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Haire to play ball at Oakland City

Haire to play ball at Oakland City
Haire to play ball at Oakland City
Danielle Haire signs a letter of intent to play softball at Oakland City University. Joining her are, front from left, her mother, Carol Baumgart, and father, James Haire; back row, Dr. Ryan Apple, athletic director at Lanesville, and Steve Sonner, Lanesville softball coach. Submitted photo
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]

Danielle Haire has been around diamonds nearly her entire life, starting with a Pee Wee league when she was 4. Now, the Lanesville Junior-Senior High School senior has committed to playing at the collegiate level, after signing a letter of intent with Oakland City University.

From Pee Wee with the Lanesville Youth League, Haire said she moved on to softball at age 6.

“I began playing travel ball at the age of 9 and played on several different teams, most currently the Crush out of Louisville,” she said. “It has been my whole life for as long as I can remember, from regular league and high school seasons to travel ball during the summers.”

Catcher has been her main position, but she also plays third and shortstop.

“My best memory of high school softball is my freshman year, going as far as we did and especially the group of girls that did it with me,” said the New Albany native who has lived in Lanesville her entire life.

Softball isn’t the only sport Haire has played.

“I have been involved with basketball, starting in second grade at St. John’s Lutheran (School),” she said.

When she entered Lanesville Junior-Senior High, she continued to hit the hardwood in seventh and eighth grades and has played hoops all four years of high school.

In making her college selection, Haire said, “I wanted to go away but still be fairly close to home. (Oakland City) appealed to me because it was smaller, and I have heard nothing but great things about Oakland City from current students and local past graduates.”

OCU was founded in 1885 by General Baptists and is located in Oakland City in Gibson County. The Mighty Oaks softball team is coached by Patti Buchta.

Haire, the daughter of Carol Baumgart and James Haire, plans to major in human biology.

“I am looking forward to meeting new people, getting my degree and continuing my love for the game,” she said.

While she’s looking forward to playing softball at the next level, there are things Haire will miss.

“What I will miss most is all the home games and seeing the crowd show up and never disappoint,” she said.

Haire expressed her appreciation to her family, friends, faculty and present and past coaches “for pushing me and always inspiring me to work hard to reach my goals.”