After finishing her senior year at Cardington, Rylie Partlow will move on to Mount Vernon Nazarene University, where she will resume her softball career. The decision to attend MVNU wasn’t a tough one for Partlow.
“Coach (Mark) Pratt is so nice and they focus on academics before athletics, which I like,” she said. “The girls on the team are so nice. I went to camp a year ago and they talked my ear off. He (Pratt) called at night after I hit a grand slam against River Valley and I said yes right away.”
The only other school Partlow said she’d been considering was Otterbein, but she noted that MVNU made it easy for her to make her final choice. While she expects to play in the outfield, she noted that she could see action in other positions.
“He (Pratt) likes to make sure everyone is well-rounded,” she said. “I’ve always played outfield and he recruited me as an outfielder, but you have to be ready.”
Partlow said that she expects there to be work in transitioning from high school to college, but adds that she’s looking forward to the experience.
“It’s definitely going to be more intense with practices and stuff and there is more expected out of you with having to balance college work life with another sport,” she said, noting that she’s looking forward to developing new friendships in college.
However, she feels her high school experiences in softball will help prepare her for the future. Last year, the Pirates advanced to the Division III state semifinals.
“Making the Final Four last year and feeling that team aspect and knowing what you have to do is really going to help me with going from high school to a college team,” she said.