Softball program picks up seven commitments

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern softball program has added seven players for next season, head coach Stephanie VanBrakle announced today. Jordan Allen, Brittany Berkopec, Christianna Denelsbeck, Chelsea Fernandez, Katie Mason, Januar Page, and Danielle Rucker have completed their intent to enroll in the college and compete for the Panthers.

Allen is an outfielder from Muscle Shoals, Ala., where she was a three-year varsity letterwinner for Muscle Shoals High School. This past season, she hit .447 with a .571 on-base percentage and a .995 fielding percentage. Allen was also an All-Star cheerleader at MSHS, and was a member of the National Honor Society and Who’s Who Among American High School Students, and was a recipient of the U.S. Achievement Academy of National Mathematics Award.

Berkopec, a catcher from Mars, Pa., and letterwinner at Mars Area High School, was an All-Section selection in 2006 and 2007, and was 2006 Rookie of the Year. She helped lead MAHS to the 2006 league championship, and was a Player of the Week in both 2006 and 2008. Berkopec was also a member of Who’s Who Among American High School Students and received Academic High Honors all four years.

Denelsbeck is a utility player out of Holy Spirit Catholic High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala. She was named team MVP this season, and earned All-State honors in 2008. Denelsbeck was a West Alabama All-Star in 2007 and 2008, earned All-State honors in volleyball in 2007 and 2008, and was the basketball team MVP in 2006. She was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and Who’s Who Among American High School Scholars.

Fernandez is an infielder from Cumming, Ga., where she played at North Forsyth High School, serving as team captain in 2008 and earning All-County honors in 2007 and 2008. She was named Best Offensive Player in 2007 and 2008, and Atlanta Journal Constitution Best of the Best in 2007. Fernandez was on the Georgia Dugout Club Senior All-Star Game 2008 North Team, and was a Wendy’s High School Heisman Award nominee. She was a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, 3.0 Club, and Quill and Scroll Honor Society, and was a Governor’s Honors Program nominee and an Academic Excellence Letterwinner.

Mason is a pitcher out of Snead State Community College Brindlee Mountain High School in Guntersville, Ala. She was on the Dean’s List as well as Who’s Who Among American Junior Colleges, and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Page is an outfielder from Enterprise High School in Enterprise, Ala. She received the Wildcat Award from 2004-2008 and the Best Attitude Award in 2007. She also lettered in volleyball and was team captain in 2007. In the classroom, Page was a member of the National Junior Honor Society and was named a Coffee County Outstanding Youth in 2008.

Rucker, an outfielder out of Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School and a native of Nashville, Tenn., was an All-District honoree in 2008 and 2009 and hit .476 this past year as a senior. She was also named to the Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches Association (MTSCA) All-Mid-State Softball Team this past season, and was invited to participate in the Tennessee-Kentucky All-Star Softball Game. In 2006 and 2007, she helped her team to the state tournament. Rucker was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, and won a Certificate of Accomplishment for the Princeton Prize in Race Relations this year.