Revelle Welcomes Five Signees to Nebraska Softball

The Nebraska softball program added five talented student-athletes to its roster Wednesday, the head coach announced Rhonda Revelle. The 2023 undersigning class was ranked 18th after extra inning softball.

Samantha Bland (Chino Hills, Calif.), Emmerson Cope (Topeka, Kan.), Elisa Gulfin (Brea, Calif.), Caitlin Olensky (Montville, NJ) and Malia Thoms (Lincoln, Neb.) will join the Huskers next fall .

“Our goal is to produce characterful student-athletes each year who are focused on bringing out their best in the classroom, in the community and on the field,” Revelle said.

“We believe this class of 2023 meets all of those criteria. In addition to being team first players, these players have the talent and work ethic to steer this program in a positive direction and focus on achieving excellence in everything we do. We are proud to welcome this group of high achievers.”

Samantha Bland, INF, R/R, Chino Hills, California.

Samantha Bland, a native of Chino Hills, California, is a four-year college mail carrier and two-year captain at Chino Hills High School. She had a .424 batting average and led her team in RBIs and HRs last season. Bland, a two-time LA Times All-Star and First Team All-State pick, will play her senior season in high school softball in the spring.

Bland plays club softball for the Corona Angels under coach Marty Tyson. Bland helped the Corona Angels 16U team to a second-place finish at the Alliance Fastpitch National Championship with coach Dena Slye. Bland was rated a four-star athlete by OnDeck.

Samantha, the daughter of Damon and Daniela Bland, was born on January 29, 2005. She has a younger brother, Nico. Samantha has received scholarly and athletic awards for her academic success at Chino Hills High School.

“Samantha is a gifted athlete with smooth hands, quick feet and very good reach in midfield,” Revelle said. “She has great defensive instincts and offensively she is a strong hitter who can hit the ball out of the yard. We are so grateful that Samantha said yes to the Red Team as we know she will step in and be a hitter. “

Bland on Nebraska: “I chose Nebraska because I wanted to learn from one of the best coaching teams in the area and compete for a Big Ten championship.”

Emmerson Cope, RHP, R/R, Topeka, Kansas

Emmerson Cope, a pitcher and infielder ranked 26th overall by Extra Innings Softball, joins the Huskers as a right-handed pitcher and offensive threat. She hit .457 with 21 doubles and 11 homers in this summer’s club softball season. Cope was twice named to the Alliance All-Summer Team and received Alliance HFL Player of the Year honors while playing for Ryan Taylor and Aces Fastpitch.

Cope was also recognized as First-Team All-State, First-Team All-City, First-Team All-Conference, and Conference Player of the Year while playing high school softball for Washburn Rural.

Emmerson, the daughter of Wayne Cope and Laura Parker, was born on July 23, 2005. She has two sisters, Bayleigh Cope and Logan Parker, and two brothers, Zach and Greyson Cope. Emmerson plans to study communication science and disorders.

“We’re excited to have Emmerson wear the scarlet and cream as she has elite power and is one of the hardest hitting players in the entire 2023 class,” Revelle said. “Her racquet packs a punch. On the defensive side of the ball, Emmerson is a shooter who’s smart on the mound with her mix of speeds, making her opponents difficult to stop.”

Cope on Nebraska: “I chose Nebraska because I experienced a family atmosphere on day one with the coaches and because of the amazing opportunities the school offers for your future.”

Elisa Gulfin, RHP, R/R, Brea, California.

Elisa Gulfin, a native of Brea, California, joins the Huskers as a right-handed pitcher and circle leader. Gulfin, who will start her senior season at Saint Paul High School this spring, is a two-time team captain.

Gulfin plays club softball for the Corona Angels under coach Marty Tyson.

Elisa, the daughter of Erik and Michelle Gulfin, was born on September 5, 2005. Elisa was inducted into the roll of honor and recognized as a high-performing scholar-athlete at Saint Paul. She wants to study psychology.

“Elisa is a right-handed pitcher who loves nothing more than competing in circles,” Revelle said. “A fiery competitor, Elisa is motivated and driven to win and lead from pitcher’s mound. We are eager to bring her to Nebraska and work with Coach (Lori) Sippel where she will continue to grow, develop and shine as a Husker. ”

Gulfin on Nebraska: “I chose Nebraska because the softball team’s coaching staff is second to none. Nebraska has the best support to help me succeed and I also get to play softball at an elite level.”

Caitlin Olensky, LHP, L/L, Montville, NJ

Caitlin Olensky, who was named the No. 60 recruit by Extra Innings Softball’s 2023 class, will be in her final high school season at Montville High School this spring. Olensky will join the Huskers as a left-handed pitcher as well as a powerful offensive player.

Olensky received All-State honors last spring after finishing with a .469 batting average and 27 RBIs. At the county, Olensky holds the season record for her high school, having recorded 252 strikeouts in 120 innings. She also had six no-hitters and finished the season with a 0.52 ERA. Olensky led her team to a conference championship and the first-ever county title.

Caitlin was born on August 22, 2005 and is the daughter of James and Joann Olensky. She has a younger sister, Jaime, and a younger brother, Zack. She wants to study psychology.

“We are excited about Caitlin’s addition as she is passionate about studying the game and determined to fulfill her talent,” said Revelle. “As a left-handed pitcher, Caitlin gets a lot of swings and misses, largely because of her tight spin with good movement. We believe Caitlin will be ready to take the circle for the red team and continue her winning streak.”

Olensky on Nebraska: “I chose Nebraska because visiting the campus made me fall in love with the coaches and the area.”

Malia Thoms, INF/OF, L/R, Lincoln, Neb.

Malia Thoms is the No. 42 in the 2023 class of Extra Innings Softball and hails from Lincoln, Neb. Thoms was a four-year starter at Waverly High School, receiving conference honors each year and being named the offensive player of the year.

Thoms plays club softball for Aces Fastpitch, coached by Ryan Taylor. Last summer, Thoms hit 17 homers, 17 doubles, six triples and finished with 1,203 OPS.

Malia was born on February 1, 2005 to Dustin and Sena Thoms. Malia has two brothers, Ridge and Hunter. She was inducted into the roll of honor and intends to study elementary education.

“Malia is a heart and soul person who only knows one way to do things, she gives it her all,” Revelle said. “Malia is ALL N. Malia is a homegrown Husker who takes great pride in being the best she can be for the red team. As a left-handed power hitter, look for Malia to take the field at Bowlin Stadium and be ready to make an impact for the Cornhuskers.”

Thoms on Nebraska: “I chose Nebraska because I realized how important it is to represent my home state, it’s close to home and family, I get to watch my little brothers grow up and eventually all the coaches and caretakers meet, I knew this was my second home.”

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