CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball head coach Frank Reed announced on Monday that junior infielder Simone "Ninja" Suetsugu (Sao Paulo, Brazil), a transfer from Miami Dade College, would be joining the team in the fall. She completes the 2011 class for the Lady Mocs along with Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.), Jennifer Garcia (Miami, Fla.), Brittany Perez (Miami, Fla.), Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) and Cheyenne Willis (Winchester, Tenn.), who signed their National Letters of Intent in November during the early period.
"I am excited for Simone and she is a great addition to our program," said Reed. "It has been a long three-year process to get her here academically, but it is great to see all that hard work pay off. She has some of the softest hands that I have seen along with a really good arm. She is very knowledgeable at both middle infield positions and hits the ball well."
Suetsugu (pronounced Su-ET-suga) served as a student assistant last year with Miami Dade, who won the 2011 NJCAA DI National Championship, and has two years of eligibility remaining. She along with current Lady Moc Vivian Morimoto (Sao Paulo, Brazil) helped the Lady Sharks capture the programs first NJCAA DI National Championship in 2010.
"She is a fiery type of player just like Morimoto," said Reed. "I would have liked to have had both of them here last year, but Vivian [Morimoto] will be able to help her adjust. They will help challenge and push each other."
The Sao Paulo, Brazil, native was named to the NJCAA All-Tournament Team and Atlantic District All-Tournament Team in 2010. She has been honored as a two-time All-Southern Conference (NJCAA) First Team member.
In the two seasons at Miami Dade, she posted a .370 batting
average with 17 doubles, 11 home runs and 70 RBI in 90 games. Second base, shortstop, third base and catcher are the positions that she has played with the Lady Sharks.
Before coming to the United States, Suetsugu attended Colegio Objectivo/Ibiuna in Brazil. She was a member of the Brazilian National Team along with Morimoto and participated in the 2007 Pan-American and Sub-American Games. She also competed with the Nippon Blue Jays, a club team that won the 2007 Brazilian Championship Cup.
Suetsuga grew up time in Japan and was a high school student at Tokai Gakun Aichi Toyata. The softball team won the region and state cup in 2005.
Deason, Garcia, Perez, Roberts, Suetsuga and Willis being their career's at Chattanooga in August when they start school. The Lady Mocs will begin their fall team activities from September.
Chattanooga Softball 2012 Class
Name Pos B/T Hometown
Taylor Deason P R/R Clarksville, Tenn. (Northeast)
Jennifer Garcia P/UTL R/R Miami, Fla. (G. Holmes Braddock)
Brittany Perez P/IF R/R Miami, Fla. (Florida Christian)
Sarah Beth Roberts IF/OF R/R Mt. Juliet, Tenn. (Mt. Juliet)
Simone Suetsugu IF R/R Sao Paulo, Brazil (Colegio Objectivio/Ibiuna)
Cheyenne Willis OF L/R Winchester, Tenn. (Coffee County)