One of the finest two-sport athletes in Northeastern High School’s history has signed to play softball and basketball at Grace College.
Hannah Adams is set to continue her two-sport playing career with the Lady Lancers in 2013-14.
Adams is a 5-foot-11 athlete for Northeastern who has been an All-Conference pitcher each of her softball seasons. As a junior Adams posted a 1.56 ERA to go along with 208 strikeouts in 117 innings, ranking in the top 10 in the state for strikeouts and strikeouts per game.
“I was looking for a small Christian college close to home, and Grace was a great fit for me,” Adams said. “I’m excited to become a better player and to compete to my best ability every practice and every game.”
So far during her senior campaign, Adams boasts a 1.72 ERA, striking out 79 batters in 53 innings. She is also batting .536 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 11 games, according to VarVee.com.
“Hannah is a great all-around player. She will add depth to our pitching lineup and helps differentiates our staff,” said Grace softball coach Heather Johnson. “She gives us a different look than we’ve had before and should help take our team to the next level.”
On the basketball court, Adams averaged a double-double in her final season with 14.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. At the season’s conclusion, Adams was named honorable mention for Senior All-State on the hardwood.
“Hannah is a two-sport athlete that will help both of our programs. She has versatility to hit the outside shot as well as score inside,” said Grace basketball coach Scott Blum. “She had a very good career in basketball, and I know she is excited to continue to play basketball at the next level. I am looking forward working with her to see her become the best she can be.”
Outside of the athletic realm, Adams has served as a class officer as a junior and senior. She also is a member of the National Honor Society.
Adams, who is the daughter of Max and Laura Adams, intends to major in psychology during her time at Grace.
Union County softball standout Allison Franklin has decided to continue her playing days at Grace College.
Franklin is a versatile option for Grace head coach Heather Johnson because of her ability to pitch, catch or play the infield.
As a junior Franklin won All-Conference honors. She led Union County’s offense with a .467 batting average, helping the team to its second consecutive sectional championship. Union County also won the program’s first regional title during Franklin’s junior campaign.
“I was drawn to Grace because of the strong sport management program and because it’s a community-based school,” Franklin said. “I’m looking forward to making myself a better softball player and to become stronger in spots that I may not be strong in now.”
Franklin also played volleyball on Union County’s squad during her high school career. She has posted a GPA of at least 3.0 in each of the past three years.
“Allison is a great kid with a real passion for softball. She is constantly setting an example of how to do things the right way,” said Union County head coach Scott Gray. “She is a true leader on and off the diamond. She will be a great attribute to Grace.”
While at Grace Franklin hopes to study sport management. She is the daughter of Jeff and Kim Franklin.
Morgan Hutcheson, of Indianapolis softball power Franklin Central, has signed her letter of intent to continue her playing career at Grace College.
Hutcheson is a senior outfielder for Franklin Central who has batted .403 in a Flashes’ uniform.
“I chose Grace College because I wanted to attend a Christian school that embraces and reflects God’s Word,” Hutcheson said. “The moment I stepped onto campus, I felt like I was home.”
During her high school career, Hutcheson has tallied 25 hits, 22 runs and 6 stolen bases. She has posted a .453 batting average during her summer ball experience as well.
The Indiana Crossroads Conference named Hutcheson a Conference Student-Athlete. She has earned honor roll status at Franklin Central throughout high school.
“Morgan is another great addition to our program,” said Grace head coach Heather Johnson. “She brings an aggressive style of play and has great speed that she uses as a slapper and outfielder. She is a hard-working player who will help us raise our level of play.”
Hutcheson, the daughter of James and Robin Hutcheson, hopes to major in elementary education at Grace.
Maribeth Strong has declared her intent to continue her softball career at Grace College starting in the 2013-14 season.
Strong has been a steady contributor to the best seasons in Kankakee Valley High School’s history.
In 2011 Kankakee Valley posted a school-record 24-4 record en route to the program’s first Northwest Crossroads Conference championship.
Along the way, the Kougars recorded the best start in school history and were ranked in the top 10 in the state for 3A schools.
“I chose Grace College because I fell in love with the small campus and its loving, Christ-like atmosphere,” Strong said. “My athletic goal is to continue to improve and better my skills in softball.”
Strong, who can play both second base and outfield, was a member of the 2012 NSA “Class B” World Series championship squad.
“Maribeth will add immediate depth to our middle infield position next year,” said Grace head coach Heather Johnson. “She is a very intelligent young lady who is also an aggressive player and not afraid to get dirty. We are excited to add her to our team.”
She has been a consistent presence on Kankakee Valley’s honor roll since her freshman year. She serves as the class president for the National Honor Society and the senior class secretary.
Strong, who is the daughter of Mark and Jenny Strong, plans to study biology at Grace.
Grace’s softball team and head coach Heather Johnson have added a commitment for the 2013-14 season in Maggie McLean.
McLean is an outfielder for Mt. Vernon High School, where she helped lead the team to both a sectional and conference championship in 2012.
“I was drawn to Grace because of the small size and friendly atmosphere,” McLean said. “I’m looking forward to learning more about the game of softball from Coach Johnson while improving and enjoying the game.”
During her junior season McLean committed zero errors in the outfield. At the plate she batted .306 and had 17 runs scored, according to VarVee.com.
“Maggie is a great fundamental player who adds depth to our outfield,” Johnson said. “Maggie is a hardworking young lady who will be a great asset to our team as we move forward.”
McLean has appeared on Mt. Vernon’s honor roll throughout her academic career and has also served as a freshman mentor.
While at Grace she aspires to major in business. McLean is the daughter of Jim and Becky McLean.
The Grace College softball team has added Brittany Melzoni from Lawrence Central for their 2013-14 roster.
Melzoni has started since her freshman year for Lawrence Central and was an honorable mention for All-Conference honors in 2011.
As a sophomore in 2011, she batted .400 with 30 hits and 15 runs scored, according to VarVee.com. She increased her run total to 19 as a junior, adding six extra-base hits to her tally in 2012 as well.
“I was drawn to Grace because of the school’s size, campus, small classes and softball coaches,” Melzoni said. “I want to learn and grow these next four years and enjoy the game of softball.”
Melzoni has earned academic honors from Lawrence Central during her time in high school. She plans to major in biology at Grace. Melzoni is the daughter of Rusty and Martha Melzoni.
Indian Creek standout Clarissa Knight has decided to join the Grace College softball team for the 2013-14 season.
Knight is an award-winning shortstop who has batted .485 with a .727 slugging percentage through her first three seasons at Indian Creek.
As a junior, she won First Team honors for Johnson County and for the Mid-Hoosier Conference. After her sophomore season, she was named First Team All-Conference and honorable mention for All-County.
“The overall culture and atmosphere of Grace’s Christ-centeredness was a place I knew I could grow spiritually, academically and athletically,” Knight said. “I loved seeing those changes in my older sister, Andrea, and I wanted the same. I am looking forward to furthering my education from a Christ-centered worldview and to improving my softball skills.”
Knight is an accomplished student, winning the school’s Academic Athlete Award for maintaining a GPA of at least 3.5.
“It has been a lot of fun working with Clarissa over the past 10 years. She has always been a competitor and does not have one ounce of quit in her,” said Indian Creek head coach Gary Mitchell. “I will always remember her asking to stay late at practice to work on her game. That’s the kind of effort it takes to make great players, and I’m sure because of this, she will be successful in college and in whatever she sets her hands to in the future.”
Knight, who is the daughter of Tom and Jonetta Knight, plans to study criminal justice while at Grace.
Grace’s softball team has added a commitment from Kokomo High School’s Samantha Johnson.
Johnson is a centerfielder for Kokomo who garnered All-Conference honors during her junior season in the North Central Conference.
She batted a team-best .333 as a junior, tallying 13 hits and scoring seven runs. She holds the record for most stolen bases and also was named the team’s most improved player in 2011.
“When I visited Grace, not only did I love the campus, but I felt an immediate connection with the team,” Johnson said. “I’m excited to continue playing softball at Grace and to be a strong asset to the team.”
Johnson was also a standout volleyball player for Kokomo. She has the school record for most sets played and was the team’s MVP as the starting setter.
Academically, Johnson ranks in the top 10 percent of her class and plans to graduate high school with academic honors.
“She came to us as a freshman, and we saw so much speed and athletic potential,” said Kokomo head coach Lisa Tate. “She’s now got the bunt, the soft slap and she hits for power on the left side. She has also done a great job for us in centerfield.”
Johnson, who lives in Kokomo, Ind., with her mother Debbie, plans to study communications during her time at Grace.
The Grace College softball team has signed Archbold High School’s Morgan Cody for the 2013 season.
Cody is a three-time All-League performer in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League. Over her three seasons as a starter, she racked up 91 hits with 19 doubles and 13 home runs. Cody has tallied 81 RBIs in her high school career while scoring 61 runs.
“I chose Grace College because when I am there, it feels like home,” Cody said. “The minute I stepped on campus, I felt like Grace was where God wanted me to be. I am excited to start the season and hope to be a great asset to the Lancer softball team.”
In Cody’s three seasons as a starter for Archbold, the Streaks were 74-15 and won three league championships, three sectional titles and three district titles.
The team advanced to the regional championship game during her senior season and to the state semifinal game during her sophomore year.
“Morgan has been a solid contributor to a highly successful team during her career,” said Archbold head coach Joe Frank. “She was a consistent player who brought all that she had to every practice and game. She has good power and had a career average of about .385. She will be an asset to Grace’s softball team.”
Cody was a consistent presence on Archbold’s honor roll and was also highly involved in the school’s choir. Cody, who is the daughter of Ron and Marcia Cody, plans to study graphic design and marketing during her time at Grace.
Amanda Bowman from Northwestern High School (Ohio) has committed to play softball at Grace College.
Bowman, a native of Wooster, Ohio, has lettered in varsity softball and volleyball the past three years at Northwestern. The 5-foot-9 pitcher recorded 145 strikeouts as a sophomore and posted a 1.69 ERA as a junior for her travel softball team.
“I chose Grace because it gave me a great feeling while I was on campus. Being around the softball players and coaches gave me a sense of family,” Bowman said. “I am excited to grow as a player and person while being devoted to my chosen field of study to prepare myself for the future.”
Bowman, who plans to graduate Northwestern in 2012 with honors, is a member of the National Honor Society and frequented the school’s honor roll.
“Amanda has worked hard to achieve the goal of playing collegiate softball,” said Northwestern head coach Scott Hershey. “She is a dedicated leader, coachable player and great teammate. Not only has she excelled on the softball field, but she has also done well in the classroom.”
Bowman is the daughter of Jamie and Carmen Bowman.
Grace’s softball team has gained a commitment from Indianapolis area’s Bridget Poteet.
Poteet is a pitcher and third baseman for Ben Davis who was named honorable mention on Marion’s All-County Team. As a junior she batted .313 with a .478 slugging percentage. From the mound, she posted a 2.70 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched, earning a 7-1 record.
“Grace offered great opportunities for me with a positive atmosphere,” Poteet said. “I wanted to attend a top law school while becoming the best athlete I can be.”
In addition to her career at Ben Davis, Poteet has been a part of several state championship teams in travel softball.
Outside of athletics, Poteet was a member of the National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society as well as being represented on the school’s honor roll and the academic All-Conference Team.
“Bridget has a lot of experience in the game of softball. She mentally understands game situations and has a high softball IQ,” said Ben Davis head coach Demetrius Dowler. “I am confident that Bridget’s drive to succeed and her leadership skills will help her at the college level.”
Poteet, an Indianapolis, Ind., native, is the daughter of Robert and Christina Poteet.
The Grace College softball program has added another key piece to the 2012-13 recruiting class with the addition of Paige Petrone from Valor Christian High School (Colo.).
Petrone won First Team All-League honors after all four years of her high school career, where she played both catcher and shortstop. In 2010 she received the honor of being named All-State Honorable Mention as a junior after batting .569 with 30 RBIs. She was also named Second Team West Region by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
“The environment is what initially drew my attention to Grace,” said Petrone. “After touring the campus and learning of the spiritual, academic and athletic opportunities, there was no doubt that Grace was the college for me.”
According to MaxPreps.com, in Petrone’s senior season she recorded a .535 batting average, a .643 on-base percentage, and an .860 slugging percentage. She notched 23 hits and drove in 17 runs while scoring 20 runs and stealing five bases.
She was also named team captain three times and received the Slugger Award for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons.
“In her four-year career, Paige has helped build our new softball program from the ground up and did so in a way that will leave her mark for a long time to come,” said Valor head coach Stephanie Gillett. “We look forward to seeing Paige make an even bigger impact as a Lancer. Grace is not only getting a great athlete but also a good leader and young woman seeking to impact her world for Christ.”
Paige, who is the daughter of Phil and Jolin Petrone, plans to study biology with a concentration in pre-med.
The Grace College softball team has announced the addition of Brooke Shell from Blackford High School to their 2012 roster.
Shell, a native of Hartford City, Ind., is a two-time First Team All-Central Indiana Conference winner. The speedy 5-foot-7 outfielder has a career batting average of .423 and led her team in stolen bases as a sophomore and junior.
“I chose Grace because I liked the small campus and strong Christian environment where I could grow in my relationship with the Lord,” Shell said. “I am excited to help my team win a conference title.”
Shell, who will join the Lady Lancers this spring for competition, also won a pair of NSA “Class A” World Series championships outside of her Blackford playing career.
During her senior year, she had 35 hits in 85 at-bats, scoring 24 runs with 15 stolen bases. Shell also played basketball, soccer and volleyball in her four years at Blackford.
In the classroom, Shell was also a standout performer. As a senior in 2011, she was named an honorable mention to the Academic All-State Team. During her time at Blackford, she was a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Club and was also a yearbook editor and freshman mentor.
“Brooke is an experienced outfielder with great instincts on the bases and the ability to put the ball in play,” said Grace head coach Heather Johnson. “She brings tremendous speed to our team and is very coachable. I look forward to her immediate impact on our team this spring.”
Brooke, who plans to study biology at Grace, is the daughter of Steve and Shelley Shell.
Grace’s softball team has added another piece to its puzzle in Terre Haute South’s Chelsea Whitesell.
Chelsea is a versatile addition to the Lady Lancers with the ability to play catcher or third base. She has won the team’s Mental Attitude Award and the Pinch Hitter of the Year during her high school career.
As a junior in 2011, Chelsea helped lead Terre Haute South to an impressive 24-6 record.
“Grace is a beautiful school and has everything I ever wanted – the size is perfect, the teachers are wonderful and I can achieve all my goals there,” Chelsea said. “I want to be a great asset to the softball team while working towards my degree.”
Academically, Chelsea was also a standout as a member of the National Honor Society. She achieved High Honors throughout high school and is on track to graduate with an academic honors diploma.
“Chelsea has been a great pleasure to have on our team. She has a terrific attitude and is a hard worker,” said Terre Haute South coach Steve Woerner. “She is a team-first type of player who leads by example. She can play a number of positions and has a big bat. I will be sorry to see her go but will be happy to see her play in college.”
Chelsea, a native of Terre Haute, Ind., plans to study criminal justice and accounting while at Grace. She is the daughter of Angela and David Whitesell.
The Grace College softball team has obtained a letter of intent from Madison-Grant High School’s Lacey Little.
Lacey, a centerfielder from Summitville, Ind., won a state championship with current Lady Lancer Samantha Fields in 2009 with Madison-Grant. She was named All-County and honorable mention for the All-Conference Team.
During her junior season in 2011, Lacey batted .416 in being named the team’s Offensive Player of the Year. According to VarVee.com, Lacey led the team in most offensive categories including 35 hits in 84 at-bats.
She also stole 23 bases and scored 22 runs.
“I really enjoyed the atmosphere that Grace provides,” Lacey said. “I am looking forward to making myself better as a softball player while obtaining my degree.”
Lacey was also a defensive specialist on the volleyball team in high school, helping lead the team to three sectional titles and one regional title in 2010.
“Lacey will be a good addition for the Grace softball program,” said Madison-Grant head coach Jay Dunlap. “She is an outstanding defensive player and has always been able to reach base and make things happen with her speed on offense.”
Lacey, who is the daughter of Scott and Missy Little, plans to major in biology while at Grace.
Grace head coach Heather Johnson has added another talented player into her 2012-13 squad with the signing of Brownsburg's Alex Shipley.
Alex is a dual-sport athlete from Brownsburg, Ind., who can pitch or play the field. She won the team's outstanding pitcher award and mental attitude award for the Bulldogs and batted .281 according to VarVee.com.
"I chose Grace College because I really liked the small college atmosphere, and I wanted to fulfill a dream of playing collegiate softball," Alex said. "I am looking forward to improving my softball skills and knowledge of the game from Coach Johnson."
Alex enjoyed success playing travel ball where she helped her team win an ASA state championship in June 2011.
She also played basketball for the Bulldogs, winning two consecutive county championships during her career.
"We are excited to have Alex join our program. Her hard-working attitude will be a tremendous asset to our team," Johnson said. "She will be immediately impactful as a defensive player and pitcher, and her experience will bring depth and consistency to our program. Alex’s work ethic extends to the classroom as well and will help us to raise the caliber of our program on and off the field."
Alex was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and also attended the Hoosier Crossroads Leadership Conference.
Alex, who is the daughter of Mark and Tonia Sampson, plans to study athletic training while at Grace.
Grace's softball team landed Danielle Wellman, a highly regarded catcher from Wapahani High School, for the 2012-13 season.
Danielle has won multiple honors both on and off the field during her high school career. She has been named All-Conference three times, Offensive Player of the Year three times and All-County once. She was also named The Star Press Softball Athlete of the Year: http://www.thestarpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201206240317/HSSP....
According to VarVee.com, Danielle led Wapahani at the plate as a junior. She hit .529 with an .835 slugging percentage. She pounded out 45 hits in 85 at-bats, including four home runs and 30 RBIs.
"I chose Grace College because the opportunity to play collegiate softball while studying the major I wanted was a great fit," Danielle said. "I am looking forward to helping Grace in the conference and be the best player I can be."
Danielle, a 5-foot-7 senior from Selma, Ind., played ASA softball for the Indiana Gators.
Outside of the athletic realm, Danielle was also a standout. She was a member of the National Honor Society, the Future Business Leaders of America, Student Council, FCA and was a Delaware County Youth Salute of the Year nominee.
"Danielle is a reliable, respectable and hard-working young lady who shows pride in whatever she does," said Wapahani head coach Jacci Glancy. "She strives to get better not only for herself but for her team as well. She is an exceptional person, and I know that she will succeed in whatever comes her way. She will be a great addition to the Grace family."
While at Grace, she plans to study Pre-Physician Assistant. Danielle is the daughter of Rick and Becky Wellman.