Wayne State softball coach Christy Warnock announced that four student athletes have signed national letter of intent to attend Wayne State College and play softball for the Wildcats in the 2024-25 academic year.
The group includes Mattingly Barnes of Omaha, Leah Chance from Blair, Hayley Lutjeharms of Lincoln and Madison Scobee from Bennington.
“We are excited to announce our 2024 Wayne State Softball signing class,” remarked Warnock. “These four student-athletes bring a wide range of skill and personality that will continue to round out our program. They are eager and dedicated to pursuing excellence both on and off the field and we look forward to having them join us next fall.”
Barnes is a 5-foot-8 catcher from Omaha Mercy HS where she was a four-year starter in softball. This season she led her team to the River City Conference title with an 18-9 record earning All-Conference honors. Barnes hit .431 for the season with 31 hits, 33 RBI, 8 doubles and 6 home runs. Last season she was All-River City Conference honorable mention.
“Matti offers size and power from the left side, which fits in nicely with our lineup,” stated Warnock. “She will bring that same dependability and strength as an anchor for our defense behind the plate. Matti’s competitive, dedicated, and hardworking, all of which will lend to exciting opportunities for her here at Wayne State.”
Chance, a 5-foot-4 second baseman from Blair HS, is a four-year starter in softball and basketball. This season she recorded a .533 batting average with nine home runs, 35 RBI, 51 runs scored and a 1.011 slugging percentage while helping the Lady Bears to a 30-4 record and Class B state runner-up finish. Last season, she helped Blair to a third-place finish at state with a 31-6 record earning All-State honorable mention and All-Eastern Midlands Conference honors. Chance also started in basketball at Blair where she was All-Eastern Midlands Conference honorable mention as a freshman, sophomore and junior while earning Academic All-State honors two years.
“Leah is a ‘complete package’ kind of athlete and will be competitive in every aspect of the game for us,” said Warnock. “She’s reliable and dynamic defensively, smart on the base paths, and consistent in the batter’s box. We expect her to come in and make an impact on our program immediately. Leah is an excellent fit for our program, and we look forward to having her on campus next fall.”
Lutjeharms is a 5-foot-3 outfielder from Lincoln Pius High School. She is a four-year starter in softball and three years in track and field. As a senior Lutjeharms posted a .373 batting average with 38 hits, 29 runs scored, three triples and 11 RBI with 15 walks, helping Lincoln Pius reach the Class A state tournament with a 25-13 record. She is a two-time All-Heartland Athletic Conference selection and was named Class A All-State honorable mention as a sophomore and junior. Lutjeharms excels in the classroom with Academic All-Conference honors three years.
“Hayley will bring an incredible amount of versatility and speed to our group,” commented Warnock. “She is hard working, smart, confident and a great match for the rest of our team. Her natural athleticism means we can use her as both an infielder and an outfielder, and her skillset at the plate will be unique to our lineup. We are thrilled that Hayley will be joining us next year.”
Scobee, a 5-foot-2 third baseman/shortstop from Bennington High School, is a four-year starter in softball. She played on two Class B state tournament teams and two district championship teams while winning Eastern Midlands Conference Championships as a sophomore and junior. Scobee recorded a .482 batting average this season with 12 home runs, 36 RBI and 35 runs scored. Last season she carried a .473 average with 10 homers and 47 runs scored, earning Class B All-State First Team honors. Scobee is a two-time All-Eastern Midlands Conference selection and had a .440 career batting average with 155 hits and 27 home runs with 34 doubles.
“Maddie is an especially gritty, competitive and talented athlete,” said Warnock. “She’s the kind of athlete that loves big moments and will come through for us in them both on the left side of the infield and in the batter’s box. Her playmaking ability, confidence, and flare will make an impact on our program right away. Maddie is a really tough player to compete against, so we’re happy she’ll be in a Wildcat jersey next year.”