East Lake's Kristen Berlo has orally committed to the University of California-Santa Barbara, the sophomore told the Times.
As a freshman, Berlo was a key member of an East Lake squad that advanced to the Class 5A state semifinals. She appeared in 25 games as a pitcher and first baseman, including the Eagles’ semifinal matchup against Niceville.
At the plate, she collected nine hits, eight RBIs, two doubles and one home run. As a pitcher, Berlo tossed 48 innings, and went 9-1 with 48 strikeouts and a 1.02 ERA.
Berlo attended a UC-Santa Barbara camp over the summer and immediately fell in love with the school and the Gauchos’ coaching staff.
“The school is right on the beach,” she said. “It was so pretty. And the coaches were really relaxed and just so willing to help you. It was a perfect match.”
Berlo said the Gauchos are recruiting her as a pitcher. A right-hander, she can throw consistently around 62 MPH and has command of a curve, screw, rise, drop, fastball and change-up.
Berlo attends the engineering program at East Lake and would like to continue that career track at UC-Santa Barbara. She also said she plans to minor in music.
UC-Santa Barbara is a Division-I school playing in the Big West Conference.