Brooklyn Heffernan planned to join Stanislaus State’s softball program in 2023, but had a change of heart in July following the departure of Warriors’ head coach Jessica Ventoza.
It didn’t take the Ceres High School senior long to find another suitor.
Heffernan signed a national letter of intent with San Francisco State University this past month.
CHS head coach Mike Corsaut held a signing ceremony for Heffernan at the varsity softball field on Nov. 18. Family members, friends, and current and past coaches and teammates attended the event.
“I’ve wanted to play college softball since I was 12 years old,” said Heffernan, who will major in nursing. “Ever since then, I’ve been putting in the work to get there. Getting this opportunity is pretty cool.”
“Her dedication paid off,” Corsaut said. “I’m really proud of her.”
Heffernan visited San Francisco State with her parents in September.
“I walked around and got to see the campus,” she said. “I met the coach and team. It’s perfect being away from home but not too far.”
Pitcher will be Heffernan’s primary position with the Gators.
San Francisco State’s 2021 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Gators amassed a 13-14 record and tied for sixth place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings (9-11) with Stanislaus State in 2020.
“She’s going to do great as long as she continues to work hard,” Corsaut said. “She can still get better. She loves the game. She’s just so mentally tough. She doesn’t let things bother her. Her parents call her “The Baby Bull.””
Heffernan will wrap up her prep career at Ceres High this spring.
She made a name for herself at the varsity level as a freshman by being named the Western Athletic Conference’s Most Valuable Player.
Heffernan added to her resume last year when she was voted WAC South Division MVP.
She posted a 10-0 record in conference play with a 0.88 earned-run average, 118 strikeouts, seven complete games and one save.
She batted .375 on the year with one home run, one triple, seven doubles, 17 RBIs, 22 runs and four stolen bases.
Heffernan had on-base, slugging and on-base plus slugging percentages of .485, .589 and 1.074, respectively.
Heffernan filled a key role in leading Ceres High to its second league title in three years.
The Bulldogs won all 15 of their conference games and amassed a 16-3 overall record.
“She’s one of the most talented players to come through Ceres,” Corsaut said. “There’s a whole list of them.”
“It’s been an honor to play here like Sis (Bates) and Callie (Nunes),” Heffernan said.
Heffernan has been playing competitive softball most of her life.
She celebrated her one-year anniversary with the All American Sports Academy-Pikas travel softball team in a big way this past July in Irvine.
She starred at pitcher while leading the Tracy-based 16-and-under squad to a first-place finish in the Platinum Division of the Premier Girls Fastpitch National Tournament.
Heffernan compiled an 8-0 record with a 1.79 earned-run average at the tournament.
“I put all my effort out there,” she said. “Adrenaline and the girls pushed me to do the best I could every game. I fed off my teammates’ energy. I moved the ball and my defense had my back.”
Heffernan joined All American-Pikas in 2020 after her previous team, the Firecrackers, disbanded after losing its ace pitcher to college.
“I’m grateful for everyone that’s helped me get to where I’m at today—coaches and family,” she stated. “I definitely give Jimmy (Dyson) a lot of credit. He’s been working with me since I started pitching when I was 9 or 10. He helped me become the pitcher I am today.”
“I’ve missed a lot of things because of tournaments and practices,” Heffernan added while talking about sacrifices she’s made on her way to earning a softball scholarship. “It’s worth it in the end. My parents (Jim and Jennifer) have given up a lot to make sure I get to play the sport I love. At first, it was a hobby. When I realized I could go to college and play, it pushed me to work harder.”
Added Corsaut: “She doesn’t take time off. She’s always working to make herself better.”