The Bethel College softball team released the first signings of the David Middleton era in recent days.

Bethel signed Peyton Uzanski of Olympia, Wash., and Bailea Crist of McPherson.

Uzanski is a catcher who played for Capital High School, where she was a first-team all-league selection as a utility player in 2016 and a second-team all-league catcher. She also was a first-team all-area third baseman.

She played club softball with the PNW Force.

“Excited to have Peyton as our first 2018-19

signee,” David Middleton said. “She comes from a fundamentally sound club program and will add to our catching staff. She swings a great bat and will be a huge addition to our program and campus. She has a great work ethic that will transfer into the classroom as well.”

“I can’t wait to be a Thresher for the next four years,” Uzanski said.

Uzanski was active in the band in high school. She intends to major in nursing.

Crist is a pitcher and outfielder for McPherson High School, where she was a second-team All-Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division III selection as a pitcher and utility player as a sophomore and a pitcher and outfielder as a freshman.

As a junior, she led her team in batting with a .474 average, one home run, eight RBIs with seven doubles and a triple. She stole two bases and had a .952 fielding percentage.

Crist played club softball for the Salina Stealth.

"I am very excited to get to play softball for coaches David and Stacy Middleton,” Crist said. "Everyone I've met has made me feel very welcome. Bethel has a beautiful campus and offers me the opportunity to receive a top-notch education while playing the game I love"

"I'm very excited to sign Bailea to our program,” David Middleton said. "She is the complete package as a student-athlete. This program will make great strides with her versatility and tremendous speed. By signing Bailea, we have secured a bright future for Bethel Softball. It's always great to find a student-athlete with her type of character and work ethic."

Crist intends to major in criminal justice-social work. She is a 2017 National Honor Society member.