Coach Ehren Earleywine is building a national softball power at Missouri. His 2010 class is set to arrive on campus in August. Here's a look at a couple of Missouri's 2010 signees, Maddison Ruggeberg and Taylor Duplechain.
Maddy Ruggeberg 5'7" 145 lbs. Davenport (IA) West batted .477 last summer, with a .521 on-base percentage, and a .640 slugging percentage, including 1 HR and 36 RBIs. She bats right and throws right, and currently plays 3B, but says that she "can play anywhere". She was also the point guard on her high school basketball team.Maddy Ruggeberg
In addition to Missouri, Ruggeberg had received offers from DePaul, Northwestern, Evansville, and Western Illinois. She talked about how she arrived at her decision to play at Missouri.
"Once I visited the campus," said Ruggeberg, "I just knew.............. I loved the facilities, and the other girls. Coach E is a really good guy. He's like me. He's really into the game, and he really wants everybody to do their best. I really liked him, and I just knew. I had a good feeling (about Missouri)."
Like all of the 2010 signees, Ruggeberg is very athletic. She's already spent a good deal of time in the weight room developing and conditioning her body.
Coach Earleywine talked about Maddison Ruggeberg, who like current Missouri SS Jenna Marston, played baseball with the boys when she was growing up.
"She's a real tough kid," said Coach Earleywine. "I think she gets that from playing with the boys. She's very athletic, very strong. She plays shortstop, but who knows where she'll end up playing? She plays a great shortstop, but she could end up playing 3B. She could make a push for playing real early on."
Taylor Duplechain 5'7" 130 lbs. Pearland (TX) is a former Texas state qualifying sprinter in track, and is a promising young outfielder for Dawson High who bats left and throws left. Among her individual softball awards, she was named on the 1st Team- All District Team, All-County Team, Best Offensive Player, and was selected to play in the Greater Houston Area All-Star game which will be played this summer at The University of Houston Softball Complex.
Duplechain's high school coach, Amanda Spencer, talked about her speedy outfielder.Taylor Duplechain
"She's a tremendous asset to our team because of her speed and her versatility," said Coach Spencer. "She's a left-handed slapper, but also has power. She is aggressive on the base paths. She creates issues for the opposing defense. As a defensive player, she reads the ball well, is aggressive, and has a great arm............... She looks like an Olympic athlete, because of the way that she is cut."
Duplechain missed a good part of her senior season with a leg injury. Her combined junior and senior season statistical totals include a .447 batting avg., with 27 runs scored. Her two-season totals include a .521 on-base percentage, and a .592 slugging percentage, and she was successful on 21 of 24 stolen base attempts. She's been timed going from home to first in 2.52 seconds. Her best time in the 100 meters is 12.2 seconds.
Duplechain chose Missouri over offers from Baylor, Texas Tech, and Houston, among others. She talked about her decision to attend Missouri, where she plans to pursue a pre-med course of study.
"When I took my visit to Missouri," said Duplechain, "everyone that I talked to, it was just more like a family environment. And, the coaches, it didn't seem like anything was phony with them."
I asked Taylor for a scouting report on herself. I was very impressed by her response.
"I'm one of those people who, I can kind of correct myself," said Duplechain, "because I've had coaching my whole life. My parents are always there, and I have support from them. Yes, I'm the kind of person that I can correct myself. I work hard for everything I want, because I don't want to short anything or anyone. And, this is just a really good opportunity because I'm able to help my team, and help myself to get an education."
Coach Earleywine talked about Taylor Duplechain.
"She's the fastest kid in that class," said Coach Earleywine. "She runs like Rhea (Taylor) and Shana (White). And, she plays the same type of game they do. I thought it would be a good fit to have her come in as a freshmen with Rhea and Shana as seniors, so that she'd get an opportunity to see those kids work, and how they went about their business, and their technique, and they can kind of help her along. So, that when they graduate, Taylor would become a sophomore, and then I think she may take over that lead-off spot for us, because she's a flier. She's a track star down in Texas, and a very athletic kid. Hopefully, she'll be able to replace the likes of Rhea and Shana."