AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State softball program and head coach Jamie Pinkerton announced Wednesday that four outstanding prep softball players have signed their letters of intent to attend Iowa State. Angelina Allen, Angelita de los Angeles Fuentes, Olivia Wardlow and Emily Wood are the new Cyclones, and will be members of the 2021 class, set to arrive on campus for the 2021-22 season.
“This is a really good, well-rounded class,” Pinkerton said. “They’re culture-based. Going through us not being able to go out and recruit, as well as COVID, they’ve stuck to their commitments and that’s just the type of player we want. They remained committed even during these tough times and we’re really excited to have them. They’re all good students and come from really good families. They’re well-rounded. They’ll help build on the depth that we’re really starting to put together here at Iowa State.”
Here’s a look at Iowa State softball’s new additions, including thoughts from Pinkerton on each signee:
Hometown: Moreno Valley, Calif.
High School: Woodcrest Christian
Club Program: Corona Angels – Tyson
Allen, a native of Moreno Valley, Calif., is ranked the No. 104 overall prospect in the country in the class of 2021 by Extra Inning Softball. Allen comes from a very competitive background, having played travel ball for the Corona Angels – a national club softball powerhouse. In 2018, Allen’s Corona Angels took home first place at the PGF National Championship. She is a two-time all-conference selection and was named the Max Preps Player of the Week in 2020. Allen hit .829 with 29 hits and 23 RBI during the 2019-20 high school season. She is the senior class president at Woodcrest Christian and a four-time National Honor Society member.
Coach Pinkerton on Angelina Allen: “We’re really excited to get her. She was our first commitment in the 2021 class and was a big recruit across the country. She comes from a really good family and is active in the community and doing community service. Comes from a high-level travel team – the Corona Angels. She helped them win a national championship, and actually had the game-winning hit as a 14-year-old when they won the national championship a couple years ago. Definitely the kind of versatile athlete that we’ve looked for since we got here. I think she’ll help bring that winning culture to our program.”
Why Iowa State: “Iowa State is a complete change from my hometown, but I still manage to see myself calling it my new home for the next chapter of my life. The coaching staff and players make me feel like family. Competing at a high level in the Big 12 while being able to major in engineering is everything I wanted.” – Angelina Allen
Angelita de los Angeles Fuentes
Hometown: Seaside, Calif.
High School: Notre Dame High School
Club Program: Suncats – Jimenez
Fuentes is a versatile athlete that the Iowa State coaching staff looks to put at catcher when she arrives in Ames. She signs with the Cyclones with a wealth of prep and travel ball experience, having played for Notre Dame HS as well as the Suncats. In 2018-19, Fuentes hit .448 with 40 RBI and nine home runs in 27 games. Her play garnered attention, as she was named All-Country Softball Player of the Year, California All-State Team 2, and the team’s defensive MVP en route to a Gabilan Division Championship.
Coach Pinkerton on Angelita de los Angeles Fuentes “She comes from a nationally-recognized program in the Suncats and is coached by James Jimenez. She also comes from a very good family. Education is a high priority to her family. She’s going to bring catching depth and she’s a versatile athlete. A gap-to-gap hitter, home run hitter. She controls pitching staffs well and just works well with pitchers. She’s got an exceptional arm behind the plate. I don’t like the adage ‘runs well for a catcher’ but she runs well. We’ve really focused on upgrading our speed and she adds to that. She can play other positions, but we see her being a force behind the plate for us.”
Why Iowa State: “During my official visit, I knew that I had found my home away from home. The coaching staff is one of the best, which means that I would be in a very competitive Division I program. Iowa State’s academic programs for athletes truly support their athletes.” – Angelita de los Angeles Fuentes
Hometown: Bettendorf, Iowa
High School: Davenport Assumption
Club Program: Iowa Premier Gold
Olivia Wardlow comes to Iowa State from one of the most successful high school programs in the state of Iowa in Davenport Assumption, as well as playing club ball for the nationally-recognized Iowa Premier travel team. Wardlow helped Davenport Assumption to three consecutive state championships during her prep career – twice earning All-Tournament Team honors. Wardlow, ranked a top-250 prospect in the nation by Extra Inning Softball, was an All-State Softball selection by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association in 2020. She holds school records for single-season batting (.535) and on-base percentage (.601).
Coach Pinkerton on Olivia Wardlow: “Olivia Wardlow is an Iowa kid that we’re really excited about. She plays for the Iowa Premier, which is a nationally-recognized program, as well as Davenport Assumption, winning several state titles. She’s been a part of championship cultures and winning programs both in travel ball and high school. She has that mindset. Just a scrappy, get after it, hustle mentality. She’s a left-handed hitter that can lay it down, slap or swing away and has good speed. We see her playing possibly second base or outfield for us. She’s a versatile athlete. She came very highly recommended from Coach Ron Ferrill at Davenport Assumption.”
Why Iowa State: “I initially wanted to attend Iowa State because my father is an ISU graduate, and I grew up in a household watching everything Cyclone. When I came for a visit, I fell in love with the campus as well as the coaches and facilities. I am thrilled I committed to Iowa State, and cannot wait to be a Cyclone.” – Olivia Wardlow
Hometown: Bettendorf, Iowa
High School: Pleasant Valley
Club Program: Iowa Premier Gold
Wood hails from Bettendorf, Iowa, and has enjoyed an outstanding prep career playing for Pleasant Valley and Iowa Premier. Wood was teammates with current Cyclones Carli and Ellie Spelhaug on the 2018 Pleasant Valley squad that won the 5A Iowa State title. The following season, Wood led 5A in batting average, hitting .553 en route to First Team Mississippi Valley Athletic Conference honors, and a Second Team All-State selection. Her 2020 squad also qualified for state, and she was named a finalist for the Quad City Times Female Athlete of the Year.
Coach Pinkerton on Emily Wood: “She comes from a championship culture here in Iowa. She won a state title at Pleasant Valley, where she played with the Spelhaugs. And played once again with a high-level, national-caliber team with the Iowa Premier. She’s an outfielder and has a lot of tools. I’m really excited to work with her because she can run well, she’s kind of like Olivia in that she can bunt and steal bases, and also has power. She can definitely put pressure on a defense.”
Why Iowa State: “After visiting the campus and talking to Coach Pink, I really felt like I could see myself living there and being a part of the Cyclone family for the next four years. The academic focus for athletes was also a large deciding factor, as they have a lot of support from advisors and other academic staff.” – Emily Wood