Times Sports Editor
Northview senior Shelby Colson has brought a variety of skills to the softball program during her stint with the Knights.
Last year, she was able to show off her skills in the pitching circle while still excelling at the plate.
That varied skill set has earned her a scholarship with Division II Glenville State's softball team beginning next year. The school, located in West Virginia, competes in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
While the destination might seem a bit out of the way to some, Colson immediately knew she wanted to be a Pioneer on a visit to the campus.
"My aunt and uncle live in the area and when I took a campus visit I loved it," Colson said after signing her letter-of-intent. "I contacted them last spring and this past fall, I went to visit for college day. I really liked the team and my cousin goes there. I won't have to stay in a dorm, we actually will stay in apartments."
The Pioneers are getting an All-Western Indiana Conference player that hit .361 last year and led the team with a pair of home runs while slugging .528 and reaching base nearly 40 percent of the time.
Glenville State's head coach, Rick Moore, was drawn to Colson's ability to hit from the pitching position. Colson also played as an infielder for the Knights.
As a pitcher, Colson was 8-7 overall and posted a 3.57 ERA in 14 starts. She threw 84 1/3 innings and struck out 64 batters.
"I'll probably be playing first and pitching," Colson said. "They liked my change up and my ability to hit as a pitcher. Some coaches won't let their pitchers hit."
Moore was quick to point out Colson's pitching ability and was equally impressed with her hitting after her workout with the Glenville State squad.
"Any time a player can go to the mound and hit at the plate is a big plus in Division II," Moore said. "When she visited, she faced my best hitting team. You could tell she was nervous, but I was very impressed with her.
"When she came down to visit and spent the night with the players I knew we had her," Moore said. "I'm tickled to death with her and she has great parents too. We really hit it off during her visit."
Colson joins a relatively young Glenville State team that graduated just two seniors from last year's squad that finished 11-11 in conference play, but finished just 17-33 overall.
Hopes are high amongst Moore's squad next season as the Pioneers return two All-WVIAC players and one other that received Honorable Mention.
Moore will be in his fifth season as head coach of the Pioneers and has increased the team's win total in each year.
After having a chance to see Colson's ability first hand during her visit, Moore believes that Colson can step in and make an impact on the Pioneer squad immediately.
"I think she'll play a lot of ball next year," Moore said. "Honestly, I think she's got the second best changeup that I've ever seen. If she can learn one more pitch, she'll be pitching a lot for us. But I have the feeling she'll be playing first base too."
Northview head coach Bethany Jones feels that the most recent college signing for the Knights is a testament to the rising strength of the program.
"We've worked on building a program and getting girls fundamentally ready," Jones said. "We're working hard in all aspects and as a coach it's great to have these girls have the opportunity to play college softball.
"Shelby has a great attitude and when she steps on the field she's definitely focused," Jones added. "Shelby has always been willing to work hard to get better."
Making the jump to playing at the NCAA Division II level, Colson also knows that she'll have to continue to work on her skills.
"I need to work on my consistency and throwing strikes," said Colson. "I'll keep working on my drop ball and intensity."
"I think Shelby can step right in and help the pitching staff," said Moore during a recent interview. "She'll help at the plate and what I was most impressed with was that she's a competitor."