Four athletes ink with MSU

Four student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent to compete for Minot State University on Wednesday, the early signing day for NCAA institutions.

The Beavers picked up two men’s basketball signees and one each in women’s basketball and softball. Here’s a look at each of the athletes:

Men’s basketball

MSU coach Matt Murken continued to add size to his roster with the signings of 6-foot-6 Tyler Rudolph and 6-7 Channing Reed. The Beavers brought in four players 6-6 or taller in the 2013 recruiting class.

Reed, a Belcourt native, is currently in his sophomore year at Lake Region State College. The 235-pound forward is averaging 7.2 points and 3.5 rebounds through four games this season.

“He’ll provide some depth for us right away because, physically, he’s ready to bang,” Murken said. “He’s got a Division II body. It’s definitely been a priority for us to try to recruit more size and he definitely fits the bill for that.”

Rudolph, a senior at Century High School, averaged 13.3 points and 8.8 rebounds last season in leading the Patriots to a fourth-place finish at the Class A state tournament. He shot 53 percent from the floor and was a second-team all-state selection.

“He’s one of the better rebounders in the state,” Murken said. “He can score with his back to the basket or step it all the way out to the (3-point line), so he’s got a little bit of versatility. He’s one of the top kids we targeted early in the recruiting process so we’re happy to sign him.”

Murken said he hopes to sign two or three more players in the spring. Now that front-line depth is taken care of, the Beavers will focus on signing the best available players at any position, Murken said.

Women’s basketball

The Beavers inked another talented Australian post player in 6-foot-1 Caitlin McLachlan.

Coach Sheila Green Gerding said the Strathfieldsaye, Victoria, native reminds her of twins Carly and Christina Boag, MSU’s starting forwards from Tamworth, Australia.

“(McLachlan is) very skilled, she’s very athletic, she can play inside and outside and she’s very strong so she reminds me a lot of (the Boags) with that skill set,” Green Gerding said. “She comes in with a really great skill set where I don’t think we’ll have to wait for her to develop. She’ll come in and help us right away and then obviously get better over the course of four years.”

McLachlan averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds for Trinity Lutheran High School last season, leading her team to a national championship and earning league MVP honors. She recorded 20 points and 18 boards in the national championship game.

Softball

MSU coach Bill Triplett announced the signing of first baseman Ashley Hill of Mesa, Ariz.

Hill started the past two seasons at Red Mountain High School, the four-time defending state champion in Class 5A. The 5-foot-7 right-handed hitter batted .397 as a junior and tied for the team lead in hits (50) and RBIs (41).

Triplett said the Beavers didn’t need a first baseman, but Hill “is so good that we felt we really had to recruit her.” She can also play catcher and third base, and other MSU players could slide to other positions to make room for Hill.

“Her bat is gonna get stuck in the lineup right away as a freshman,” Triplett said. “Just great power. She hits for line drives, she hits for average, but her line drives just carry and carry. She’s got that special pop in her bat.”

The Beavers are still looking to add a middle infielder and a pitcher to this recruiting class.

Daniel Allar covers Minot State University athletics. Follow him on Twitter @DAllar_MDN.