Here’s a new wrinkle in the college recruitment process – Cary-Grove’s Lindsay Efflandt politely told NCAA Division I schools wanting to make scholarship offers, “No thanks.”
Efflandt, a three-time Northwest Herald All-Area first-team selection as a softball pitcher, would have had numerous D-I schools from which to consider. But Efflandt, who ranks in the top 4 percent of C-G’s senior class, had her heart set on attending a school in the Ivy League, which does not award athletic scholarships.
Efflandt chose Yale in September and recently received her “likely letter,” a correspondence from an Ivy League school that prospective athletes get when their acceptance soon will become official.
“I always wanted to go to Yale,” Efflandt said. “There are so many opportunities there.
“I’ve always been a big dreamer. I need something that seems unattainable to work for.”
Efflandt was 24-7 with a 1.10 ERA and 206 strikeouts for the Trojans last spring. She also hit .337 with three home runs. She has been one of the area’s best pitchers for the past three seasons.
Efflandt is a standout student with a 4.4 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and an ACT score of 31. She wants to become a screenwriter for movies or TV and is working on a book series she describes as sort of fantasy and science fiction.
“I love softball, but I’ve always been involved with academics too,” Efflandt said. “I want to be in a place where you make connections. I’m going to get the best education I can and be able to play softball.”
Efflandt also sings in C-G’s choir and a cappella group, something she wants to also try at the New Haven, Conn., school.
“She’s very well-rounded and she loves to write,” C-G softball coach Tammy Olson said. “Ivy League schools don’t talk to you until you’re a senior, so [Efflandt] had to be really patient. This was her dream.”
Efflandt, who hits the low 60 mph range with her fastball, played for the Illinois Chill, an elite travel softball team over the summer and this fall. Prairie Ridge senior Kirsten Stevens and Crystal Lake South graduate Liz Adams also were on that team.
“She was really waiting for the Ivy League,” Olson said. “She was going to all the right camps. She’s going to do great at that level. When you get there, your level of plays rises with it.”
Yale was 12-34 last season, including 5-15 in the Ivy League.