PITTSBURGH – Pitt softball head coach Jenny Allard added to the 2024 roster with the signing of six transfer student-athletes. The Panthers will have two pitchers, two infielders, a catcher and an outfielder join the squad for the upcoming 2024 season.
The six roster additions consist of outfielder Alena Ball (George Mason), infielder Caroline Deem (Massachusetts), catcher KK Esparza (Ole Miss), infielder Desirae Martinez (Bethune-Cookman), pitcher Kyra Pittman (Maryland), and pitcher Olivia Stefanoni (Akron).
Alena Ball comes to Pittsburgh from George Mason after playing in 35 games for the Patriots, notching 25 starts her freshman season. Ball finished her only season with the Patriots batting .289 along with 25 runs, 22 hits, and five RBIs. She made her collegiate debut against Ohio where she was able to record her first hit, run, and RBI all together.
First base talent Caroline Deem joins the Panthers from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Deem batted .290 (61-for-210) with 44 RBI in three seasons with the Minutewomen. During her sophomore season, Deem hit .318 (56-for-176) with 21 RBI, 18 runs scored, and 24 walks. In a winning effort against Bryant, she drove in four runs on three hits with a home run and two runs scored.
Deem collected numerous accolades during her high school career at Bishop Freehan, including being named to the 2018 Boston Herald Player to Watch List. She was a three-time Eastern Athletic Conference All-Star, two-time Sun Chronicle All-Star, and three-time Offensive Award Winner at Bishop Freehan. She was also earned Softball Factory All-American honors.
Esparza joins the Panthers squad after playing three seasons with Ole Miss. Esparza was named to the 2023 Top 5 Catchers to Watch by Extra Innings Softball and started five games in 2023 before redshirting for the season.
As a freshman, Esparza helped lead Ole Miss to its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and fourth ever 40-win season. Esparza appeared and started in 56 games behind the plate and logged a .988 fielding percentage with 300 putouts, 16 assists and caught nine runners stealing. Off the field, she was named Easton/NFCA Scholastic All-American and to the SEC First-Year Honor Roll.