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Friday, May 6, 2016

Calandrilla joins Rend Lake Hall of Fame

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Clay County High School softball enjoyed a resurgent season this year as both Northview and Clay City sported outstanding seasons on the diamond.

Wabash Valley fans might also remember the Northview teams of the late '90's that set the competition on their ears over a great run that included a trip to the state finals in 1995 during a 25-2 season.

During that period, the Knights sent three of their own on to Rend Lake College to continue their softball careers following breathtaking prep careers at Northview.

On June 16, Rend Lake proudly welcomed Northview graduate, Jennifer Calandrilla, to the Warriors Sports Hall of Fame after a collegiate softball career that spanned 1997 to 1999.

One of the most prolific hitters in Northview history, Calandrilla set Hoosier records with three grand slams in her career and three triples in a single game. As a sophomore, she played with Cowell, Cook and White on the Knights' squad that reached the state finals. She also earned All-State honors her final two seasons for the Knights.

Calandrilla rang up a .370 average in the fall of her freshman season and a combined .330 for the spring/fall season. But she really blossomed in her second season according to coach Dave Ellingsworth.

"(Calandrilla) made vast improvement between her freshman and sophomore years, and she was a good player her first year here," he said.

According to Ellingsworth, "Through dedication. . . her work ethic. She made herself a better player. She always wanted extra ground balls after practice or extra cuts in the cage. She did all the things it takes to get better," Ellingsworth commented in an interview for the HOF program.

In the spring of her sophomore year, Calandrilla drove in a gaudy 42 percent of Rend Lake's total runs (51 of 154). She batted .404 while totaling a total of 27 doubles, good for second on the all-time single season mark behind Hall of Famer April Long.

She became only the second softball player in school history to be recognized as a First Team All-American following her sophomore year. For her career she hit .357 and ranks third all-time in hits with 160 and 121 RBIs. Calandrilla also ranks second with 50 career doubles and 11 triples.

Calandrilla finished her career at Indiana State by hitting .303 in 53 games and driving in 20 batters.

Jaymie Cowell was a teammate of Calandrilla and a two-time softball All-American for the Warriors leading Rend Lake to their first ever appearance in the Women's National Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament. She set team records for hits by a freshman (95), doubles (24) and a remarkable 17 homeruns. She added to those numbers as a sophomore with 112 hits, 31 doubles and established records for runs scored (87) and walks (39).

In her Rend Lake career she batted .426 for teams that finished a combined 107-42-1 overall. She finished her career at SIUC and was voted Second-Team All-Conference.

Cari Cook played second base for the Warriors, concluding her career in 1998 after hitting .315 as a sophomore for Rend Lake. Classmate Kelsey White was also a part of the team and was named an All-Region centerfielder while with the Warriors.

Jennifer Bass started the Brazil/Northview pipeline to Rend Lake by playing both softball and basketball for the Warriors in 1992 and Chad Penman became one of Rend Lake's top golfers and also shot the low round in the NJCAA Golf Finals in 1999. This spring, Brittany Cheek was part of the women's golf team that placed fifth nationally.

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