PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown University softball will welcome five new members to the program for the 2018 season as part of its Class of 2021, head coach Katie Flynn announced on Tuesday.
"We are excited to welcome the Class of 2021 to College Hill," Flynn said. "I like the flexibility they have to play multiple positions for us. They have all played for highly regarded summer softball organizations and in national championships."
The group includes outfielder Karina Chavarria (San Bruno, Calif.), catcher Madi Cranford (Escondido, Calif.), pitcher Grace Ladd (Boulder, Colo.), infielder Katie O'Leary (Manteca, Calif.), and infielder Anya Schmitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.).
"Karina brings a mix of speed and power as a lefty offensive threat, Madi is a solid receiver and can also play a corner position, and Katie can play multiple infield positions and has tremendous power," Flynn said. "We really like Grace as a lefty down ball pitcher who gets a lot of ground ball outs, which will cater well to the new stadium. Grace also hits and plays first base. Anya brings quickness and versatility as an infielder."
Four student-athletes from the state of California and one student-athlete from the state of Colorado make up the class. The quintet comprises a pitcher, a catcher, two infielders, and an outfielder and represents a variety of club teams.
Height: 5-foot-6 | B/T: L/L
Hometown: San Bruno, Calif.
High School: Capuchino
Club Team: Cal Nuggets
Prep Accolades: Earned All-League honors as a sophomore, junior, and senior … Led league in stolen bases in 2016 … Gained San Francisco Chronicle Second Team All-Metro accolades in 2016 … Registered a .390 batting average, a .479 on-base percentage, a .985 fielding percentage, and 15 stolen bases as a senior … Played for coaches Tanya Borghello and Todd Grammatico … Competed on the club level for Cal Nuggets … Also competed in cross country, tennis, and soccer … Earned cross country team's 2013 Rookie of the Year award.
Why Brown? "Brown is the ideal school to both receive an outstanding education and to continue to play the sport that I love at the collegiate level."
Height: 5-foot-10 | B/T: R/R
Hometown: Escondido, Calif.
High School: San Pasqual
Club Teams: Power Surge, Legacy, Raiders, Batbusters, SoCal Athletics
Prep Accolades: Garnered CIF All-League Honorable Mention honors as a senior … Garnered team's Most Valuable Player, Most Valuable Defensive Player, and Scholar Athlete awards … Played for head coach Andy Villalobos … Competed on the club level for Power Surge, Legacy, Raiders, Batbusters, and SoCal Athletics … Served as team captain for Raiders, Legacy, and Batbusters … Also competed in cross country … Earned CIF Second Team All-League honors in cross country.
Why Brown? "I chose Brown because of its high academic standards, diverse student body, open curriculum, and its competitive softball team. I immediately connected with the coaching staff, who I could tell were passionate about winning and truly cared about the girls."
Height: 5-foot-10 | B/T: R/L
Hometown: Boulder, Colo.
High School: Niwot
Club Team: Triple Crown Stars
Prep Accolades: Earned All-State honors twice … Gained All-Conference accolades three times … Garnered All-Region laurels twice … Served team as captain … Played for head coach Bobby Mathews … Competed on the club level for Triple Crown Stars … Traveled to and competed in Europe for 17 days with Triple Crown Stars in 2015 … Earned Academic All-State First Team honors … National Honor Society member … Finished as Niwot's salutatorian.
Why Brown? "I chose Brown because of the beautiful campus and friendly people. I felt at home when I visited the school, and I knew it was a great opportunity to challenge myself both on and off the field."
Height: 5-foot-10 | B/T: R/R
Hometown: Manteca, Calif.
High School: Ripon Christian
Club Teams: OBS Monarchs, California Grapettes Gold, Team California
Prep Accolades: Earned All-League honors as a junior and senior … Won Team MVP accolades in 2016 and 2017 … Gained Manteca Bulletin All-Area MVP laurels … Played for head coach Lenny Rizzuto … Competed on the club level for OBS Monarchs, California Grapettes Gold, and Team California … Garnered Scholar-Athlete plaudits … Finished as Ripon Christian's valedictorian.
Why Brown? "Not only does Brown provide an excellent balance in academics and athletics, but it has an appealing culture that supports diversity and all sorts of academic pursuits. Curiosity and genuine interest have the opportunity to thrive, which is rare."
Height: 5-foot-5 | B/T: R/R
Hometown: Santa Barbara, Calif.
High School: Dos Pueblos
Club Team: SoCal Firecrackers Redmond
Prep Accolades: Earned All-Channel League honors in 2016 and 2017 … Won Athlete of the Year accolades at Dos Pueblos … Gained the US Marine Distinguished Outstanding Athlete Award … Led team with a .432 batting average as a junior … Played for head coach Jon Uyesaka … Competed on the club level for SoCal Firecrackers Redmond and head coach Chance Redmond … Also played soccer and volleyball, serving both teams as a captain … Took home All-Channel League plaudits in soccer twice.
Why Brown? "Brown values education. Its open curriculum supports my academic exploration, breeding an open-minded environment which cultivates advancement."