Baseball and Softball NIL Athletes Step Up to the Plate to Join Team Rapsodo
ST. LOUIS, Mo., June 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rapsodo, the company known for helping athletes achieve their maximum potential by providing advanced data in real time, announces several partnerships with big names in the baseball and softball realms. The list of stars joining team Rapsodo includes name, image, and likeness (NIL) athletes from top collegiate programs across the country. Three sets of teammates from three separate schools, Oklahoma University, the University of Louisville, and the University of Miami are showcasing their talents as part of the Rapsodo team, promoting Rapsodo’s promise to give athletes everywhere the tools they need to play like never before.
As the regular season comes to a close, some teams are preparing for the Men’s & Women's College World Series, while other athletes enter the offseason and regroup for a run at next year's tournament.
The team to beat in this year’s Women’s College World Series (WCWS) is Oklahoma. The Sooners enter the World Series looking for their 3rd-straight National Championship. They won their 48th consecutive game against Clemson on Saturday, the longest winning streak in NCAA D-I Softball History. Rapsodo has been proud to have played a part in the building of this championship program. The two Oklahoma teammates joining team Rapsodo will share the message that athletes are not defined by skill but by a mindset anyone can share, as the team’s motto is “championship mindset.”
Highlighting Rapsodo’s NIL partners is Tiare Jennings, one of the top college softball players in the country for the back-to-back WCWS champion Oklahoma Sooners. Jennings, an infielder originally from San Pedro, Calif., has hit 68 home runs and 232 RBI while maintaining a batting average above .400 for all three of her seasons at Oklahoma. She also set the WCWS record for both RBI (15) and home runs (5) in the 2022 WCWS. Her 92 RBIs in 2021 ranks 10th all time for most RBIs in a single season in NCAA history. She’s also a member of the USA Softball Women’s National Team.
“I’ve been blessed with lots of successes over my collegiate softball career so far, and getting the opportunity to partner with Rapsodo is one of those successes,” Jennings said. “I always strive to be my best on the field, and Rapsodo devices and data help me become the best player I can be, so I can’t wait to get to work with the Rapsodo team.”
Jennings’ Oklahoma teammate Nicole May is also part of the Rapsodo team. The right-handed pitcher originally from Pleasanton, Calif. has earned several honors during her time as a Sooner. Among her accolades are 2022 Academic All-Big 12 First Team, 2021 Big 12 All-Freshman Team, 2021 Big 12 All-Tournament Team and two-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Week. May has combined on two perfect games and has combined on five no-hitters as well.
“Rapsodo technology has really helped me become a better pitcher, and I am glad the Rapsodo team has chosen me as an NIL partner,” May said. “I’m a big believer that data is a great way to improve, which makes Rapsodo a perfect fit for me.”
Sooner assistant coach JT Gasso, who is a member of the Rapsodo Softball Advisory Board, has utilized Rapsodo as part of the Sooners’ recruiting and player development plan to incredible success, including WCWS titles in 2013, 2016, 2017, 2021 and 2022 as well as WCWS runner-up finishes in 2012 and 2019.
"Rapsodo has become a vital part of our recruiting strategy," Gasso said. We have relied heavily on Rapsodo data and video to gauge our recruits’ level of performance for years."
On the men’s side, the season may be over for the University of Louisville, but Rapsodo is helping the program come back even stronger next year. Another of Rapsodo’s NIL partners is Ben Wiegman, a pitcher from the University of Louisville. The right-handed junior originally from Antioch, Ill. was undefeated in his sophomore year on the mound, racking up a 3-0 record with nine strikeouts and two perfect innings in his 13 appearances. This season, he’s made 11 appearances with six strikeouts. Wiegman also has a strong social media presence with over 31K followers on Instagram.
“Rapsodo data has played a major role in transforming me from a midwestern kid with a dream to where I am today as a Division I pitcher,” Wiegman said. “That’s what makes me cherish this partnership with Rapsodo so much. I’m grateful the team trusts me to share with my audience how incredible Rapsodo technology is.”
Wiegman’s Louisville teammate Greg Farone also joins team Rapsodo as an NIL partner. The junior left-handed pitcher originally from Schenectady, N.Y. transferred to Louisville after an impressive two seasons at Herkimer College. Farone was the 2022 NJCAA Division III Player of the Year, 2022 NJCAA Division III World Series Most Valuable Player and a 2022 NJCAA Division III First Team All-American. Farone won the NJCAA Division III national championship at Herkimer as well.
“This is such an awesome opportunity to partner with Rapsodo,” Farone said. “Rapsodo technology is an important part of my development and helped me go from Division III to Louisville. It means a lot that the Rapsodo team would bring me on board to represent them.”
The University of Miami is currently a top 10 team in the country coming into the College World Series with a lot of momentum. Miami’s Rafe Schlesinger also joins team Rapsodo. The sophomore is a left-handed pitcher from Holbrook, N.Y. In his freshman year with the Hurricanes, he made 19 appearances and went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA over 10.2 innings. He also recorded eight strikeouts and only allowed two extra-base hits. This season, he has 2-1 record with a 3.32 ERA.
“Working with a brand I trust so much like Rapsodo truly means the world to me,” Schlesinger said. “Rapsodo is known for teaming up with elite athletes, so it’s an honor to be included in that bunch.”
Rounding out Rapsodo’s NIL athletes is Schlesinger’s Miami teammate Alejandro Rosario. The junior who plays in his hometown started 12 games in his sophomore season as a right-handed pitcher and struck out 52 batters, including a season-high eight vs. North Carolina. Rosario was named to the 2021 Perfect Game Freshman All-America Second Team as well.
“I’ve seen the impact Rapsodo technology has had on my development as a player, which is why I’m so proud to join the team as an NIL partner,” Rosario said. “I’m looking forward to spreading the word about Rapsodo and seeing the positive effects of this partnership in the future.”
“This is an all-star group of athletes we’re bringing on board at Rapsodo,” Rapsodo CEO Batuhan Okur said. “With the reach each of these players has, we’re confident they’ll help spread the word about Rapsodo’s mission to a wide-ranging audience.”
Rapsodo’s diamond sports products are used by teams and organizations of all levels from high schools all the way up to the MLB. The HITTING 2.0 and PITCHING 2.0 devices utilize innovative radar and camera technology to provide instant feedback and advanced analysis. It also uses slow-motion video playback, allowing hitters and pitchers to observe their form and receive coaching on how to improve. Rapsodo’s newest diamond sports product, the PRO 3.0, is used for both hitting and pitching in live-on-live situations, utilizing three cameras and two radars to track full ball flight. The PRO 3.0 also recently added the ability to measure seam orientation and Seam-Shifted Wake, making it the first device to ever have the capability to measure the latter.
For more information on Rapsodo’s technology, visit rapsodo.com.
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