Deifel Signs 8 in Top-5 Recruiting Class

on 2023-11-08 18:29 PM

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas softball head coach Courtney Deifel announced the addition of eight new Razorbacks on National Signing Day Wednesday. The decorated class includes Payton Burnham, Ava Carter, Cameryn Harrison, Lexi King, Ella McDowell, Jayden Ramos, Ashtyn Reichardt and Ramsey Walker. 

The recruiting class is ranked No. 5 in the nation according to the publication Extra Inning Softball. 

“We’ve put together a remarkable group of student-athletes with this top recruiting class,” said Deifel. “I have no doubt they will continue to elevate our program with their level of talent and competitive excellence. Beyond what they do on the field, they are intelligent, charismatic, and will be tremendous representatives of our program, department and state. We couldn’t be more thrilled to add these eight dynamic student-athletes to our Razorback softball family. The future is bright for our program.” 

Payton Burnham 

RHP | R/R | Eugene, Ore. | Sheldon HS 

The reigning Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year, Burnham adds a lethal arm to the Arkansas pitching staff. The RHP boasted a 0.19 ERA across 186 innings and owned a 30-1 mark in the circle as a junior. The Eugene, Ore., product notched 375 strikeouts and five shutouts in each of Sheldon High School’s five postseason games, guiding her team to a state title. Burnham also batted .404 with five home runs, 35 RBI and recorded a .674 slugging percentage.  

Why Payton chose Arkansas: “I chose Arkansas because I fell in love with the people and Fayetteville.” 

Ava Carter 

UTL | L/R | Paragould, Ark. | Greene County Tech HS 

A Paragould, Ark., native, Carter stars at Greene County Tech High School where she hit .562 with six home runs and 33 RBI as a junior in 2023. Carter also posted a .638 on-base percentage during her junior campaign. A three-time Arkansas All-State honoree and a two-time Jonesboro Sun Player of the Year, Carter helped her high school to state runner-up finishes in 2022-23.   

Why Ava chose Arkansas: “Walking into the complex and being in the presence of the most amazing coaches that give you hugs every time you see them made my decision so easy. I’m close to my family, and I’ll be playing for people that are already becoming my family.” 

Cameryn Harrison 

RHP | R/R | Katy, Texas | Katy HS 

One of two signees hailing from Katy, Texas, Harrison compiled a 0.81 ERA across 103.2 innings in the circle while logging a 16-3 record. Harrison also tallied a .432 batting average with 11 home runs and 36 RBI at the plate. She was tabbed the No. 6 pitcher and No. 8 overall player in the class of 2024 by Extra Inning Softball. 

Why Cameryn chose Arkansas: “I fell in love with the school as soon as I stepped foot on campus. It reminds me so much of home with the traditions and cultures the school partakes in. The coaches made me feel so welcomed and at home even within the first day of knowing them. They care for me not only as a player but as a person.”

Lexi King 

RHP | R/R | Windermere, Fla. | Windermere HS 

King is another dynamic RHP in the class, tallying a 1.03 ERA and 0.81 WHIP with 102 strikeouts and only 11 walks as a junior in 2023. Playing travel ball with Tennessee Mojo Fisher, King recorded a 0.87 ERA during the summer. She is ranked the No. 23 overall player in the class of 2024 by Extra Inning Softball.  

Why Lexi chose Arkansas: “I fell in love with Arkansas the second I got there. Every aspect of this campus is truly amazing. The coaches and players have created such a great family environment. They were so incredibly welcoming, and it made my choice extremely easy. I’m so excited to call this place home.” 

Ella McDowell 

INF | R/R | Richmond, Texas | Foster HS 

Ranked the No. 3 overall player and No. 1 infielder in the class of 2024 by Extra Inning Softball, McDowell slashed .678/.744/1.413 with a 2.158 OPS, 59 hits, 12 home runs, 12 doubles, eight triples and 59 RBI to guide Foster High School to a 2022-23 Area Championship. In travel ball, McDowell hit .452 with 12 home runs, 42 RBI and 52 hits. 

Why Ella chose Arkansas: “Arkansas has always felt like home to me. The coaches and players make you feel like you are a part of a family, and we have some of the best fans in the country. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.” 

Jayden Ramos 

UTL | R/R | Fresno, Calif. | Central HS 

Ramos brings a big bat from Central High School in Fresno, Calif. A first baseman, Ramos hit .447 with 34 hits, 19 RBI and six home runs en route to being named All-League Offensive Player of the Year during her junior season.  

Why Jayden chose Arkansas: “I chose Arkansas because it felt like home to me, and I loved the staff and team.”

Ashtyn Reichardt  

OF | L/L | Katy, Texas | Katy HS 

The second Razorback signee from Katy, Texas, Reichardt brings speed to the outfield after racking up a .484 batting average and .588 on-base percentage with five home runs, 15 doubles, three triples and 47 runs as a junior in 2023. This fall during travel ball, Reichardt has recorded a .429 batting average and .500 on-base percentage. Reichardt was tabbed the No. 22 overall player in the class of 2024 by Extra Inning Softball.  

Why Ashtyn chose Arkansas: “Arkansas felt like home as soon as I stepped on campus. The coaches, team, and people at the university are so welcoming and made it feel like this is where I was meant to be.” 

Ramsey Walker 

OF | R/R | Shreveport, La. | Calvary HS 

Walker obtained a .500 batting average and .574 on-base percentage with 21 home runs, 55 RBI, 17 doubles and two triples as a junior. Walker was named the 2022 State of Louisiana Player of the Year and is ranked the No. 16 overall player in the class of 2024 by Extra Inning Softball. She hit at a .420 clip with her travel ball team in summer 2023. Her father, Clint Walker, played baseball at Arkansas from 1994-96.  

Why Ramsey chose Arkansas: “It felt like home. The culture and fan base are incredible. No other place compares to the softball program and coaching staff at Arkansas, so it was a no-brainer.” 

(Last updated: 2023-11-08 18:29 PM)