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Canisius College head softball coach Mike Rappl announced today that Jessica Berzins (Placentia, Calif./Valencia) has signed her National Letter of Intent to join the Golden Griffin softball program for the 2013-14 academic year.

“Jessica is very quick and she has all the skills to be a top-level leadoff hitter for us in the future,” Rappl said. “She is a great slapper and she can get down bunts and beat those out for hits. She can cover a lot of territory in the outfield and she comes to us with a good deal of high-level playing experience thanks to her summer league team that played against some very good competition.”

The 5-foot-3 outfielder won four varsity letters playing softball at Valencia High School, where she helped lead the Tigers to a 21-9 record in 2011. She hit .354 that season as a junior with 24 runs scored and seven stolen bases, and closed out her career by earned all-league honors three times. She was also honored for her work in the classroom as a scholar-athlete and she was awarded three varsity letters as a member of the Valencia High girl’s soccer program.

Berzins, who was a member of the Dean’s List and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, plans on majoring in psychology at Canisius. She will join with four incoming freshmen on next year’s roster, as Sarah Andrews, Taylor Decker, Samantha Sharkey and Lindsey Silfer all signed their NLIs to join the Canisius program during the NCAA’s early signing period.

Canisius closed out the 2013 season with a 22-25 overall record and a 6-10 mark in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play. The Griffs will return eight position players and three pitchers to next year’s roster.

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