2013 Season Outlook
Sammi Noland will serve as Nebraska’s backup catcher during her freshman season, where she will benefit by learning from junior Taylor Edwards, the only All-America catcher in Husker history. Noland brings a winning attitude to Nebraska, as she was a three-time state champion in high school, and she won the prestigious ASA Gold National Championship last summer. In an effort to get her bat into the lineup, Noland is also a candidate to earn some playing time in the outfield.
Noland put up solid offensive numbers in high school, batting .422 as a junior and hitting a grand slam in the state championship game as a senior. She was chosen as one of Southern Arizona’s top players following her junior and senior seasons. A tall and intimidating presence at the plate, Noland fared well in limited action during Nebraska’s fall season, reaching base in better than 40 percent of her plate appearances.
Noland was a three-time state champion at Canyon del Oro High School in Tucson, Ariz., and she concluded her prep career by winning the ASA Gold National Championship last summer during travel ball.
Noland ended her high school career with a state championship, and she keyed the victory by breaking a 4-4 tie with a fourth-inning grand slam. For her efforts as a senior, Noland was selected as a first-team All-Southern Arizona pick and Division II first-team selection by the Tucson Citizen.
Prior to her senior season, Noland played a key role in helping Canyon del Oro to a pair of state championships in her first three high school seasons. As a junior in 2011, Noland batted .422 (43-for-102) with 14 doubles, two home runs, six stolen bases, 28 runs scored and 28 RBIs. She added a .487 on-base percentage and a .618 slugging percentage, as the Dorados finished with a 35-1 record. One of her two home runs was a two-run shot in the state championship game. Noland was an honorable-mention all-state selection in Class 4A and a second-team All-Southern Arizona selection as a junior. She also earned her team’s defensive player-of-the-year award.
In her sophomore season, Noland helped lead Canyon del Oro to an 18-6 record and an appearance in the state semifinals. During her freshman season in 2009, the Dorados finished 30-2 and won the state championship.
Noland will join Husker sophomore Mattie Fowler as Canyon del Oro graduates on Nebraska’s 2013 roster. Together, Fowler and Noland teamed up to win state titles for Canyon del Oro in 2009 and 2011. Both of those teams were coached by Mattie Fowler’s mother, Kelly, who coached Noland during her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons.
Noland played her club ball for the AZ Desert Thunder, which is coached by Lance and Kelly Fowler. Noland helped the Desert Thunder place in the top 25 at the ASA Gold National Championship every year from 2006 to 2010, including two top-10 finishes. One of three Desert Thunder players to join a Division I program this season, Noland capped her career by helping the Desert Thunder win the ASA Gold National Championship tournament last July. The national title was a first for the program, and Noland contributed to the title by going 1-for-1 with a sacrifice in the championship game. One day earlier, Noland played a key role in the Desert Thunder advancing in the tournament, as she scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 5-4 win over Oklahoma Athletics Gold.
Samantha (Sammi) Rae Noland is the daughter of Steve and Mia Noland. Sammi was born on June 23, 1994, in Phoenix, Ariz. She has an older brother, Seth (24) and a younger sister, Emily (14). Sammi comes from an athletic family, as her father was a football and baseball player at Willmar Community College in Willmar, Minn., and her brother played baseball at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Sammi has not declared a major.