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Dec. 17, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Four student-athletes will join the Penn State softball program as freshmen in the 2013-14 academic year, head coach Robin Petrini announced Monday afternoon. The recruiting class stretches from coast to coast with Kristina Brackpool (Santa Clarita, Calif.) and Samantha Shanahan (Seattle, Wash.) hailing from the West, Shelby Miller (Fort Bend, Texas) traveling from the South and Mary Ward (Greencastle, Pa.) the lone Pennsylvania native.
"I am extremely excited about our 2017 Nittany Lion class," Petrini said of the group. "This class oozes with talent and bleeds Blue and White. There is a little bit of everything in this class from power, to speed, to versatility. In some of the toughest times our university has faced, these student-athletes held steadfast to their commitment to become Nittany Lions and help build our softball program to a national contender. They are successful in the classroom, on the ball field and are role models in the community. I am anxious to see them compete at the next level."
Hometown: Santa Clarita, California
High School: Valencia
Club: Last 2 years with the So Cal Choppers and previous 3 years with the OC Batbusters
Club Coach: Dean and Gary Fausett
Honors & Highlights: Lettered three years in softball at Valencia... As a sophomore, helped lead her team to the CIF Southern Section semifinals and the Michelle Carew tournament championship before being selected to the Stu Penter Classic All-Tournament Team...Assisted Valencia, coached by Donna Lee, to victory at the 2011 Tournament of Champions in Bullhead City, Ariz....Selected to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal Second Team in 2011 and 2012...Named First Team All-Foothill League and Los Angeles Daily News Second Team as a junior in 2012...Voted team captain of the Valencia Vikings in 2012 and 2013 and co-captain of the So Cal Choppers travel team...Played alongside current Penn Stater Karlie Habitz with the Choppers...Earned one varsity letter in basketball.
Personal: Kristina Marie Brackpool was born Feb. 6, 1995, in Santa Clarita, Calif., to Chris and Ana Brackpool...Has one sister named Andrea...Hopes to pursue a career in Medicine upon graduation.
Brackpool on Penn State: "I chose Penn State because they have so many connections that could help me in the future. They have an amazing academic legacy, paired with traditional values and a great softball coaching staff that made me feel like part of a family."
Petrini on Brackpool: "Kristina comes to us from the very successful Southern California Choppers organization. She will join former Chopper teammates Alyssa Sovereign and Karlie Habitz. Kristina possesses such raw power at the plate and a smooth glove at first base. She digs balls out of the dirt as if they are routine. I am excited about her RBI potential in the middle of our lineup and look for her to become a force in the Big Ten."
Hometown: Fort Bend, Texas
High School: Fort Bend Kempner
Club: Texas Kaos
Club Coach: Bert Emanuel
Honors and Highlights: Four-year starter on Kempner varsity team coached by Charity Rychlik...Earned Second Team All-District following freshman and sophomore years...Named First Team All-District, won Leadership Award as a junior...Golden Glove award-winner as a sophomore and junior...Started for Kempner varsity volleyball team as a senior...Earned Academic Excellence Award and named to Honor Roll all four years...Played travel ball with Texas Kaos under head coach Bert Emanuel, winners of 2009 12U ASA Southern National Championship...Qualified for 16U Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Nationals in 2010, the Premier Girls Fastpitch (PGF) Nationals in 2011 and 2012 and the Triple Crown (TC) Gold Nationals in 2012...Named TC All-American in 2011 and 2012.
Personal: Shelby Miller was born March 19, 1995, to parents Bill and Carolyn Miller in Houston, Texas...Has two brothers, Aaron and Daniel, and one sister, Ameria...Aaron played football at Trinity University...Plans to major in Kinesiology with a minor in Business.
Miller on Penn State: "I love everything about the campus, the coaches, the softball program, the atmosphere and the educational opportunities Penn State has to offer. The people at Penn State are a close-knit family with a strong drive to succeed."
Petrini on Miller: "When I think of Shelby, I think of versatility and athleticism. She has the speed and power at the plate to either set the table or drive in runs. Defensively, she has a cannon for an arm and can play anywhere on the infield. Shelby will be a key to providing valuable options both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. In the classroom, she will continue to define the standards for a Penn State student-athlete."
Hometown: Seattle, Wash.
High School: Bishop Blanchet
Club: Northwest Bullets
Club Coach: Tony Campos
Honors and Highlights: Lettered three years for the Bishop Blanchet varsity team for head coach Lisa Olsen...Named First Team All-Metro in 2011 and 2012, while picking up honorable mention in 2010...Has excelled in the classroom, earning the Academic Award for highest GPA during the 2012 season...Honored as Most Valuable Player in 2011 and 2012...Played club ball with Northwest Bullets under head coach Tony Campos...Bullets team captain for Fall 2012 and Summer 2013...Finished 19th at 2012 Premier Girls Fastpitch (PGF) Nationals.
Personal: Samantha Shanahan was born May 12, 1995, in Seattle, Wash., to Cheri and Ray Shanahan...Has three siblings named Hannah, Harrison and Michael...Member of National Honor Society...Student of the Month for science department in Jan. 2010.
Shanahan on Penn State: "Penn State was the best school that fit me because it had the best balance between strong academics, competitive sports and school pride."
Petrini on Shanahan: "Sam plays the middle infield with finesse. She has one of the quickest releases and such smooth hands defensively. I am eager to see her become a stabilizing force on the infield and provide a punch in our offensive lineup. Sam already bleeds Blue and White and is a true student of the game. I am anxious to see her excel in a Penn State uniform."
Hometown: Greencastle, Pa.
High School: Greencastle-Antrim
Club: Lady Orioles Gold
Club Coach: Chuck Fischer
Honors and Highlights: Four-year member of Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils softball team under the direction of head coach Jamie Richardson...As a freshman in 2009, helped team to District 3 Mid-Penn Conference tournament championship and a Colonial Division championship...Repeated as winners of both in 2010 and advanced to the opening round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Championships as a sophomore and again as a junior in 2011...Named to Colonial Division all-star lists by the Chambersburg Public Opinion and Harrisburg Patriot News as a junior...Played travel ball with Lady Orioles Gold of Glen Burnie, Md....Tabbed as an adidas Futures All-Star in 2010...Also lettered in cross country for two years...Captain of undefeated 2010 cross country squad.
Personal: Mary Kathleen Ward was born March 30, 1995, in Hagerstown, Md., to Lisa and Dennis Ward...Mother is a nursing instructor at Penn State Mont Alto and father is a Penn State alumnus...Has two younger siblings, Matthew and Elizabeth...Earned Distinguished Honor Roll from 2009-2011 and is now attending Penn State Mont Alto for senior year of high school.
Ward on Penn State: "I chose Penn State because it is a beautiful campus where I can get a great education and be involved with one of Penn State's great athletic traditions."
Petrini on Ward: "Mary is the latest in a long line of Penn State camp success stories. She is a true triple threat at the plate and can cover tremendous ground in the outfield. She has fire, spunk and a competitive spirit that will push everyone around her. Mary has always dreamed of becoming a Penn Stater and defines excellence in the classroom and on the playing field. I am looking forward to seeing her compete throughout her career."