(Editor's note: University of Providence athletics release)
GREAT FALLS -- The University of Providence softball team announced the signing of three athletes -- Azia Umphrey, Kassidy Hamilton and Aspen Ryan -- on Friday.
Umphrey, a senior from St. Ignatius High School, was an all-state catcher for the Bulldogs. As a junior, Umphrey led her team with 20 home runs and was named both first-team all-conference and all-state. She was also a three-sport athlete, playing basketball and volleyball alongside softball.
"Azia has a strong bat and can play numerous positions on the field," head coach Joey Egan said. "Her athleticism and grit will help our team tremendously. We are excited to have her at UP."
Umphrey is equally excited to join the Argo community.
"When I went and met everyone, I knew UP would be the perfect choice," she said. "The people genuinely want you to succeed and are just amazing people all around."
Hamilton, a senior at Puyallup High School in Washington, plays both catcher and infielder. She is an active member of the Future Farmers of America, a premiere youth organization that prepares members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.
"Kassidy is a great catcher with strong fundamentals and a high softball IQ," Egan said. "She hits for power and has a strong arm. Her ability to throw runners out, work hard with the pitching staff and lead the squad from behind the plate will be a great asset to us. She also plays in the infield and could work into a position there. We are thrilled to have Kassidy join the UP family."
"I chose UP because I was looking for a school that felt like home," Hamilton said. "After spending time with the team, I knew I would love it here."
Ryan, a senior at Filer High School in Idaho, was off to a great start before the season was cut short. The left-handed outfielder/pitcher was batting .800 with an on-base percentage of .800. She led her team in hits, home runs and RBIs.
"She will bring speed to our outfield, power and speed to our offense, and will be a dominate presence on the field for us," Egan said. "She is extremely competitive, driven and will fit in great at UP."
Ryan is excited to live in the Electric City as an Argo.
"I chose the University of Providence because, after growing up in a small town, I like the size of the school and campus," she said. "When I came for my campus visit, I enjoyed how I already felt like I belonged there. Everyone on campus was very friendly, and I really like how everyone seems so close-knit. In meeting the girls on the team (and the coaches) it felt like a perfect fit, they felt like family immediately. I like the exercise science program and what it has to offer. I've loved Montana since I was a little girl and can't wait to attend school there and play for the Argos."