July 22, 2009

Reinalda Announces Class of 2013

Five Players Set To Join Bulldogs This Fall

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale softball head coach Barbara Reinalda will welcome five freshmen to the roster this fall. Jackie Manzer (Thousand Oaks, CA), Christy Nelson (San Diego, CA), Jennifer Ong (Pleasanton, CA), Liz Tutino (Madison, CT) and Kelsey Warkentine (Auburn, KS) all bring strong credentials to New Haven.

Here is a closer look at the Class of 2013:

Jackie Manzer    5-8    P    R/R   Thousand Oaks, Calif.   Thousand Oaks HS

Three-time all-league selection at Thousand Oaks High School... Had an 8-0 record and a 0.40 earned run average with 86 strikeouts in 53 innings before suffering an injury in her senior year... Helped lead Thousand Oaks to three league titles and the Division I Southern Section quarterfinals as a senior... Pitched for the Southern California Pumas, who placed nationally in 2008... Has been part of the Guide Dogs of America program, which helps raise puppies that will lead the blind, for seven years.

"I knew Yale was the perfect fit when I was welcomed like I was part of the family by the coaches and the girls. I was enchanted by the genuine quality of every student I shook hands with and the tradition of excellence they demonstrated in and out of the classroom. The gorgeous East Coast atmosphere left me in awe, and I cannot wait to unearth new passions on campus while continuing to live my passion on the field."

Christy Nelson   5-7    UTY      R/R     San Diego, Calif.   Rancho Bernardo HS

Four-year starting shortstop at Rancho Bernardo High School... Earned All CIF honors all four years... Was in the top three on team in batting average, hits and RBIs in each of her four years... Named Female Scholar Athlete of the Year as a senior... Earned team's best defensive player award as a sophomore and Coaches Award as a senior... Team captain as a senior... Selected to Union-Tribune All-Academic Team following junior and senior years... Helped Rancho Bernardo to league and CIF Division I championships as a senior... Played for the San Diego Breakers 18-Gold team which qualified for nationals in 2008... Selected as one of 10 Bronco Ambassadors as a senior at Rancho Bernardo and went to local elementary schools to educate students about character and the importance of being drug-free.

"The moment I first stepped on the campus I knew Yale was the college for me, with its great diversity of students, strong athletic tradition and of course academic excellence. I am so honored to be able to both play softball and receive an education from such a prestigious university. I cannot wait to begin my life as a Bulldog."

Jennifer Ong    5-7    INF     R/R    Pleasanton, Calif.    Foothill HS

Led the league with a .540 batting average in league games as a senior at Foothill High School... Hit .435 overall with 40 hits, a .469 on base percentage and a .533 slugging percentage... First team all-league selection... Voted team most valuable player... Earned second team all-league honors after hitting .417 as a junior... 2009 Foothill Female Athlete of the Year... Two-time Scholar Athlete Award recipient... Helped lead to Foothill to the East Bay Athletic League championship... Played for the San Jose Lady Sharks 18-and-under gold team.

"I am so blessed to have the opportunity to attend one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Yale offers the best of both worlds in that it is strong not only in academics but also in athletics."

Liz Tutino    5-4    UTY       R/R      Madison, Conn.    Daniel Hand HS

All-state selection as a senior at Daniel Hand High School... Batted .500 with a .776 slugging percentage... Three-time first team all-league selection... Four-year starter at third base... Team captain... Two-time defensive player of the year... 2009 recipient of the Madison Little League and DHHS Softball Excellence Award...  Helped lead Hand to two division championships... Played for the Connecticut Panthers Gold... Batted .435 with nine home runs and 35 RBI... Played in the 2007 Montreal Challenge 18-and-under all star game... Member of the National Honor Society... Umpires academic all-state selection... Grandfather, Carm Cozza, was the head football coach at Yale for 32 years and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

"It is an honor for me to attend Yale University because of its excellent academics, competitive athletics and diverse environment. Yale and New Haven have been a central part of my life since childhood, and I knew earlier than most where I wanted to go to college. I am confident that what I known for years is so - Yale is the place for me. I am very thankful for the great opportunities I will receive in the next four years both on and off the field."

Kelsey Warkentine    5-9    1B/OF   R/R      Auburn, Kan       Washburn Rural HS

Named to the 2009 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America team... Two-time first team NFCA All-South Central Region... Earned first team all-state, all-league and all-city honors as both a junior and senior... Led Washburn Rural High School in eight offensive categories as a senior, including matching the school record with a .524 batting average... Led the Centennial League with 37 RBI... Did not make an error during junior year in 120 chances at first base and ended high school career with an overall .990 fielding percentage... Helped lead Washburn to the 2008 6A state championship... Team had a 90-7 overall record during her career... Played for the Kansas City Zephyrs Gold, which placed second in the NAFA nationals in 2008... Performed a vocal solo of the national anthem for the U.S. Olympic softball team's exhibition game in 2008.

"My campus tour at Yale was unlike any other I had because of the history and tradition. I always dreamed of finding a university where I could be an athlete and not compromise my education or passion for music and the arts. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and believe that Yale is truly the perfect fit for me." 

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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