TUSCALOOSA ?? Studentsportssoftball.com released its top-25 recruiting classes following the early signing period on Wednesday with Alabama ranked as the fifth best class in the country.
The class was one of the smallest of the ranked groups and features two Alabama players from Vestavia Hills in Catherine Dozier and Whitney Larsen as well as a player of the year from Florida, Kelsi Dunne (Port Orange, Fla.), and a district MVP from Texas, Amanda Locke (Mesquite, Texas).
Dozier and Larsen both played at Vestavia Hills High School. The two players helped lead their squad to second place 6A State Tournament in 2005 and 2006. Dozier is an infielder while Larsen plays middle infield and outfield. Dunne attended Spruce Creek High School and was a pitcher and first baseman. Last season she led her team to the 6A State Championship game and set school records with 461 strikeouts and 24 shutouts in 2006. She also pitched nine no-hitters. Locke is a pitcher and first baseman at North Mesquite High School. She led her squad to the Region II Area Championship and in to the playoffs in each of the last three years.
The top two classes in the country both came from the Pac-10 Conference. UCLA received top billing while Arizona was listed second.
Alabama will begin practice for the 2007 season on Sunday at 2 p.m. and will open the year at the Texas State Tournament Feb. 9-11 in San Marcos, Texas.