Siebert joining SIU-Edwardsville softball

EDWARDSVILLE—Laurie Siebert of Sugar Grove and Ali Downing of Ottumwa, Iowa, will join the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville softball team next season, according to coach Sandy Montgomery.

Coming off an impressive 40-10 season in 2009, Montgomery added a pair of transfer student-athletes.

“Both Laurie and Ali have the ability to step in right away for us at important positions,” Montgomery said.

Siebert, who has been with Mississippi State since the 2007 season, will have two years of eligibility. An infielder, Siebert appeared in 20 games last season at Mississippi State. She was named a two-time Southeastern Conference Academic All-American.

A two-time All-State pick at Kaneland High School, Siebert twice was the state runner-up in the IHSA Home Run Derby.

“Laurie was an outstanding hitter in high school and has a few years of experience in the SEC facing some of the top pitchers in the country,” said Montgomery.

Siebert was a four-time All-Conference pick. She also played club softball with the Aurora Raiders, helping them to two USSSA state championships.

Downing, who spent two seasons at Indian Hills Community College, was a third team All-American last season as well as a first team All-Midwest Region performer. Honored both seasons as an All-American for academics, she was the Newcomer of the Year for Indian Hills as a freshman.

A four-time All-State selection at Ottumwa High School, she helped lead Ottumwa to a seventh-place state finish as a sophomore and a third-place finish as a senior.

Named to Iowa’s Senior All-Star team as a senior, she also was honored as a Wendy’s High School Heisman nominee.