Two Upper Peninsula Players Join CLA Softball Program | News, Sports, Jobs
ALPENA – At the age of nine, Alaina Saari decided she was going to play softball in college.
This dream came true for Saari recently after signing with Alpena Community College, making her long-held dream come true.
“It feels really good. It’s like a dream come true because I have dreamed of playing softball in college, finding the right college and achieving my goals since I was little, âsaid Saari, a recent Marquette High graduate. . âI am really proud of how far we have come. “
Saari was one of two Upper Peninsula players to sign with the Lumberjacks recently, while Rock-Mid Peninsula graduate Shaelyn Lampinen has also signed with ACC.
Like Saari, Lampinen was eager to play college softball and was relieved to join CCA coach Christin Sobeck and his program.
âIt’s a sigh of relief. I worked really hard to get (signed) so knowing that I signed with a college that wants me is really, really relieving and it’s great, âLampinen said.
The ACC has been a draw for many Upper Peninsula players in the past and Sobeck will get two players eager to contribute. The two were scheduled to play for a team coached by Sobeck in Barcelona, ââSpain last summer, representing the US team in a national softball tournament before its cancellation.
Lampinen also played for a ball travel team coached by Saari’s father, Adam.
Saari, who plans to study criminal justice, played the pitcher and shortstop for Marquette. Although she anticipates a higher level of competition in college, she said she looks forward to bonding with her new teammates while playing a game she loves.
âI think one thing will be bonding with a lot of girls and making new connections,â Saari said. âI really think that’s the connection to a lot of girls. It’s just a fun time to get together and it’s just a fun sport to play.
Lampinen, receiver for Eben Junction Superior Central, grew up playing baseball and switched to softball at age 13. She plans to pursue studies in photojournalism. She’s used to the hard work, having led to training every day from Mid-Peninsula High to Superior Central High for practice and games, and she looks forward to the challenge of playing at the college level.
âI think the biggest transition will be the workout routine,â Lampinen said. “I haven’t had a full workout routine over the summer because I play other sports, so the transition from other sports to training is going to be a change for me.”