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STORY BY STEVE SCHAACK-ISU MEDIA RELATIONS
POCATELLO, Idaho- Idaho State softball coach Julie Wright has announced the addition of three recruits in the November early signing period. These recruits will join the team for the 2014 season. Two of the three student-athletes are from the state of Idaho as Century High School's Jennie Murillo and Post Falls Dara Kolar will join the Bengal softball program along with Kacie Burnett of Vintage High School in Napa, Calif.
“This '13 class brings awesome depth to our team,” Wright said. “They will challenge for playing time right away and will push an already motivated team. I cannot wait to bring them into our fold. They truly represent what a Bengal student-athlete should be.”
Burnett lettered all three years in softball while being named All-County Newcomer of the Year in 2010 and earned all-county first-team and earned to the MEL all-league award. As a freshman she also received the Best Offensive Player award at Vintage High School. As a sophomore she earned the Vintage High School Coaches Award and as a junior in 2012 she earned the MEL all-league award while being named team-captain and to the all-county first-team. In 2012 her team played in the CIF SJS championships.
Burnett also has lettered three years in basketball. She plays for the Strike Zone 18 Gold team in Fremont, Calif., and was a part of the 2012 ASA Nationals in 2011 and 2012. Burnett also has a Black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Burnett is a four-year Honor Roll student and she earned the Excellence in Success Award in 2012 in Social Studies and History. She is currently the Senior Class Director of Activities.
“Kacie is a player I am very excited about,” Wright said. “She plays fearless in the outfield and has excellent instincts. She continues to get better and better and she hasn't even come close to how great she is going to be at this level. Her family is amazing and very supportive and we cannot wait to welcome all of them into our program.”
Kolar is a three-year letter winner in softball at Post Falls and a three-year Scholar-Athlete Award winner. As a freshman in 2010 she led her team to the 5A state championship where she hit. 455 with seven RBIs. As a sophomore in 2011 she was named to the first-team all-IEL League and the team defensive MVP. In 2012 she hit .556 with a .889 slugging percentage and an on base percentage of .600 while being named to the first-team All IEL and team offensive MVP and team captain.
“Dara will bring two huge elements to our program - a high softball I.Q. and the ability to swing it big,” Wright said. “She plays the game from the inside out which fits right in with our program. We have enjoyed spending time with Dara and her family and look forward to an amazing four years with them.”
Academically, Kolar has earned High Honor Roll honors all three years while earning an academic letter in 2011 and 2012. In 2012 she earned the Idaho Top Scholar Award and she is involved in Link Leadership. Her parents are Jim and Heidi Kolar and she has an older sister, Dana and an older brother Derek.
Murillo prepped at Sherwood High School before coming to Pocatello and playing at Century High School. She has been named to the Top 50 Watch List by Fastpitch NW Publications. As a freshman at Sherwood she lettered in softball and was named the Athlete of the Month in May of 2010. She earned first-team all-league as an infielder and was named to the Oregon all-state honorable mention team for Class 5A while earning academic Honor Roll accolades.
Murillo moved to Pocatello during her sophomore year where she lettered in softball and was named Co-MVP of the league.
She has lettered in volleyball at Century while helping her team to the district and state championship. In softball she was named the team MVP and District MVP while leading her team to first place District finish and a fourth place finish at state. Murillo was named the Idaho State Journal All-Area Player of the Year in June of 2012.
Murillo was also a member of the 2012 state championship Century High School Volleyball team and is getting ready for her senior season in softball this spring.
“Jennie is a local star and we are thrilled she chose to stay close to her wonderful family,” Wright said. “She will bring a quiet BUT very competitive spirit to our team and I love this about her! She will thrive in our environment and will represent this community well. We are thrilled that she and her family are joining ours.”