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LaTourette to play at RHIT

Monday, July 11, 2011

Former Northview High School softball player Jessica LaTourette (front, center) recently committed to play softball at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for the 2011-12 season. On hand for the event included (front) Jessica's mother Cheryl McCarter, Jessica's father Tony McCarter, (back) NHS assistant softball coach Dennis Leek and head coach Bethany Jones. [Order this photo]
After the end of the 2011 season, 2011 Northview High School graduate Jessica LaTourette thought her softball playing days were over.

She was set to attend Indiana State University in the fall.

But something happened on the way to entering the world of post-secondary education.

She heard from coaches at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, who convinced her to come play softball for the Engineers this season.

And she agreed.

"It was during sectional when we really talked," LaTourette said Monday while officially committing to play at RHIT. "I was really excited."

LaTourette, a three-year starter at catcher for the Knights, hit .362 this past season as NHS posted a 20-7 record.

She finished the year with 29 hits in 80 at-bats, including seven doubles. She drove in 10 runs and scored three, while walking 14 times. Her on-base percentage of .464 hitting mostly out of the cleanup spot.

Despite posting a .362 average, LaTourette said she hopes she have a bigger bat for the Engineers.

"I need to hit," she said. "It's a big part of the game."

LaTourette's high school coach, Bethany Jones, said Rose-Hulman is getting a quality player and student.

"Academics always come first," Jones said. "Rose-Hulman will be a good fit and she's going to get a great education."

In reference to LaTourette's hitting, Jones said all she needs to do is be more consistent. But in the field, LaTourette's game has come a long way, Jones said.

"She calls a good game and she's more mobile now," Jones said. "I think she will excel at Rose-Hulman."

In 27 games as a senior, LaTourette posted a .913 fielding percentage, having committed only two errors all year.

LaTourette said she talked with her parents, Tony and Cheryl McCarter, as to whether she should attend RHIT to play softball, but in the end, she just didn't want to stop playing softball.

"This just opened up," LaTourette said. "I had no intentions of playing collegiate softball. I'm excited."

LaTourette plans to study Applied Biology at the school.

The Engineers softball program finished the 2011 season with a 13-21 record, including going 6-10 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Rose-Hulman is coached by Brian Shearer.