Softball's haul grows to 12 with Pollak addition
GREELEY -- There was a time this past season when Northern Colorado softball coach Mark Montgomery had just three reserves on his bench. Just three options to choose from when trying to jumpstart the Bears' offense or provide a late-game defensive upgrade.
That doesn't figure to be a problem this season.
Montgomery, who lost just six players from his program following graduation last month, saw his inaugural recruiting class grow to an even dozen Thursday when he officially announced the signing of junior-college transfer Jamie Pollak.
Pollak (Chandler, Ariz.) will come to Greeley as a junior after spending her freshman season at Fordham University and her sophomore season at Mesa (Ariz.) Community College. Montgomery said she'll contribute in the circle right away and be given a shot to provide some offense from a corner infield spot.
With the Bears, Pollak will reunite with pitching coach Mike Forsythe, who came to Northern Colorado after spending a couple seasons in the same role at Fordham.
"We're bringing her in to compete for pitching time," Montgomery said. "She's got more experience at the (NCAA) Division I level than any of our freshmen coming in, and she will have an added comfort level with our program after already having worked with Mike. That can't be understated.
"And Jamie is such a good kid with an outstanding work ethic. That was actually the key plug. Everybody told us that she would run through a wall for (us) if we asked her to."
Pollak started 14 games for the Rams in 2010 and hit .226 in 53 at-bats. She didn't get to pitch much at Fordham (three innings, 2.33 earned-run average) as Jen Mineau was already entrenched as the staff's ace and this season just finished off her second straight all-American campaign.
At Mesa, however, Pollak had far more success and reclaimed the sheen on her recruiting star with a 1.73 ERA in 109 innings and a .396 batting average, with five home runs and 12 doubles. That ERA mark was the second lowest among all Arizona Community College Athletic Conference pitchers.
"We expect her to come in and compete right away for a key spot in our pitching rotation," Montgomery said. "But we'd like to see her force our hand a little bit with a lineup spot, too. I always tell the girls that it would be real hard for me to sit a .400 hitter. If you hit, I'm going to find a place for you to play and help us."
Pollak, whose brother, Mike, is an offensive lineman for the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, was a three-time All-City utility player at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, Ariz., and a four-year varsity player and two-time captain.
She was a three-time All-Central Region performer and earned First Team honors in 2009.
- Kelci Cheney, 5-10, pitcher, Terrell, Texas (Terrell HS)
- Mikayla Duffy, 5-7, pitcher/infielder, Center Field, Grand Junction, Colo. (Central HS)
- Tianalia Faasua, 5-10, catcher, Oceanside, Calif. (Oceanside HS)
- Kaitlin Flynn, 5-11, infielder, Johnstown, Colo. (Roosevelt HS)
- Nicole Hudson, 5-4, catcher/infielder, Westminster, Col o. (Standley Lake HS)
- Janelle Lopez, 5-5, infielder/outfielder, Cedar Park, Texas (Cedar Park HS)
- Melissa Marcovecchio, 5-0, infielder, Broomfield, Colo. (Legacy HS)
- Jamie Pollak, 5-9, infielder/pitcher, Chandler, Ariz. (Corona Del Sol HS / Fordham / Mesa CC)
- Lindsey Smith, 5-7, outfielder/infielder, Dallas, Texas (Bishop Lynch HS / Centenary College)
- Jaicy Sutak, 5-2, shortstop/pitcher, Lyons, Colo. (Lyons HS)
- Ashleigh Waterland, 5-11, outfielder, Windsor, Colo. (Windsor HS)
- Morgan Yuhas, 5-8, infielder, Henderson, Nev., (Coronado HS)