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La Salle-Peru senior Kylea Starkey (seated, center) signs to play softball at IVCC. She was joined by her parents Jim Starkey (seated, left) and Laurie Boyer (seated, right) along with IVCC coach Cory Tomasson. NewsTribune photo/Brandon LaChance
La Salle-Peru senior Kylea Starkey was able to accomplish her missions of continuing to play the sport she loves and studying to become a nurse as she recently signed with the IVCC softball team.
“It’s close to my hometown and I’ve heard a lot of good things about their softball program,” Starkey said. “The classes that they have here are what I need to eventually become a nurse. That’s what I’m going into.
“After I talked to (IVCC coach) Cory (Tomasson) about everything, I knew this was what I wanted to do. He helped me and kind of showed me what I would do when I was here and it made me realize this was right for me.”
Tomasson said he doesn’t find a lot of players who are outfield specialists. Instead, he usually has to convert an infielder.
With the additions of Starkey in left or right field and Fieldcrest senior and recent signee Taylor Tjaden in centerfield, Tomasson won’t have to manufacture outfielders.
“The next thing about Kylea is that she can play both corner positions in the outfield, so that helps us out tremendously from the start defensively,” Tomasson said. “She brings a lot of power to the plate. Last year she started off the year with four or five home runs instantly.
“Watching her swing, I think there are a few tweaks we can make to make her a better contact hitter while not losing any of her power. I think being able to put her in there to produce more power is really going to help our lineup.”
Starkey spent a little time looking at other schools, but had her mind set on IVCC and is excited for the opportunity.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the softball program,” Starkey said. “My high school coach (Mike Schmidt) called and talked to Cory for me and that’s why Cory contacted me. Everything I’ve heard about the IVCC softball team has been good and I’ve known some of the girls who’ve played in it and they’ve had good things to say. I’ve never heard anything bad, so it sounded like the good thing for me to go and do.”
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.
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