11 NCAA Div. III national team championships
(What you won't find on Facebook...even if you are approved as a friend)
Hometown: Eldridge, Iowa
High School: North Scott
Obviously softball played a huge part in my decision, but I fell in love with everything about Central: the town of Pella, the sense of community, the great teacher education program, my classmates, beautiful campus, etc.
You are majoring in elementary education because…
Teaching is my passion and working with children brings me so much joy! It is a unique privilege to be able to impact kids’ lives every single day.
Who is your favorite professor?
Dr. Thom Davis has endless stories to share about his personal experiences. He helps us keep the most important things in mind while working with children, such as building positive relationships and finding a way to connect with every child.
What is your favorite Central College memory?
I can’t identify one singular memory, but there are tons of snapshots of good times at Central: on the softball field with my team, chatting with friends in dorm rooms, participating in the Lemming Race, celebrating the snow day my freshman year, baking Jack’s pizza at 3 a.m., etc.
What do you love most about being a member of the Central Dutch softball team?
The Central Softball program is unlike any other—we are a huge family who would do anything for one another. We set our goals incredibly high (to become National Champions) and we truly believe we can achieve it. CCSB takes pride in what we do and we always keep in mind that we represent something much bigger than ourselves. We strive to be ‘healthily obsessed’ while still having more fun than any other team in the nation!
The softball circle is closer to the plate than the baseball mound: scarier for the batter or the pitcher?
If either a batter or a pitcher is scared, she shouldn’t be playing the game! That being said, being only 43 feet away means a pitcher must take great care to place the ball exactly where it’s supposed to go—missing by just an inch can mean the difference between a routine pop fly or a grand slam.
Sometimes after outs in softball, players do fun, secret signals to each other; what is one of your secret signals and who is it to?
Our ‘out signs’ help us stay connected to other players, whether on the field or in the dugout. All of the pitchers share a ‘pretty pony’ sign where we give our ponytail a little flip, since pitchers always have to look good out on the mound!
What is one thing people do not know about associate head coach Alicia O’Brien?
She hasn’t quite lost her East Coast accent entirely yet—it especially sneaks out when she says the word ‘mirror’!
What is the best chant you have ever heard from a softball dugout?
Obviously Central’s dugout wins any cheering contest, hands down! Our cheers have been passed down for years and years, but we also continue to add new ones to the list. Some of our favorites are spoofs off of popular songs on the radio such as “You’ve Got the Right Stuff” and “Hangin’ Tough” (New Kids on the Block), “Karlee Rock is in the House” (LMFAO) and “Dutch Dutch” (Macklemore).
Brie is an interesting way to shorten Briana; any particular reason?
My parents always knew they’d call me Brie and they decided on the spelling when I was really young, so I didn’t ever have a say in the matter (but both Brie and Briana have been constantly misspelled my entire life). I think they added the ‘e’ because they have friends who shorten Brian to “Bri”, and they didn’t want it to be pronounced wrong. Or maybe they just copied the spelling of brie cheese? Who knows!
Who is your favorite softball player of all-time?
I’ve never been a huge follower of other softball players, but I’ve always looked up to Jennie Finch since she’s a pitcher.
There are not many softball movies; if you were making a softball movie about the Dutch, which teammate would “steal the show?”
Whitney Sowers. She’s not only a stud on the field, but she’s also probably the most competitive person I’ve ever played with—plus she can be quite quirky, so there’s never a dull moment with her!
What is your favorite activity to do in your free time?
I really value spending time with loved ones, even if we’re not doing anything exciting. I believe good conversation and laughter add years onto a person’s life!
Who is the one person, past or present, that you’d like to have lunch with?
My grandma. She passed away of colon cancer over ten years ago, but she was one of the most kind and wise people I’ve ever known.
What is one thing you want out of your senior season?
1. End the season as National Champions in Tyler, Texas
2. Enjoy every single moment and make the most of every opportunity I am given on the field and with my team
Bucket list (list items that you want to do/accomplish in your life)
Have a family, travel as many places as possible, ride in a hot air balloon in Italy, learn sign language and calligraphy, run a marathon, teach for 40 years, have great-grandkids, and die very happy!
See previous close-ups.