Being a pitcher can be the most difficult position on the baseball field, especially if the game is on the line and a championship title is at stake. View Park Junior pitcher Janell Brown has been there—three times.
Her efforts would reward the young softball program with three consecutive City Section championships. The most recent came on May 19 when the View Park Knights defeated the Roosevelt Rough Riders 13-1. Brown was named the CIF All-City Division II Pitcher of the Year soon after.
Gaining a third title has been “eye-opening” for Brown.
“The more you go up, the harder it gets,” Brown said. “Doing it with the people that I was playing with, I guess it was just like history, history in the making.”
The Knights were 19-6 overall this past season and competed in division II softball with the likes of Bravo, Dorsey and Roosevelt high schools.
Of the three championships, Brown mentioned how their second championship game was the most difficult of the championship games.
“It’s a lot of pressure when it comes down to the last inning and they’re hitting and we’re a point or two away from each other and the bases were loaded,” Brown said. “It was probably the most pressure I’ve been in throughout my pitching career.”
This year, Brown reached a season high of 12 strikeouts on two occasions: once in a 5-7 loss to King/Drew and another in a 22-0 victory against Crenshaw. Other season highs came in a 29-0 win against Fremont when Brown got four hits and two homeruns, according to Maxpreps.
To add on to her athletic talent, Brown also plays for a travel ball team, which requires her to practice on Sundays. While striking out batters on the diamond, Brown bested her studies with a 3.74 GPA. She took AP English and honors Algebra 2. Being a high performing student athlete requires sacrifice, Brown mentioned.
“When I’m at home, I’m either practicing on softball or I’m doing homework and babysitting my brother all at the same time,” she said. “I have to sacrifice being able to go out on weekends.”
Time management helps Brown complete her work. She usually starts working on assignments the day they were assigned in order to have free time during the weekends.
Brown is also a member of the National Honor Society. The organization has meetings to help the participants with professional development, according to Brown.
“When you first make it in, sometimes you have to write a paper,” Brown said. “We have certain meetings to check on your grades and talk about college.”
Brown had been following the career of her head coach, Leesa Harris, since she played softball in high school. Brown attributes Harris for inspiring her to play softball.
“I liked the way she played and then it introduced me to how other people played and I just got into it,” she said. “I think it’s amazing that because I’ve known her for so long, she ended up being my high school coach.”