Staten Island, NY | Head Coach Stella Porto and the College of Staten Island softball program is proud to announce the celebratory signing of Temescal Canyon High School senior Sierra Kaplanek. The Corona, California, native is expected to be a productive part of the CSI system for the next four years and is the first known west coast recruit to join the softball program in its history.
The four-year varsity standout, Kaplanek has spent a majority of her time behind the plate, platooning at third base and first base as well during her career. The highly-decorated standout on the field and in the classroom, led the Titans in a host of categories, putting up gaudy numbers for the Lake Elsinore school. Since 2014, Kaplanek has also starred for over a half dozen independent and club programs. Her decision to make CSI her home for the next four years was a calculated one.
“I chose the College of Staten Island because it gave me what I was looking for in a college and so much more,” she said. “It has a wonderful atmosphere, beautiful campus, and provides a quality education. The softball program has a wonderful and supportive environment from the coaches and the players.”
Kaplanek will provide an outstanding presence to the team, according to her coaches. In her time at Temescal Canyon, she boasted a career batting average of .486, with an on-base percentage just short of .600. She garnered a colossal 173 career RBI with 27 home runs and 168 runs scored. Defensively behind the plate, Kaplanek did not allow a single stolen base in her junior and senior year, gunning down a perfect 57-for-57 potential base stealers. More than her production, she hopes to instill positive leadership and be a productive role model for others on the team.
“I feel I can bring a positive attitude to the program,” she said. “CSI already has a great program with many amazing women. I feel I would add another positive mindset and push everyone to do their best.”
Head Coach Porto knows that Kaplanek is a prized recruit, ready to show her ability the minute she steps on to campus. Landing the California-native introduced a new pipeline for the program and hopes that Kaplanek will usher in a new wave of out-of-state talent to the program.
“Sierra plays for one of the most prestigious travel programs in the country, and we had a chance to watch her play in Denver and we’ve been attached to her ever since,” said Porto. “She has a strong interest in teaching and the sciences and CSI provided a perfect fit for her. I picture her being a potential starting catcher. She has a rocket arm and she can play the infield as well. She can lead-off, she’s quick, has good power. She’s an awesome all-around kid you want attached to your program. I definitely see her having a very strong college career and we are very excited to have her here.”
The daughter of Mike and Heather Kaplanek, Sierra’s athletic talents may pale in comparison to her exceptional performance in the classroom. A two-time Principal’s Circle of Honor recipient, she is an Honor Roll student, she took home an Excellence in Drama Award for 2017-18. Temescal’s Offensive Player of the Year Award winner in 2016, Kaplanek has played for four different Firecrackers club programs as well during her high school career. She has a younger sister, Summer.
The Dolphins are coming off of a 23-12 season in 2018, complete with their sixth-straight CUNYAC Championship and a trip to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament. The team is graduating a small cluster of seniors but is hoping to continue their reign at the top thanks to a healthy freshman class this off-season making their way in.