ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Head coach Carol Hutchins of the University of Michigan softball team announced the signing of four student-athletes today (Friday, Nov. 15) to National Letters of Intent for the 2014-15 academic year. The group consists of Tera Blanco (Huntington Beach, Calif./Marina), Aidan Falk (Rochester, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy), Taylor Swearingen (Anaheim, Calif./Canyon) and Amanda Vargas (Rancho Santo Margarita, Calif./Tesoro).
"We are very excited about the potential of this group and the athleticism they will bring to Michigan," said Hutchins. "Each is a multi-dimensional player that can contribute in many different ways. We also look for women who will fit our culture and the rigors of Michigan. We are looking forward to getting them on campus next fall and helping them develop."
Huntington Beach, Calif.
Marina High School
Blanco is a dual threat from the circle and from the plate. She will bolster Michigan's pitching corps after concluding her career at Marina High School, where she was on the 2013 MaxPreps California all-state team. In her junior season, Blanco posted a 25-4 record with a 0.70 earned-run average (19 earned runs in 190 innings) with 229 strikeouts. She also batted .420 with five home runs, 20 runs batted in and a .550 on-base percentage. Those numbers brought her the Sunset League MVP and her third consecutive team MVP. The Orange County Register ranked her the No. 1 recruit in the softball hotbed of Orange County. She is also a two-time scholar athlete at Marina. She also plays for the SoCal Firecrackers and helped the team to the 2011 PGF 16U national championship, a 2012 PGF 18U national runner-up finish and the 2013 TCS/USA national championship.
Our Lady of Mercy
Falk is a left-handed outfielder and first baseman who will bring a powerful lefty bat to Ann Arbor from Rochester, N.Y. MaxPreps named her to its All-America team following her junior campaign when she slugged 1.238 on the strength of 12 home runs in 24 games. That home run tally tied the season record for New York's Section V. She holds the career record for Section V with 27 homers. Falk has compiled a .558 batting average and 104 runs batted in during her three years as a varsity starter to go along with those 27 roundtrippers. She was named All-State first team by the New York Sports Writers following her junior season and second team as sophomore. Each season she was named to the All-Greater Rochester Team. Falk led Our Lady of Mercy to a Section V championship in 2013 following back-to-back season as finalists (2011-13). She has played for Battery Lightning Gold and Michigan Finesse in recent summers.
Canyon High School
Swearingen plays multiple infield positions at Canyon High School, where she has been named All-Century League three consecutive years and All-Orange County in 2012. In her 83 games as a varsity player, she has built a .361 batting average with 22 doubles, 18 home runs and 76 RBI. Swearingen is also slugging .754 with a .481 OBP. She was named Canyon's 2012 MVP and most valuable offensive player. The Orange County Register named her a Top-Five freshman, sophomore and junior after all three of her varsity seasons. She plays for the Orange County Batbusters and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Tesoro High School
Vargas, an infielder, batted .417 with three home runs and 14 RBI during her junior season. In her varsity career at Tesoro High School, she has a slash line of .373/.512/.656. She was a third team selection for the All-Orange County team in 2012. Vargas earned a spot on the first team All-League team (South Coast League) in Orange County in 2012 and 2013. She is a four-year varsity softball letter winner and was named Tesoro's MVP in 2013 as well as 2012's defensive player of the year. She is also a teammate of Blanco with the SoCal Firecrackers and was part of the PGF 16U national championship team. Academically, she is a three-time scholar athlete (2011-13).