SB Signs 9 to Incoming Class
Nov. 10, 2017

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue softball has announced the addition of nine incoming freshmen who will join the program in the fall of 2018. The nine signees make up the bulk of the incoming class as the program expects to add two more high school seniors in the spring.

Rachel Becker, Kendall Chase, Alex Echazarreta, Becca Jones, Rylee Platusic, Sydney Preston, Shyanne Sheffield, Nicole Siess and Brenna Smith are officially members of the Boilermakers’ softball program.

“I am very excited at the talent coming in with our signing class,” said head coach Boo De Oliveira. “We are adding three top-notch pitchers that have all competed at the highest level of high school and travel ball. We are also adding several true utility players who are athletic, game savvy, and will bring depth to our roster. Purdue softball will have a great balance of speed and power.”

“These student-athletes will blend into our GFDF team culture well. They are gritty. They love to play softball. They are competitive. They are good teammates. They understand that our program expectations are to be a family, graduate, and compete for championships. Boilermakers expect to win and with the combination of our current roster and our signing class, that is what we plan to do.”

Name: Rachel Becker
Height: 5-6
Hometown: Lindenhurst, Illinois
High School: Lakes Community
Club: Wisconsin Lightening
Major: Biomedical Engineering

In her first three seasons of high school softball, Becker is a three-time all-conference and all-area selection. She earned all-state honors her junior season after hitting .540 on the season. Her freshman season she led her team a regional title.

What They're Saying:

Boo De Oliveira: “Becker is not a loud, flashy athlete. She flies under the radar a bit and then takes teams by surprise with her offensive power, foot speed, and solid defensive skills. Rach will add lefty power to our line-up, as well as depth in the infield. She is a playmaker and I look forward to watching her reactionary play take over.”

Rachel Becker: "With Purdue's highly ranked engineering school and competitive athletic programs, it was the perfect fit for me. I truly believe Purdue will help me achieve all my goals in the future. I can't wait to be a part of the school pride and culture at Purdue. The school spirit there is what makes the campus such a fun and positive atmosphere. I'm excited to work with the coaching staff because I know they are committed to helping me become successful athletically and academically. I'm honored to have the opportunity to represent Purdue!”

Name: Kendall Chase
Height: 5-7
Hometown: Longwood, Florida
High School: Lake Brantley
Club: New Jersey Intensity
Major: Premed

A three-year starter, Chase hit .312 as a freshman and hit .329 as a junior to lead her high school to its first conference championship. Her junior year campaign resulted in all-conference honors and all-state honors.

What They're Saying:

Boo De Oliveira: “Kendall is super versatile, playing second base, third base, outfield, and pretty much anywhere except pitcher and catcher. She is an extremely intelligent athlete who always thinks a play ahead and has a good feel for the game defensively. I look forward to continuing to watch her gap power develop into home run power.”

Kendall Chase: "I chose Purdue because I love the competitive softball coupled with the high academic standard in the classroom. The campus and school spirit are unmatched by any other university. I'm so excited to be a Boilermaker! I love the traditions and the campus... and the recliners in the locker room are always a plus. I can't wait to join the Purdue softball family and help create an environment of great competitors, teammates, and friends!”

Name: Alex Echazarreta
Height: 5-7
Hometown: Reston, Virginia
High School: James Madison
Club: New Jersey Intensity
Major: Psychology

A pitcher who can also swing the bat, Echazarreta enters her senior season as a three-time all-conference, all-region and all-state selection. She hit north of .400 all three seasons with 28 home runs and 104 RBI. Her first year pitching she struck out 40 batters in 23 innings to register a 1.20 ERA. Echazarreta was spectacular in the circle as a junior throwing 119 innings and registering a 0.36 ERA with 163 strikeouts leading to a 22-1 record.

What They're Saying:

Boo De Oliveira: “Alex is a talented pitcher. She has speed and movement and is a punch out pitcher. She commands the zone well. She also has a powerful bat. We will look for her to contribute on the mound, as well as in our offensive threat. Alex is a gamer and will make an immediate impact in our program.”

Alex Echazarreta: "I chose Purdue because it provides the best opportunities for me to become the best person I can be. I’ve wanted to be a Boilermaker because it runs in the family. I’ve heard good things from them and can’t wait to be a part of the Purdue community. I can’t wait to be a part of Purdue softball and I want to work hard to win as many games as possible.”

Name: Becca Jones
Height: 5-5
Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina
High School: Leesville Road
Club: New Jersey Intensity
Major: Undecided

Jones comes to Purdue as her high school’s MVP in each of her three seasons and is a three-time all-conference selection.

What They're Saying:

Boo De Oliveira: “Becca is a true utility. She can play infield, outfield, and even pitch. She is the type of athlete that will fire the team up on the field with her passion and push everyone to be at their best daily. She will not only impact our team on the field, but will have a big impact on our team culture off the field.”

Becca Jones: "Purdue is a home away from home and the fact that it’s a great academic university with great softball made my decision to become a Boilermaker easy. Purdue's softball culture cannot be topped and I cannot wait to be a part of it.”

Name: Rylee Platusic
Height: 5-7
Hometown: St. John, Indiana
High School: Lake Central
Club: Beverly Bandits Demarini
Major: Prelaw

An all-conference selection as a sophomore, Platusic has posted batting averages of .327, .378 and .270 through her first three years of high school softball. Her on-base percentages have been just as impressive as well as she posted averages of .328, .453 and .321. In 2015, she led her team to an appearance in the state finals.

What They're Saying:

Boo De Oliveira: “Platusic is a true utility. She is most natural at second base, but can truly compete at almost any defensive position. She is a hard-nosed athlete who will come in and work hard at multiple positions for us. Rylee hits for average and runs well. I look forward to seeing her aggressive base running mentality in action.”

Rylee Platusic: "It didn't take long on my visit to figure out Purdue was the right place for me. We have a family history of former Boilermakers and I am thrilled to be able to call myself one as well. How could I go wrong playing for one of the top universities in the nation? After meeting Coach Boo and her staff, I believe she can put Purdue at the top of the Big Ten and that is something I want to be a part of.”

Name: Sydney Preston
Height: 5-8
Hometown: Temecula, California
High School: Great Oak
Club: Mercado A’s
Major: Communications

Preston has posted the team’s highest GPA each of her three high school seasons and is a two-time all-league selection.

What They're Saying:

Boo De Oliveira: “Syd has competed against some of the best batters in the country while competing with her travel ball team. She is a scrappy pitcher, who changes speeds effectively and has the ability to keep batters off balance. Her niche of working down in the zone well and throwing different speeds will complement our bullpen nicely.”

Sydney Preston: " I chose Purdue because the moment I stepped on campus I knew this is where I wanted to be for the next four years. The coaching staff is determined to make a difference in the softball program and I couldn't be more eager to work with my future teammates to win a championship.”

“I'm thrilled to be a Boilermaker because I not only want to win on the field but also in the classroom. I can't wait to learn at one of the top universities in the country while competing for a national championship with my softball team. The Purdue softball teams culture is something special and I'm beyond excited to be a part of a team with so much heart and passion. I am overjoyed that I have been granted this opportunity to play for such a phenomenal program.”

Name: Shyanne Sheffield
Height: 5-5
Hometown: Tullahoma, Tennessee
High School: Tullahoma
Club: Tennessee Fury Premier Gold
Major: Nursing

Sheffield has earned all-district honors all three seasons and was named District MVP as a sophomore. She was named Rookie of the Year as a freshman.

What They're Saying:

Boo De Oliveira: “Sheffield is a natural athlete. She has power and speed. She is extremely versatile, competing in the middle infield and the outfield. She is a tough out offensively and will definitely put pressure on the opposing defense by causing chaos on the base paths.”

Shyanne Sheffield: "Purdue is an amazing school I chose to be a part of because I feel that it would begin my career. I'm excited to be a Boilermaker because I want to share my school spirit and take on all of the opportunities Purdue has to offer. I plan to be the best athlete I can be and further Purdue's legacy in softball.”

Name: Nicole Siess
Height: 5-9
Hometown: Chino Hills, California
High School: Rosary Academy
Club: So Cal A’s
Major: Health Professions

In her first three seasons at Rosemary Academy, Siess has hit north of .400 each season with 14 home runs. She’s also posted on-base percentages of .448 or higher every year including an on-base percentage of .535 her junior year. She’s been honored as a three-time all-league selection.

What They're Saying:

Boo De Oliveira: “Nicole will bring a big offensive punch to our line-up. She has the ability to hit for extra bases, as well as home runs. She is a solid defender with a high game IQ. She is a student of the game and will work smart and efficiently to help our team be at our best.”

Nicole Siess: " I chose Purdue because I love the campus and it gives me an opportunity to compete with some of the best softball players in the country while getting a great education. I am so excited to be a Boilermaker and I can’t wait to join the Purdue family! I can’t wait to get on the field and compete with my new teammates!

Name: Brenna Smith
Height: 5-9
Hometown: Riverside, California
High School: Martin Luther King Jr.
Club: Corona Angels
Major: Undecided

Smith has been an ace her entire high school career, registering a 1.18, 1.48 and 1.64 ERA in her first three years with WHIPs of .461, .615 and .473 respectively. She’s registered 191 strikeouts in 64 appearances. She’s a two-time scholar athlete award winner and a two-time honoree on the Riverside Country All-Academic team.

What They're Saying:
Boo De Oliveira: “Brenna has a lot of championship experience having competed for one of the best travel ball organizations in the country. She has competed at the highest level, facing top-caliber batters day in and day out. I look forward to watching her compete for our program. She has a strong mound presence, several solid pitches, and she has the desire to work towards greatness.”

Brenna Smith: “I chose Purdue because I believe I will be able to succeed not only as an athlete, but more importantly as a student. Purdue has a great atmosphere and is somewhere I know I will be happy to spend my college experience.”

“I am excited to be a Boilermaker because I will be held to a high expectation and will be representing something bigger than myself. Purdue softball is extremely competitive and I am honored to have the opportunity to play under the best coaching staff in the Big Ten and amongst the best collegiate athletes.”




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