FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Co-Head Coaches, Elizabeth Luckie and Pam London and the Sacred Heart University Softball Team have announced the signing of five players to National Letters of Intent, Tuesday afternoon. The quintet will join the Pioneers in the 2018-19 academic year.
The signees include Alyssa Nicole Gonzalez, Brianna Alyssa Santos, Marie Funes, Amy Petrovich and Jillian Sara Weinstein.
London began. "As a staff, we are so proud to announce our class for 2018-19. These five young ladies are an outstanding group of young adults as well as terrific student-athletes. We think they will not only be great players here at SHU but great teammates as well. We have no doubt that they will represent our University and program with grace and respect. We are very excited for their arrival next fall!"
Gonzalez is a 5'7 catcher/utility hailing from Beaumont, California. The west coast product is a two-year scholar-athlete at Beaumont High School as a member of the Cougars' varsity softball squad.
London said. "Aly comes to us as a very accomplished catcher with a ton of upside to grow into. This very strong athlete will bring a great deal to the table for us."
She will join the Pioneers' ranks toting accomplishments as a 2016 and 2017 First-Team All-League honoree, a 2015 Second-Team All-League recipient, a two-time Offensive MVP (2016, 2017), a 2017 D-4 All-CIF First-Team member, a 2017 Cal-HI All-State Second-Team honoree, a two-time Mountain Pass League Teams Champ (2016 and 2017) and carries the 2016 Triple Crown Sports All-American recognition.
The combo player concluded her junior season batting .495 with 11 homeruns and led the league in RBI's with 41.
London continued. "We are thrilled to have Aly as part of our Pioneer Softball family!"
Anticipating to major in Criminal Justice at SHU, she volunteers with Carol's Kitchen and H.O.P.E and is on track to graduate with a seal of bi-literacy for completing K-12 Dual Emersion program.
Santos will come to Fairfield as a Los Altos High School graduate. The Hacienda Heights, California native's position is outfield/first base and will look to major in Biology as a Pioneer.
The 5'7 player competes in club ball with Explosion and was named the 2017 Travel Homerun leader.
London stated. "Bri is a very solid outfielder who will add a big bat to our program."
Santos is an Academic All-League recipient, was named an Offensive Player of the Year, a three-year Varsity starter, and was featured on an All-League Team.
London continued. "She is a very strong player who we believe can make an immediate impact as a freshman. We are proud to call Bri a Pioneer!"
She volunteered for Hacienda Heights Little League, has assisted families in need during the holiday season and worked at a food bank in association with Saint John Vianney Church.
Funes is a 5'5 product of Phoenix, Arizona. The shortstop/utility currently attends Pinnacle High School and plans to study Biology when she arrives to SHU.
London mentioned. "Marie is a powerful hitter that we think will adjust to the collegiate level nicely."
Funes showed promise early earning starts as a freshman and each season thereafter and hitting .429 in her debut season. She followed that up with a .310 clip as a sophomore. During her rookie campaign, she was a member of the team that finished third in state.
London added. "She is a very athletic infielder who will add depth to our core of infielders. We are so pleased that Marie has chosen to spend her college career with us here at SHU!"
Off the field, the shortstop/utility is a National Honor Society member and mentors as a volunteer of the mentorship program at Pinnacle High School. She also enjoys club play with the Firecrackers, Hotshots, and Killer Bees and has led a club squad to a pair of Grand Slams (2016 and 2017).
Petrovich hails from East Hanover, New Jersey and has played infield for Hanover Park High School. The 5'5 player is boasting a .446 batting average encompassing all four playing years with the Black and Gold.
London explained. "Amy is a talented hitter with a beautiful swing. She seems to have a natural ability to hit the ball to the opposite field consistently. She is also a very dependable glove at the first base position. We very happily welcome Amy to our program!"
She is a two-time First-Team All-Conference honoree, has won the conference championships twice (2016 and 2017), and was named to the 2017 Second-Team All-Group 2, 2016 Second-Team All-County and 2015 Second-Team All-Conference teams.
As a junior, she finished the season with 109 hits and received the Golden Glove Award for a .988 fielding clip.
Away from softball, Petrovich is holding a 4.3 GPA, a member of the National Honors Society and has earned Distinguished Honors each marking period.
Weinstein hails from Dix Hills, NY and attends Half Hollow Hills High School West. The 5'7 pitcher/first base will look to major in Hospitality Management as a Pioneer.
The Dix Hills native batted .526 and shattered her high school's record with nine homeruns and 51 RBI's. Such stat is slotted second in homeruns in Long Island, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. She also captained the 2017 team for two seasons.
London stated. "Jill is a strong dual position athlete. We will be looking to make her a part of our solid pitching staff. We feel she has a great deal of potential."
In March 2015, she was selected to the Flo Sports Top 100 in the Country Class of 2018. She was then named MaxPreps/NFCA Player of the Week the following year.
She was selected as the 2017 Newsday Long Island Top 100 Hitting /Pitcher and voted to the 2017 Newsday All-Long Island Team ll. 2017 MVP Award, 2017 All County Suffolk County-Hitting/Pitcher, 2016 All-League Suffolk County
London added. "Jill has a potent bat as well as playing a solid first base. We are looking forward to having Jill aboard!"
Weinstein also hooped at Half Hollow Hills earning the 2016/2017 Basketball and Softball Scholar-Athlete award. She also was tabbed a National Art Honor Society Scholar, a Peer Ambassador, enrolled in honors classes and was elected Varsity Club President.
The Winthrop Tournament is on the Pioneers' horizon beginning Friday, March 2 against Norfolk State.