St. Louis, Mo., June 4, 2019 – Washington University in St. Louis head softball coach Michelle Venturella has announced the signing of five freshmen for the 2019-20 academic year.
Four of the five recruits are from Illinois: Payton Irwin from Crest Hill (Plainfield Central), Charlotte Linnartz from Bartlett (Bartlett), Kayla Nommensen from Gurnee (Warren Township), and Tami Wong from Alton (Alton), while Eimear Cunningham is from San Carlos, Calif. (Carlmont).
WashU posted a 15-18 overall record and had the 13th-best strength of schedule (.615) in NCAA Division III a year ago. The Bears have made 15 NCAA Tournament appearances and won 10 University Athletic Association (UAA) titles in program history.
Complete biographies are listed below:
Eimear Cunningham – OF – 5-9 – San Carlos, Calif. (Carlmont)
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterwinner at Carlmont High School … Batted .323 on varsity level … Two-time all-league, including first-team honors as a senior … Three-time league champion … Certificate of Merit in Computer Science 4.0 Medal … PERSONAL: Enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences … Daughter of Damian Cunningham and Triona O'Hanlon … Played with the Irish National Softball Team in 2017 and 2018 … Silver medalist in 19u European Championship … Bronze Medalist in 22u European Championship.
Coach Venturella on Cunningham – "Eimear does a great job in the outfield with her speed her arm strength. She plays the game the right way and is a hard worker that will help continue to drive this program forward."
Payton Irwin – C/IF – 5-8 – Crest Hill, Ill. (Plainfield Central)
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterwinner in softball and tennis at Plainfield Central High School … Team captain in both sports … Batted .376 as a junior … Two-time sectional qualifier in tennis … Illinois State Scholar … AP Scholar with Distinction … PERSONAL: Majoring in Electrical Engineering … Daughter of Scott and Kristin Irwin.
Coach Venturella on Irwin – "Payton will see time behind the plate to help fill out the catching needs we have on the team. She has a strong arm and bat and has a great personality to work with our pitchers."
Charlotte Linnartz – C/IF – 5-5 – Bartlett, Ill. (Bartlett)
HIGH SCHOOL: Two-year letterwinner at Bartlett High School … Team captain as a senior … Career batting average of .356 … 2018 Regional Champions … Two-time Academic All-State … High Honor Roll … PERSONAL: Majoring in philosophy-neuroscience-psychology … Daughter of George and Camille Linnartz.
Coach Venturella on Linnartz – "Charlotte will see time behind the plate and in the infield for us as well. She has good instincts for the game and is willing to do whatever it takes to help continue to build on the strong traditions of WashU Softball."
Kayla Nommensen – UT – 5-7 – Gurnee, Ill. (Warren Township)
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterwinner at Warren Township High School … Team captain … Had 12 home runs and 37 RBI as a junior … 2017 4A All-Conference and Honorable-Mention All-Area … Two-time Conference Champions … High Honor Roll … Graduated with Summa Cum Laude … PERSONAL: Majoring in biomedical engineering … Daughter of Tom and Kristy Nommensen.
Coach Venturella on Nommensen – "Kayla is a tremendous athlete that will provide power in our lineup from the left side of the plate as well as give us versatility on the field. She plays first base and outfield and has great game sense that enables her to play this game at a high level."
Tami Wong – UT – 5-7 – Alton, Ill. (Alton)
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterwinner at Alton High School … Team captain … Led St. Louis area with .625 batting average as a senior … Had .499 career batting average with 225 hits … Four-time all-conference and three-time All-State … Two-time Team MVP … St. Louis Post Dispatch Scholar Athlete of the Year … Valedictorian … Illinois State Scholar … Rotary Student of the Year … PERSONAL: Majoring in biology … Daughter of Rong Chen and Fung Wong.
Coach Venturella on Wong – "Tami is a tremendous athlete and a great hitter. I know that I can put Tami anywhere on the field and she will find a way to get it done."