter in the state championship game, registering 15 strikeouts, and her 17th shutout of the season, to move her record on the mound as a sophomore to 25-0.
A week earlier, Stangel had fanned a school-record 18 batters in the Regional championship game, giving her 34 strikeouts on the day, to go along with a home run that placed her team ahead in the final.
"She threw some hard balls," said sophomore catcher Mariah Linahan. "I've never seen her throw that hard, and (I've) never seen her that focused. She's an amazing pitcher and I'm glad to catch her."
During her sophomore season, Stangel led Lake City to a 26-0 record, and the 2011 Class 5-A state championship. She posted a .590 BA, with 49 hits, 36 runs, 52 RBIs, 16 doubles, 1 triple, and 11 HRs, for a 1.205 slugging percentage, and a .611 on-base percentage.
On the mound, Stangel went 25-0, while holding opponents to a .106 batting average, and had a school-record 18 strikeouts in one game. She pitched all but seven of her team's innings this year, and had 283 strikeouts, to just 20 walks, in 149 innings, an average of 1.9 strikeouts per inning. She had a 0.33 ERA with 17 shutouts, including a pair of no-hitters.
The three previous years, Stangel had attended a camp in California, conducted by OnDeck Softball, which annually invites the top 15-20 uncommitted players from each class. She pointed out that as a Missouri commit, she will no longer be invited to those camps.
Stangel throws in the mid-to-high 60's, with a drop ball, change-up, curve ball, screwball, and rise ball. Pitching is her best position, but she's also a top-notch, power-hitting first-baseman, and is athletic enough to play a corner outfield position. She's played with older girls for years, and has played against most of her future Missouri teammates, as well as most of the top young players in the Big 12 Conference.