Four Highland seniors signed their letters of intent to play baseball or softball in college last Wednesday during an afternoon ceremony.
Mack Anglin signed to play baseball for Clemson University, while three members of the team’s softball team also announced their commitments. Kaitlyn Carney will move on to Ashland University, while Morgan Wilhelm will play at Malone University and Liz Jensen will continue her academic and athletic careers at the University of Mount Union.
For Anglin, officially committing to Clemson was a formality, as he’d been verbally committed to the ACC power since after his sophomore year.
“It feels real good to put it on paper and go to my dream school,” he said. “It has an at-home feel. I just went there and knew it was my place all the way.”
Anglin, who will major in education or criminal justice, noted that he’d gotten a lot of attention in recruiting after that sophomore season.
“I went to a tournament after my sophomore year and hit 90 (pitching),” he said. “After that, the recruiting process blew up.”
Anglin added that while he’ll likely focus on pitching in college, he’s open to doing anything that will help the team. He also commented on looking forward to playing in front of the large fan-base the Tigers have.
“Playing in front of that big fan-base,” he said when asked what he’s most looking forward to. “There’s no pro team in South Carolina, so it’s either Clemson or South Carolina.”
Carney was both excited about the softball team at Ashland and the program in her planned major.
“It was mainly about their exercise science program,” she said. “And the environment as well. The team is like sisters. I feel it’s perfect for me.”
While with Ashland, Carney expects to continue playing in the outfield, but adds that her main concern is simply helping the team however she can.
“I really just hope to make an impact on the team,” she said. “I play wherever coach needs me. They said primarily outfield, but I’ll play anywhere.”
If there’s one thing the Scot senior isn’t looking forward to, it’s simply not being able to play with her current teammates after this year. Jensen, Wilhelm and her all commented on how good of friends they are and how it’ll be an adjustment to not be teammates after the upcoming spring season.
“It was kind of saddening, saying it’s over and our last year playing together,” she said. “It’s sorrowful. These are my friends and I don’t want to leave them, but I’m excited about the future.”
One thing she is excited for is all that she can learn over the course of her college years.
“Just everything I can learn,” she said. “I feel as an underclassman, it can teach me about life and I can learn a lot more.”
Both of Wilhelm’s parents attended Malone, but that actually didn’t play a role in her choosing the same school.
“At first, I really didn’t want to go because my parents went there, but when I visited the campus, I fell in love,” she said.
Being able to commit to college along with Carney and Jensen made the moment even more special for her.
“It’s really special to have my friends support me and to do so with two of my best friends,” she said. “We grew up playing softball together and all have been best friends.”
Wilhelm plans to major in exercise science and physical therapy at Malone. As a member of the softball team, she feels she can bring a lot to the program.
“She (the coach) likes how confident I am,” said Wilhelm. “I’m a good hitter and very reliable. Also how I catch and my personality.”
Being able to continue playing softball after high school is very exciting to her.
“It means the world to me,” she said. “It’s always been my dream to play at the next level and I’m blessed to have that opportunity.”
Jensen started looking at Mount Union as her future college early this year and found the school to her liking.
“Their coach reached out this January,” she said. “They expressed interest and I fell in love with their nursing program and that’s when I fell in love with the campus. I’m really excited to go there and be part of such a great family.”
Jensen said that Mount Union became interested in her after seeing her in a camp hosted by Kent State.
“I went to a Kent State camp and she (the coach) saw my speed on the bases as a slap-hitter and in the outfield, having the speed to get to the ball and make plays.”
Like her teammates, Jensen was excited to sign her commitment.
“Signing with my teammates — I’ve grown up with these girls on the field and in the classroom. I’ve alway strived to be able to come out here. It’s always been a goal of mine.”
She added that before going to college, she and her teammates have high hopes for this spring.
“We have six seniors this year,” she said. “As a team and personally, I want to strive for the KMAC title again.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS