CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The UNC softball program held its annual Rookie Brunch this past Sunday, welcoming veteran players and staff as well as five new freshmen to the team.
"The Rookie Brunch is always one of my favorite times of the year," head coach Donna J. Papa said. "It is such a great opportunity for all of our families, players and staff to get better aquainted with our rookies/freshmen. Everyone is excited to begin a new journey within our program, and it's fun to celebrate with them and their families."
"We have five freshmen this year that make up a very strong class athletically. We will add pitching, catching and power to our lineup. Many of the players have had great accolades from their high schools as well as their travel ball teams, but the girls also have good character and fit in with our program's core values. These five freshmen will be a big part of us getting to the next level."
Meet the Tar Heel Class of 2017
High School: North Johnston
Hometown: Kenly, N.C.
Was named team MVP as a pitcher in 2011 • Played in the 2009 1A championship game • Earned a 0.0 ERA as a sophomore • Was a member of Health Occupation Students of America as well as Fellowship for Christian Athletes • Named all-conference as a senior.
High School: Bishop O'Connell
Hometown: Arlington, Va.
Named all-conference, all-state, all-met and all-region as a senior • Earned NFCA and Max Prep All-America honors in 2013 • Helped lead her to WCAC and state titles • Was named first team All-America for the 2011 season • Was a three-time first team all-conference, all-state and all-met • Earned first-team all-region honors twice • Lead her team to three conference and two state titles, playing left field, short stop and catcher • Set school records for RBIs (55) and homeruns (eight) in 2010 • Tied her eight homeruns in 2011 • Involved in Students Against Drunk Driving.
High School: Roncalli
Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
Named all-county and first team all-state in 2013 • Holds six school and two state records for hits and doubles • Named 2013 Indiana Miss Softball • Led her team to victory in the 3A state championships in 2011 • Was a two-time 3A sectional and regional champion as a pitcher and hitter • Totaled 164 hits and 96 RBIs in her first three years • Was a member of the National Honor Society and was named a Junior Outstanding Honors English Student.
High School: Clements
Hometown: Sugar Land, Texas
Named first-team all-district in 2013 • Qualified for PGF Nationals and ASA Nationals • Finished in the top 25 at ASA Gold Nationals • Helped team to Texas Gold Cup title this fall • Named team MVP and First Team All-District in 2011 and 2012 • Named Fort Bend Sun Player of the Year in 2012 • Finished with a .531 batting average in 2011 as a junior • Also played tennis for three years • Member of DECA and SADD clubs.
High School: Chatham Central
Hometown: Bonlee, N.C.
Named all-conference and all-state all four
years in high school • Named YVAC scholar-athlete four years • As a sophomore,
she became the first recorded NCHSAA player to hit two grand slams in the same
inning, which also tied a national record • Batted over .400 all four years in high school
• Posted a .915 slugging percentage as a senior • Named the MVP of her
volleyball team as a senior • Finished third in the discus throw at the state
championships her sophomore year.