ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio softball program announced the addition of three student-athletes in the early signing period for the 2018-19 class, head coach Jodi Hermanek announced today (Nov. 9).
"The Class of 2018 will do something special in their Bobcat careers," Hermanek said. "They love being challenged, grinding through the training and they thrive when performing on a big stage. These student-athletes are genuinely humble and great young people, and I am honored they choose Ohio University and the Bobcats."
Charlee Pond (Redondo Beach, Calif.) plays softball for South Torrance High School and has lettered for three years. Charlee has also played club softball for the Mizuno Pride, USA Athletics Porter, Cal Raiders, So Cal Athletics McNee, USA Athletics Rodgers and So Cal Athletics Briggs. She also played varsity volleyball her freshman year of high school. Charlee has been named the Offensive Player of the Year- Coastal League and made the Honorary First Team All-Area, First Team All Coastal League and All State Team in 2015. She was named All CIF and made the All-Area and All-State Team in 2016 and she was named First Team All-Pioneer League and given the Spartan Award in 2017. In 2016, Charlee obtained the team high 11 homeruns, 40 RBI's and four triples.
Born August 23, 2000, she is the daughter of Todd and Margaret Pond. Charlee has four siblings, Kyle, Trevor, Luke and Natalie. She likes water sports, old cars, photography and literature.
Why She Chose Ohio: "When making the decision on where I wanted to attend school and play softball, I didn't want to choose based on one or two factors. It needed to be an overall balance of academics, a competitive softball program that would support me in my major, the campus and location, etc. Ohio stood out to me in all of these areas and more. The historic, beautiful campus was a great first impression, and on that first visit the coaching staff were so welcoming and full of energy, I could tell they sincerely loved where they were. After several visits back to Ohio, I am absolutely sure my decision to come here is the right one. It has allowed me to get to know the team and the coaches better, to witness first hand their work ethics, as well as the dedication to the program and each other. There is a legitimate winning attitude here, and the culture of the school and softball program is everything I had envisioned when considering where I wanted to attend and play. I am so blessed, excited and proud to be part of the Bobcat family."
"Charlee raises the bar for our Bobcat. Program," Hermanek said. "She is a workhorse, a defensive gem, and a higher-level recruit joining our roster. Charlee is a five-tool athlete and our Bobcat fans are going to love watching this athlete play. She will make a name for herself in the MAC conference and regionally."
Justice Ruggles (Grass Lake, Mich.) plays softball for Grass Lake High School and the Finesse Blevins; she has lettered for three years. Justice also played club softball with Pride Fastpitch from 2010-2014. Justice was awarded the National Honor Society Certificate of Membership in 2015 and Academic Achievement Awards for various subjects every year she has been in high school. Justice has been awarded All-Conference, All-District, All-Regional and First Team All-State every year she lettered. She also lettered three times in basketball, two years in volleyball and once in cross-country. Justice was named the captain of both her volleyball and basketball team this year and she has been her softball team's captain since 2014.
She is the daughter of Randy and April Ruggles. Born March 23, 2000, Justice has two siblings, Randy and April. Justice enjoys playing softball, going to the beach and spending time with her friends.
"I'm excited to see how Justice will grow and develop as a Bobcat," Hermanek said. "With her athletic size, raw strength and power, and I anticipate great development as she invests with our training programs. Justice has drive and intention, and with those two qualities, I believe she will thrive as a Bobcat."
Why She Chose Ohio: "The past two years I have visited several different colleges. Some I liked, and some I hated. However, there were no colleges that I absolutely loved and needed to go to. This was the case until I visited Ohio. As I was touring Ohio, meeting the coaches, and staying in the dorms with the players, I knew I had to be a Bobcat. Everywhere I looked, made me feel more and more at home. On the car ride home, I only had pros and could not think of any cons. It took only one visit for me to decide that Ohio was home and I cannot wait to start my journey!"
Caroline Spacek (Beaumont, Texas) plays softball for Hardin Jefferson High school and has lettered for three years. She has played club softball for Houston Power Softball since 2014. She was named the District Newcomer of the Year in 2014, Offensive MVP in 2015 and 1st Team All-District-Junior Year in 2016. Caroline has also earned three letters for volleyball and two letters for powerlifting and has been in the top 10% of her class, made honor roll and named Scholastic All District every year she's been in high school. She was the Student Council Junior Class Secretary from 2016-2017 and she is currently a National Honor Society member.
Born on December 24, 1999, Caroline is the daughter of Pamela and David Spacek. She has two sisters, Rachel and Allison. When she isn't playing softball, Caroline likes to work out, swim, and spend time with her family.
Why She Chose Ohio: "I chose Ohio because when I came to the campus I immediately felt welcomed and at home. The team has such a family atmosphere that I cannot wait to be a part of it!"
"Caroline is strong, versatile infielder," Hermanek said. "She loves the weight room, and she's a blue-collar, tuff athlete. Caroline impresses us because she is a hard-nosed athlete who loves the grind and commits herself to her work, which will excel her in her Bobcat career."