Softball: Barrington star Albrecht chooses North Dakota
Going on family vacations sparked an interest in flying for Jackie Albrecht.
"Since I was little, I always liked going on planes," Albrecht said.
Albrecht is a senior softball star at Barrington, and as she has gotten older and started thinking more about a career, she figured a good fit for her would be melding her love of aviation with the family business.
"I have an interest in engineering and I get that from my family," Albrecht said. "Both of my parents graduated from college with engineering degrees."
Mom Alexa went to Michigan State and Dad Dave went to Bradley. And now, Albrecht will be going to North Dakota to major in aeronautical engineering.
"I'm thinking it would be cool to be on the engineering side of aviation," Albrecht said. "Like designing aircraft."
Albrecht hand-picked North Dakota and its top-notch aeronautical program as she searched for a good softball fit as well. She recently committed to play softball at North Dakota and will be on the pitching staff there.
"Their coaches had seen me last fall and we started talking in the spring," Albrecht said. "When I told them I had an interest in something (aeronautics) that their school was really big in, that really helped to make that connection. I visited there over Labor Day weekend with my dad and I really liked it. I liked the idea of being far from the city and I liked the coaching staff there too."
Albrecht joins a long line of Barrington softball players to move on to Division I softball. There have been 33 Fillies to do that, while a total of 59 have played college softball overall, across all levels.
Barrington coach Perry Peterson, now in his 29th season, was impressed with Albrecht early in her career. He brought her up to the varsity as a sophomore and she started contributing immediately.
"We had three pitchers that year, a Division I kid who had torn her ACL in basketball, then we had a senior and then we had Jackie and as the season wore along, Jackie kind of just took the whole thing over. It was impressive to see from a sophomore," Peterson said. "The other kids love her. She's kind of quiet but she's a great teammate and she's become a leader.
"Each year, I have one kid who becomes the leader, the one girl who kind of communicates between me and the other girls like on the group texts and everything, and the last two years, all the girls have said that Jackie needs to be in that role. She's got a great attitude and work ethic and that's why the kids like her so much."
In 2019, the last season played at Barrington due to the COVID-19 pandemic canceling the 2020 spring season, Albrecht was the Fillies' No. 1 pitcher with 94⅔ innings pitched and a 12-1 record. She finished with a 0.74 earned run average with 85 strikeouts and 19 walks.
"Jackie has an elite-level change-up which is very hard to pick," Peterson said. "It looks like all of her other speed pitches. She's very deceptive and she's able to do things her way and be very successful."
Albrecht came up with her own way of training her arm in the off-season.
Usually, Albrecht plays volleyball in the fall. But COVID-19 has pushed the volleyball season to the spring. So Albrecht decided to join the JV swimming team at Barrington this fall.
"A friend of mine from travel softball who was a catcher did swimming her senior year and when I watched her play softball after that, it seemed like it was a lot easier for her to make the throws she usually made, with so much less effort," Albrecht said. "Her shoulders and arms got so much stronger from swimming, so I thought that with volleyball season getting moved, this was a good chance for me to try that, too.
"Doing swimming has been fun, but I think it's helped me, too. I try to work really hard to get faster and stronger. I'm always looking for things that will help me get better."