By Owen Gotimer
Ashburn (July 27, 2015) – Briar Woods High School rising senior Alexa Binckes has stayed firm on a commitment to continue her softball career under head coach Kim Schuette at Purdue University beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year.
“I am most excited about getting on the beautiful Purdue campus and playing in a new stadium under the leadership of amazing coaches. The university is a perfect fit for my academic and athletic goals,” the 5-foot-9 Binckes said. “I cannot wait to provide leadership and play with all of the talented athletes and future recruits. The coaches have big goals for our team, and I know we will excel in the Big 10 Conference.”
With one final season left at Briar Woods, Binckes hopes to return to the state championship game in 2016 after falling just short of claiming state titles in 2014 and 2015. In 2015, the Falcons finished 16-8 before falling to Hickory in a VHSL 5A state semifinal on June 12 in Fairfax.
“Some expectations for myself is to be the best all-around player I can possibly be. I want to be the person to step up when we need it most. I expect myself to lead when the game gets tough and make sure nobody quits until the last out of the last inning,” Binckes said. “I want to help not only make myself better but my teammates better. I believe if we can accomplish this then we will be a very hard team to beat.”
Briar Woods head coach Chris Starke has four current commitments poised to play on his 2016 team including Binckes, Meghan Bradshaw (Virginia), Amanda Nee (Maine) and Michelle Sullivan (James Madison).
“I expect Briar Woods softball to have another successful year. Being a senior now, I look forward to leading a team of talented athletes, knowing we are capable of repeat success,” Binckes said. “There is a lot of all-around underclassmen skill, and I cannot wait to see what this season brings. With hard work and dedication, the sky’s the limit!”
While Briar Woods has established itself near the top of the softball world in Loudoun County, the Division I Purdue Boilermakers had a tough 2015 season. Second-year head coach Kim Schuette led the Boilermakers to a 31-25 record including a 7-14 mark in the Big Ten Conference.
“As a D1 athlete, I want to be a part of a team that learns and builds on failure and is hungry for a national championship victory,” said Binckes who will catch for Purdue. “I want to be able to say I helped rebuild and lead that team. The coaches are fantastic and very driven which makes me love Purdue even more.
“I will add another positive attitude with the desire and heart to work hard every single day In order to reach my goals. I will add leadership to help lead the team to victories,” Binckes added. “I will be a player who loves the game and would do anything to get a win. I will add a work ethic that is so determined and so focused that any goal set will be reached. I will add an open mind willing to try or change anything to benefit the team.”
Binckes travelled to Virginia from Kansas where she became travel teammates with 2015 Stone Bridge High School graduate and fellow future Purdue Boilermaker commit Emily Kenny.
“It is going to be terrific getting to go to college and play with one of your friends! Knowing you have somebody there who has been on the recruitment journey right beside you and then ending up in the same place is unbelievable,” Binckes said. “Getting to play with her is a blessing. We know each other’s style of playing, and we know how to help one another when needed.”