|Johnston inks LOT for DC|
|Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:00 PM|
SPENCERVILLE — It has been a long time — since 1992 — that a Spencerville fast-pitch softball player signed to play college softball.
Current Lady Bearcat senior Tori Johnston became the fourth player in the program’s history to do so, signing her national letter-of-intent Thursday afternoon to play the sport for Defiance College head coach Jodie Holava.
“I’m pretty excited about that,” Johnston explained. “Coach (Lori) Schwartz is our junior varsity coach and she played at college (at ONU starting in 1984). She helped me through the process. When I started to consider what I would be doing for college, I didn’t know anything; I am the first person in our family to go to college, so I didn’t know anything about how to go about it. She helped me through it.”
According to Johnston, she first looked at schools in West Virginia. All along, she didn’t want to go to a school several hours away — “they were the ones contacting me” — so it came down to DC and Bluffton University.
“Then I looked at what the schools could offer me as far as being able to travel with the softball team and other things and DC seemed a better fit. When I visited, I was impressed with the team, the coaches and everything,” she explained. “I felt they would accommodate my playing softball a lot better and everything else that I will need to be doing.”
DC also offered her the chance to double major in social work and psychology, with a long-term plan to become a therapist.
“I was nervous going through the process and I’m still nervous but I’m also excited. I’m glad to know where I’m going for college,” she added. “I didn’t think it would happen. Yes, I grew up watching players like Jenny Finch and wanted to be like them but I didn’t know if it would happen.
“I’m already nervous about going to college, getting everything ready. They have an off-season and fall workout program and I will get to that after the season is over. They have a fall and spring team, so I won’t have a lot of time to get ready.”
Her coach at Spencerville, Jeff Johnston, has two ways to look at it; he is also her father as well as her coach.
“I do have mixed feelings both ways. She is one of our better players and is a team captain; you don’t want to lose someone like that but that’s the nature of high school sports,” he added. “You have them for four years and they move on. What I appreciate is that she is a leader on this team and a mentor for the younger players. We are trying to build this program and our numbers are growing; she has been a big part of that.
“I am excited for her at the next level; I think she will do well and fit right in. She isn’t done in her career and she will get the chance to play a lot of games in both seasons — about 80 total.”