Tucson - The Arizona Heat of National Pro Fastpitch League is proud to announce the signings of Celena Velasquez, Kristina Schmallen and Shana Easley. All three players just concluded their collegiate careers and are expected to add some much needed depth to the Heat roster.
Velasquez (pictured), born and raised in Tucson, returns home after playing her collegiate ball at San Diego State University. She dominated the Mountain West Conference over her four year career, being named Pitcher of the Year twice and receiving first team All-Conference honors three times. She received Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors in 2003 and earned the Mountain West Player of the Week award eleven times. Velasquez currently ranks second all-time in wins (54) and strikeouts (521) and ranks first in shutouts (20) and saves (12). She also currently holds the single season record in strikeouts with 211, and ranks in the top 10 in almost all other pitching categories. Velasquez will step right into the Heats rotation looking to build off her last collegiate start that saw her throw a complete game shutout in the NCAA Regionals.
Schmallen also returns home to Tucson after playing college softball at Pima Community College and the University of New Mexico. At Pima, Schmallen helped lead the Aztecs to the 2004 NJCAA National Championship, while earning NJCAA All-American honors. She finished the season hitting .435, with 11 homeruns, 77 RBIs and 19 doubles. Once at New Mexico, Schmallen instantly became the Lobos star. She was twice named first team All-Mountain West Conference, after finishing in the top 10 in nearly every offensive category. Schmallen led the team in batting both seasons, finishing with a .369 career average.
Easley, a catcher from the University of Arkansas will add some depth defensively. She was a mainstay behind the plate for the Razorbacks, starting 213 games in four years. She was consistently among the team leading in fielding percentage, making only 21 errors in her career. In 2004, Shana .994 fielding percentage ranked third in school history. At the plate, Easley finished second on the team in RBIs in both 2005 and 2006. During her senior season, Shana finished first on the team in homeruns and total bases and second in doubles.
The Heat will begin practicing tomorrow at Hi Corbett Field at 7 pm. Players will be available for questions starting at 6:30.
For more information visit THE HEAT website
Contact: Scott Kimmelman,
Media Relations, Arizona Heat or 520.296.9595 or 520-241-3324.