PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown University head softball coach Katie Flynn has announced the eight members of the Class of 2017 who will join the Bears in the fall. Christina Andrews (Southlake, Texas), Gina Chieffallo (Eynon, Pa.), Casey Fisher (Oro Valley, Ariz.), Lauren Hanna (Milford, Mass.), Leah Nakashima (San Jose, Calif.), Jessica Pinkney (Raleigh, N.C.), Julia Schoenewald (Jamison, Pa.) and Sarah Syrop (Kennesaw, Ga.) make up Brown's freshman class for the 2014 season.
"This is a big first recruiting class for me. I am thrilled with the speed, depth and quality of this group," said Flynn. "There are four lefties in the group to give us some much needed speed. Most of them can play multiple positions to help with our depth around the diamond. They are experienced gold and premier level players who have won state championships. I know they are excited to be a part of our family and come in and compete."
Hometown: Southlake, Texas
High School: Southlake Carroll
Secondary School Background: Earned four varsity letters as a member of the softball team at Southlake Carroll High School … Served as team captain during her senior year … Earned first team All-District and Academic All-District in 2012 and 2013 … Named the team's Most Valuable Player in 2013 … Also played for Texas Elite, Team TFS Texas and Texas Fusion Gold.
Personal: Christina Andrews is the daughter of Madhuri Andrews and Kenneth Wilson of Southlake, Texas … She has an older brother, Christopher, and a younger sister, Christal … Christopher attends Northeastern … Enjoys skiing and playing piano … Concentration is undeclared.
"The flexibility to include a variety of liberal arts courses will allow me to better understand the socio-economic factors that affect biomedicine. Also, courses in business and finance will help me start up a entrepreneurial venture focused on improving pediatric health at a global level."
Hometown: Eynon, Pa.
High School: Valley View
Secondary School Background: A three-sport athlete at Valley View High School, she earned four varsity letters in softball, three in cheerleading and one in tennis … Captained the softball team during her senior year … Won four District II championships with the softball team … Won the Lackawanna League in 2011, 2012 and 2013 … Earned Lackawanna League All-Star honors in 2011 and 2012 … Named first team All-State in 2011 and 2012 … Selected as an All-Region pitcher in 2011 and 2012 … Chosen as the 2012 Times Tribune Softball Player of the Year … Also competed for the Carbino Club.
Personal: Gina Chieffallo is the daughter of Lori and Michael Chieffallo of Eynon, Pennsylvania … She has one younger sister, Olivia … Her cousin, Stephen Picchini, plays football for the US Naval Academy … Enjoys art, knitting, crocheting and skiing … Her concentration is undeclared.
"Brown University gave me the opportunity to continue my softball career while challenging myself in the classroom as well. I felt at home on campus and very welcomed by the coaching staff and players. Brown also gives me the opportunity to play with a high school teammate again, something that I didn't think possible. I can't wait to see where these next four years take me as a Brown Bear."
Hometown: Oro Valley, Ariz.
High School: Ironwood Ridge
Secondary School Background: Played one year of softball at Ironwood Ridge High School, earning one varsity letter … Helped her team to a second place finish in the state during her senior season … Has only been playing softball for the past year due to an injury … Also competed for the Tucson Scramblers.
Personal: Cassandra Fisher is the daughter of Dianne and Kenneth Fisher of Oro Valley, Arizona … She has one older sibling, Cameron … Enjoys hiking, cooking and hanging out with friends and family … Her concentration is undeclared.
"As soon as I stepped onto Brown's campus, I knew that it was the school for me. I can't quite put a finger on one exact thing that made me feel this way. But, my best guess is that the combination of the excellent academics, amazing softball coaches and team, gorgeous campus, genuine people, and relaxed environment had a lot to do with it. Plus, I have to admit that when someone told me that downtown Providence has outdoor skating rinks, the deal was sealed for me."
Hometown: Milford, Mass.
High School: Milford
Position: Outfield/Second Base
Secondary School Background: Earned four varsity letters in softball, three in indoor track and one in volleyball … Captained the varsity softball team during her senior year … Helped her team to three consecutive Central Massachusetts championships and a Massachusetts Division I Softball state championship in 2012 … Selected to the 2013 Boston Herald pre-season softball Dream Team in 2013 … Earned Milford Daily News honorable mention accolades in 2011 and 2012 … Received her team's Most Improved Award in 2011 and 2012 … Also played for the New England Phoenix Gold Softball team.
Personal: Lauren Hanna is the daughter of Donna and Sam Hanna of Milford, Massachusetts … She has an older sister, Carly, and a younger brother, Matthew … Enjoys working out, going for runs and spending time with family and friends … Her concentration is undeclared.
"Brown provides the best opportunity for a student athlete to excel. By being an Ivy League and NCAA Division 1 school, there is no reason why a student athlete would not choose Brown if they had the choice. I fell in love with the campus on my first visit, and I know Brown's high expectations will push me to succeed in the classroom and on the field."
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
High School: Abraham Lincoln
Secondary School Background: Earned four varsity letters in softball and two in basketball at Abraham Lincoln High School … Captained the softball team during her junior and senior year … Lead her team to the championship title during her freshman year … Received her league's Freshman of the Year award, Sophomore of the Year award and Junior of the Year award … Earned second team All-League honors during her senior season … Also played for the San Jose Lady Sharks.
Personal: Leah Nakashima is the daughter of Ann and Kent Nakashima of San Jose, California … She has two sisters, Taylor and Mari … Enjoys playing the viola in the orchestra and Girl Scouts … Her concentration is undeclared.
"I chose Brown because it offered me an excellent opportunity to pursue my athletic and academic career in an environment that is both challenging and diverse. From the minute I stepped on campus I immediately felt at home and could see myself spending the next four years here. Brown encompasses everything I look for in an ideal school, and I am so excited to become part of this renowned academic institution."
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
High School: Leesville Road
Secondary School Background: Earned four varsity letters in softball at Leesville Road High School and captained the team for three years … Helped lead her team to four consecutive winning records and state play-off appearances … A four-year NCHSAA AAA Scholar Athlete…A four-year A Honor Roll Student-Athlete … A three-year member of the Softball Leadership Academy … Earned the Coach's Extra Effort Award.
Personal: Jessica Pinkney is the daughter of Valerie and Kenneth Pinkney of Raleigh, North Carolina … She has one older brother, Robert … Enjoys listening to music, learning languages and writing … Her concentration is undeclared.
"Brown University offers me everything that I am looking for in my college experience. The campus has a close-knit community feel, and the prestigious academics will give me amazing opportunities in the classroom. Playing for Brown University at such a high level of competition provides me with the Division I athletic challenges that I sought. I felt very comfortable on campus during my visit, and I cannot wait to spend the next four years at Brown."
Hometown: Jamison, Pa.
High School: Central Bucks East
Secondary School Background: A four-year varsity letter winner in softball at Central Bucks East High School … Captained the team for two years … Helped her team to a PIAA Class AAAA District One championship and the state finals … Selected as MVP for the 2012 and 2013 seasons … Named first team All-State and first team Suburban One … Named All-Intelligener Player of the Year … Also competed for the Rock 18U Gold, the Doylestown Dragons and the Warrington Blue Thunder.
Personal: Julia Schoenewald is the daughter of Wendy and Robert Schoenewald of Jamison, Pennsylvania … She has one younger sister, Caroline … Enjoys student council, CrossFit, going to Phillies games and playing Frisbee … Her concentration is undeclared.
"I chose Brown because of their openness as a community and their unique approach to education. Brown provides me the opportunity to flourish as both a student and an athlete, and I admire the University's commitment to excelling both on and off the field."
Hometown: Kennesaw, Ga.
High School: The Walker School
Secondary School Background: A letterwinner in softball at The Walker School … Named MVP as a junior and senior … A three-time All-Region selection … Named All-County as a junior and senior … Batted .568 with three home runs, seven triples and 10 doubles as a senior … Also lettered in basketball, track & field and lacrosse.
Personal: Sarah Syrop is the daughter of Nancy and Michael Syrop … She has one younger sister, Rachel … Her hobbies include traveling and baking … She plans to concentrate in Biomedical Engineering.
"I chose to attend Brown because it allows me the opportunity to play competitive softball while still getting an excellent education. I'm excited to be surrounded by such excellent coaches, teammates, and professors for the next four years."