Ingle signs to play with Converse
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
Emily Ingle, a senior at North Harrison High School, signed a letter of intent Thursday afternoon to play collegiate softball at Converse College in Spartansburg, S.C., where she plans to major in chemistry and physics.
Ingle, the daughter of North Harrison Community School Corp. board member Kerry Ingle and his wife, Christall, of Palmyra, has been playing softball since she was 4 years old and has been in love with it since the jump.
A jack-of-all-trades when it comes to infield positions, she said the main place you can find her is at shortstop, although she does sometimes play third or first base, and she also dabbles in pitching.
“I’ll honestly play anywhere in the infield,” Ingle said. “It’s so fast-pace up there, so it keeps me better in tune with the game. There’s nothing I love more than when a fast ball gets hit right at you. There’s nothing like that feeling.”
Ingle also has been a cheerleader for six years and has participated in swimming for about 11 years. She also holds three state weight-lifting records and was the overall female champion at the NASA Powerlifting Competition on March 14. Her personal bests include 320-pound squat, 300-pound dead lift and 165-pound bench press.
Ingle fell in love with the athletic atmosphere in Spartansburg at a softball combine camp and tournament she attended about three years ago. The camp focused on all elements of the game, and Ingle attributed it to forging her fast-pace game mentality.
“That camp was an eye-opening moment for me,” Ingle said. “It had my adrenaline pumping in a way that I had never felt before, and, after going through the drills and playing in the tournaments there, I knew it was the place I wanted to spend my next four years of school.”
Converse is a Division II college and belongs to the Conference Carolinas. The Valkyries’ softball team had its inaugural season in 2015-16.
Gregg Oppel, a member of the North Harrison Community School Corp. board, has worked and practiced with Ingle for a large part of her athletic career thus far, from coaching her at points to being one of her biggest fans on the bleachers. He said it is nearly impossible to match her work ethic on and off the field.
“I spend a lot of time with the Ingle family,” Oppel said. “There isn’t a moment Emily isn’t thinking about ways to get better or putting in the hard work by herself to do it. You don’t see her work ethic often in kids, and that determination and grit will take her farther with softball and life than any other trait. She’s one of a kind, that is for sure.”
Ingle said that while there are so many moments on the field that she will never forget, it’s the memories of bonding with her team that she will always remember when she looks back on her time with North Harrison softball.
“I loved when we were in season and on Fridays we would play kickball or whiffle ball just to have some fun as a team,” she said. “Our Christmas special, when we would all wear ugly Christmas sweaters and model them, will always be something I look back on and laugh. I love the family environment of a team and can’t wait to see what is to come with the family I make at Converse.”