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FARINA – South Central senior Kellie Crain has elected to continue her softball career in college.
Crain signed her letter of intent to play catcher for Shawnee Community College for the next two seasons.
“They are getting a player who works hard and has improved each year,” said Lady Cougars coach Gary Kapper. “When she gets down there, I think she will improve even more, since she’ll be focused strictly on softball.”
Shawnee coach Mike Fitzgerald said that it was Crain’s defensive abilities that he primarily noticed, but that she is also a capable hitter who should see playing time as a freshman.
Crain attributed her improved catching skills to working with a coach in Pana, but said that being a college catcher will still bring challenges.
“It will be more fast-paced,” she said. “There will be some more pitches that I’m not used to.”
The future education major also spoke with Kaskaskia College and Lake Land Community College, but said that Shawnee provided the best overall atmosphere in terms of academics and softball.
And with her college decision out of the way, she can focus exclusively on helping the Lady Cougars get some wins this spring.
“Hopefully, we can be successful in our season,” Crain said. “This (decision) was a lot of stuff lifted off of my shoulders.”
Crain will be counted on as one of several senior leaders this season, and Kapper said that he has high expectations for what her role should be.
“I’m hoping she can step up and be more focused on her catching and hitting skills,” he said. “We’ll be needing her to carry a lot of games behind the plate.
“She, along with the other seniors, will have to lead our young group.”
Crain played volleyball for the Lady Cougars as well, and her older sister, Katie, finished her volleyball career at Kaskaskia College this past fall.