By Emily Marsh
Ever since I was a little girl, softball’s been a huge part of my life. I started playing t-ball at a very young age and I just remember completely falling in love with the sport. It’s always been my stress reliever and a way for me to escape the world for a bit. I started playing fast-pitch softball when I was 12, and it’s been my mission ever since then to continue playing this sport for as long as I can.
I always talked about playing softball in college, but as I grew older I became unsure on whether or not I actually would. Nearly eight million students play sports at the high school level. From those eight million, only about 500,000 make it to the college level as NCAA athletes. When I first heard that, my heart sank. I realized how hard it was going to be to get where I wanted. Despite this, I began working harder than ever to get noticed by a college.
I began emailing coaches every week, hoping for a response back. My summer team travelled all over, including to Chicago, Atlanta, Columbus, and Cleveland. We went to tournaments that were swarming with college recruits. I even went to multiple college recruitment camps, including ones at Akron, Kent State, and Tiffin University. Towards the end of the summer I was beginning to lose hope, but everything changed when I received an email from Notre Dame College.
I had heard about Notre Dame College from a friend of mine who committed there for softball as well. Notre Dame is a small college about 30 minutes from downtown Cleveland. It’s a Division II school, which means I can receive athletic scholarships on top of academic ones. The head coach had invited me to an official, overnight visit to the campus. When I went, I fell in love with the campus almost immediately. I loved how everyone knew each other there, and it was unlikely for you to find someone who wasn’t a part of a Falcon team. There’s a deep rooted passion for sports there, and everyone goes to all the sporting events. I enjoyed hearing that even more because I love getting involved with my school and going to sporting events. I felt right at home.
Quickly after the visit I applied to the college and got accepted in a week later. I was also offered a spot there on the softball team and I happily accepted. I felt a huge surge of relief knowing that my dreams of playing in college were coming true, and I couldn’t have picked a better school for me. Go Falcons!