CARSON CITY — All the hard work has paid off for Carson City-Crystal catcher/utility player Meriah Gallagher on Monday.
Gallagher signed a letter-of-intent to play college softball for the Indiana University Southeast Grenadiers. IU Southeast is located in New Albany, Ind. and is close to the Kentucky border near Louisville, Ken.
Gallagher, a four-year member of the softball team, said a recruiting combine caught the attention of the Grenadiers coaching staff.
“I went to the Wixom Academy of College recruiting combine,” Gallagher said. “They saw me doing fielding work there and that’s how things started.”
IU Southeast competes at the NAIA level and in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“It’s a really nice school,” Gallagher said. “The people down there are amazing. It’s just a really nice campus.”
Gallagher was impressed with the school’s academic programs. She will double major in Chemistry and Biology.
The Grenadiers finished last year at 34-20 overall and 17-1 in the KIAC. They won the conference by three games over Asbury University.
“They would like me to still catch,” Gallagher said. “I’ve been dying to play college softball. It has always been my top goal. It really worked out for me.”
Eagles coach Sam Jensen said Gallagher is a tough competitor.
“Meriah is a great hitter and fielder. She is very aggressive and a real go-getter,” she said. “She has a true competitive edge, letting no one stand in her way. She gets in the box or on the field and wants it. She is one tough girl, mentally and physically. She stands up to any challenge.”
Gallagher played basketball her freshman and sophomore years, but decided to focus on softball as a junior.
Softball practice and tryouts started on Monday for high schools across the state. Gallagher is hoping for a few things this year.
“I’m hoping for a winning season. The team gets along great and we should be able to pull together this year,” she said. “I definitely would like a higher batting average.”
“I expect this season to be very productive for Meriah and that will contribute to our team greatly,” Jensen said. “She is a leader for our team. I see her being a lead hitter for us. I also expect that Meriah will prepare her teammates for various challenges.”
The Eagles begin the season March 29 at home against Ashley.
“I’m very excited for the season to begin,” Gallagher said. “I’ve been practicing all year for it. I’m ready.”