LA Tech lands three softball signees in early period

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RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech has signed three prep stars to national letters of intent as Gracee Hess (Belle Chase, La./Belle Chase HS), Aleya Hill (Ashdown, Ark./Ashdown HS) and Audrey Schneidmiller (Burleson, Texas/Burleson HS) will join the Lady Techster softball program.

“Excited is an understatement for this upcoming class,” said LA Tech Interim Head Coach Bianca Duran. “This group we are bringing in is embodied in the character and culture we have in this program. They understand what it takes to compete at the highest level, and they have the absolute drive to be a successful student-athlete.

Hess is an infielder from Belle Chase (La.) High School where she has helped lead the Cardinals to the 2018 district championship and state quarterfinals. She helped lead Belle Chase to a district runner-up finish in 2019.

“Gracee is a very versatile player that brings a strong work ethic and determination in everything she does,” said Duran. “I’m excited for her to provide depth in multiple positions on the field. She truly loves the game and is going to bring a powerful presence to the team, on and off the field.”

Hess, who was just named Homecoming Queen at Belle Chase, earned all-district honors the past two years and all-metro accolades in 2019. She was named the New Orleans Quarterback Club Outstanding Athlete in 2019. She also lettered on the Belle Chase soccer team as serves as Class President each of the past two years.

“I immediately fell in love with the team’s culture and coaching staff after attending my first Tech softball camp,” said Hess, who plays travel ball for the Marucci Patriots. “Ruston’s small-town feel and the support within the community set it apart from all the other places I had seen. I know this is the place for me and cannot wait to compete at the next level as a Lady Techster.”

Hill is an outfielder out of Ashdown (Ark.) High School where she led the program to the Class 7-3A Region 4 runner-up finish as a sophomore. She was ranked as the 94th best outfielder in the country by Extra Innings Softball.

“Aleya is a strong addition for us in the outfield and brings a power lefty bat into our lineup,” said Duran. “She brings a lot of energy and passion for everything she does, I’m excited for the impact she’s going to have on our team not only on the field but off.”

Hill batted .696 with 16 hits in just six games as a junior after being named all-conference and all-state as a sophomore. She earned the Panther Award in 2018. She plays travel ball for the Texas Glory organization.

“I knew immediately when I visited the school that it was where I belonged,” said Hill. “Not only the staff and the amazing softball program, but the school itself felt like home. I am from a rural community and prefer smaller settings. LA Tech is perfect. It is in a class of top contenders, but still gives you the feel of a smaller school with a smaller student-teacher ratio. No doubt that Louisiana Tech is for me, and I hope to be a great asset to not only the softball program but to the University.”

Schneidmiller lettered at Burleson (Texas) High School where she played both corner position as well as catcher. She helped lead the Elks to the bi-district title in 2020.

“Audrey is a strong addition for us behind the plate and offensively,” said Duran. “She brings a solid field presence and knowledge of the game. She will be an immediate impact player on our team and in the classroom, I’m excited to finally have her on campus and part of our Tech family.”

Schneidmiller batted .447 with 27 RBI in 2018 when she was named the District MVP as a sophomore. She was named all-district, all-county and all-metroplex during her high school career. She was named the Johnson County Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore.

“I chose Louisiana Tech because I instantly felt comfortable when coming on campus,” said Schneidmiller, who plays for the Texas Glory travel ball organization. “I clicked with the coaching staff and the players right away, and it seemed to be a big family. I’m so excited to become a Lady Techster and invoke on an amazing journey.”

Gracee Hess
Infielder, 5-1
Belle Chasse, La. (Belle Chase HS)

High School: Lettered four years at Belle Chasse High School for coaches Tasha Hess, Lauren Babin and Shelly Beniot … Helped lead the Cardinals to the district championships in 2018 and the state quarterfinals … Led the program to the district runner-up finish in 2019 … Batted .543 as a junior … Named all-district and all-metro in 2019 … Named the New Orleans Quarterback Club Outstanding Athlete in 2019 … Named all-district honorable mention in 2018 … Lettered for the Belle Chasse HS soccer team in 2020 … Served as Class President in 2020 and 2021 … Served as the No Place for Hate Chapter President in 2020 and 2021 … Named to the Academic Honor Roll in 2018, 2019 and 2020 … Played for the Marucci Patriots travel ball organization … Personal: Daughter of Ryan and Amber Hess … Has two brothers, Hayden and William … Has two sisters, Alee and Harper … Born Nov. 8, 2002, in New Orleans, La.
“I immediately fell in love with the team’s culture and coaching staff after attending my first Tech softball camp. Ruston’s small-town feel and the support within the community set it apart from all the other places I had seen. I know this is the place for me and cannot wait to compete at the next level as a Lady Techster.” – Gracee Hess
“Gracee is a very versatile player that brings a lot of passion and work ethic, I’m excited for her to provide depth in multiple positions on the field. She truly loves the game and is going to bring a powerful presence to the team, on and off the field.” – Bianca Duran

Aleya Hill
5-10, OF
Ashdown, Ark. (Ashdown HS)
High School: Lettered three years for coach Brady Day at Ashdown High School … Led the program to the Class 7-3A Region 4 runner-up finish as a sophomore as well as district runner up…Batted .696 with 16 hits in only 6 games in a Covid-19 shortened junior season … Was named all-conference and all-state as a sophomore … Earned the Panther Award in 2018 … Ranked as the 94th best outfielder by Extra Innings Softball … Played travel ball for the Texas Glory organization and Coaches Ed Naudin, Kevin Shelton and Cedric Coleman … Also lettered for the varsity volleyball, basketball and track and field teams … Led the volleyball program to the Class 3A South Conference championship and state runner-up finish in 2018 … Led basketball to the 2019 Class 7-3A conference championship and the 2020 Class 7-3A Region 4 championship … Named all-conference in basketball in 2018-19 … Was all-conference in the hurdles in 2018 … Personal: Daughter of Kenneth Hill and Nikki Hill … Has two brothers, Kentrell and Jaden … Kentrell played minor league baseball for the San Francisco Giants … Jaden currently plays for the LSU baseball team … Born Feb. 20, 2003, in Texarkana, Texas.
“Aleya is a strong addition for us in the outfield and brings a power lefty bat into our lineup. She brings a lot of energy and passion for everything she does, I’m excited for the impact she’s going to have on our team not only on the field but off.” – Bianca Duran
“I knew immediately when I visited the school that it was where I belonged. Not only the staff and the amazing softball program, but the school itself felt like home. I am from a rural community and prefer smaller settings. LA Tech is perfect. It is in a class of top contenders, but still gives you the feel of a smaller school with a smaller student-teacher ratio. No doubt that Louisiana Tech is for me, and I hope to be a great asset to not only the softball program but to the University.” – Aleya Hill

Audrey Schneidmiller
5-8 * Catcher
Burleson, Texas (Burleson High School)
High School: Lettered four years for coach Summer Owen at Burleson High School in Texas … Played catcher and both corner positions … Helped lead the Elks to the bi-district title in 2020 … Named first team all-district as a sophomore … Named District MVP as a sophomore … Named second team all-metroplex as a sophomore … Named Johnson County Offensive Player of the Year as sophomore … Named first team all-district as a freshman … Named first team all-county as a freshman … Named Academic All-District as a freshman … Batted .447 with 27 RBI in 2018 … Member of the Texas Glory travel ball organization and coach Kevin Shelton … Member of the National Honor Society … Personal: Daughter of Kurt and Melanie Schneidmiller … Has one brother, Alex, and one sister, Lauren … Born Aug. 28, 2003, in Ft. Worth, Texas.

“Audrey is a strong addition for us behind the plate and offensively, she brings a solid field presence and knowledge of the game. She will be an immediate impact player on our team and in the classroom, I’m excited to finally have her on campus and part of our Tech family.” – Bianca Duran
“I chose Louisiana Tech because I instantly felt comfortable when coming on campus. I clicked with the coaching staff and the players right away, and it seemed to be a big family. I’m so excited to become a Lady Techster and invoke on an amazing journey.” – Audrey Schneidmiller

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