West Geauga senior Tara Gall always had a plan.
She hoped to follow in her sister’s footsteps, first by smashing softballs for the Wolverines, and then by playing in college.
On Wednesday, Gall put that plan into action when she verbally committed to continue her education and playing career at Tiffin University.
“It really is a dream come true to pursue softball in college,” Gall said. “This is something that I have dreamed of since I was a little girl. Having my older sister, Torrie, to look up to made me work even harder to get where I am today.”
Torrie Gall was a four-year starter at West Geauga and now is a sophomore at Fairmont State University.
Tara Gall visited several schools before committing to Tiffin.
She visited Ashland, Mercyhurst, Notre Dame College, and Ohio Dominican, but found exactly what she was looking for when she visited Tiffin last week.
“Tiffin is going to be my home away from home,” she said. “The campus and people that are there just made me feel so welcomed as if I were a student there already.”
Gall and her summer ball team played in Marion, Ohio two weekends ago and she returned to the area for her official visit at Tiffin last Thursday.
“The school is the perfect size; not too big, not too small,” she said. “The athletic facilities are great and, of course, the softball field is my favorite. Everyone was so welcoming and already made me feel like I was a part of the Tiffin family.”
Tiffin hired Paige McMenemy as its new head coach this fall and Gall was the new coaching staff’s first recruiting target.
“It’s a really special feeling considering Tiffin recently hired a new head coach and I was her very first recruit,” Gall said. “That bond between Coach Paige and I has already grown so much. The assistant coach, Coach (Brian) Coleman, is like a dad to me. I know that if I need anything at all I can go to either one of them for advice or just to talk to about life in general. I obviously wanted coaches who were personable and didn’t see me as just another player, but I also needed coaches that are going to push me to my fullest potential. They both offer that and more. It’s a great feeling to be wanted as a person and an athlete. As for the girls on the team, we met one time and I can tell they are going to be my lifelong best friends.”
Gall was recruited as a third baseman/utility player.
She’ll also be expected to continue producing at the plate the same way she has at West Geauga.
As a junior, Gall batted .653 with eight doubles, two triples, and six home runs to go along with 30 runs batted in.
“I think that will be a great fit for me as well as my team,” Gall said of her projected position in college. “I plan on working hard this next year so when I head to Tiffin next fall I will be prepared to play at the collegiate level.”
Gall’s future at Tiffin will soon take a backseat to her present at West Geauga.
She hopes to build off of a strong junior season to lead the Wolverines to another conference championship and, hopefully, a deep postseason run.
“It’s hard to believe I’m a senior already,” Gall said. “I remember watching my sister playing and just dreaming of being in her position and now that I’m here, I wish I could go back in time. I hope to accomplish being back-to-back CVC champs with my team and going even farther into playoffs this year. For myself, I want to be the best teammate possible and maybe even break the home run record this year; go out on a high note.”